A friend alerted me to this Forbes article yesterday, which includes some startling statistics on the benefits of biking:
The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, compared to $8,220 for the average car, and if American drivers replaced just one four-mile car trip with a bike each week for the entire year, it would save more than two billion gallons of gas, for a total savings of $7.3 billion a year, based on $4 a gallon for gas.
The article notes many similar benefits that came up in this post, and goes on to note that, sadly, funding for biking still lags:
Though biking and walking account for 12 percent of all trips in the U.S., these transportation modes receive only 1.6 percent of federal transportation spending.”
The article points out that there are a multitude of reasons to promote biking: health, savings, equality, etc. Provo, thankfully, is moving forward with plans to make the city more bikeable.
But Provo still faces many obstacles to becoming a great bike city. I think those obstacles can be broken down into two categories: physical obstacles, and mental obstacles. I’ll likely touch on this again in the future, but, briefly, the point is that we need to create more bike infrastructure — so more bike lanes, bike racks, etc. — to eliminate the physical obstacles to biking. However, just as importantly, we need to change perceptions about biking to solve the mental obstacles. That means making more compelling, more understandable arguments that will help people in Provo have positive associations with daily biking.