Bike Commuting

Episode 2, October 6, 2014

This is episode 2 of the Go Green Report for October 6, 2014. The Go Green Report is here to help you take small steps towards living green. This podcast is brought to you by Control-n-Roll, a household product that helps you save toilet paper and paper towels with every pull. To find out more about this simple way to conserve resources and save money, visit controlnroll.com

According to the LA Times, a new law has gone in effect in the state of California which mandates that motorists leave a 3-foot buffer for cyclists that they pass while driving. This landmark decision that has gone into effect after nearly 5,000 cyclists were reported killed or injured in traffic accidents in L.A. County alone in 2012, according to the California Highway Patrol.

This new law is an encouraging advancement for California’s bike commuters, a demographic which has been growing dramatically over the last decade. According to the League of American Bicyclists, the number of regular bicycle commuters in the United States increased by 80% from the year 2000 to 2011.

This is considered a positive trend as switching from car commuting to bike commuting has been outlined in a recent study by the University of East Anglia as a source of improvement for the individual’s overall well-being. Aside from the obvious physical benefits of biking, the study shows that bike commuters are better off psychologically and, overall, are happier.

But, biking is not only better for the individual, but for the community and the environment as well. Eric Jaffe of citylab.com recently wrote that travel times in New York City have been reduced as a result of the incorporation of bicycle lanes along many of the city’s streets.

The environmental benefits are also hard to ignore. According to youcanbikethere.org, a small car that gets 35 miles per gallon will emit .7 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere during the course of one year. Commuting on your bicycle can prevent these emissions altogether, as well as save you gas money and other automobile maintenance-related costs.

Despite the obvious advantages of biking, many are still opposed to the recent progress that bike advocates have pursued. MTLblog.com recently published a story about how bus drivers in Montreal have generated a petition to outlaw cycling on city streets during rush hour. Citing bus passenger and cyclist safety alike, the petition has already received hundreds of signatures.

We should all consider the way that our lives might be improved by adding a bicycle to our commuting options. If you’re looking to get your feet wet, National Bike to Work Day will be on May 15, 2015, according to bikeleague.org.

But, you don’t have to wait until May to start biking. Finding a group of fellow cyclists is a great way to get started. Meetup.com offers a service to connect with other bikers in your area. Additionally, in many major US cities, an event called “Critical Mass” takes place on the last Friday of every month. Participation is free and designed to encourage cycling and bike safety. Look to see if this is an option in your city.

All of the links mentioned in this episode can be found on our website. This episode was brought to you by Control and Roll, a household product helping you conserve toilet paper and paper towels with every pull.

Thanks for joining us on the Go Green Report, helping you take small steps towards living green, and every small step makes a big difference.

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