This will be the first of a series of reasons to ride. I figure to post the reasons as I run into them.
Today’s reason is parking. Over the last week, we’ve had cause to drive to several evening events. Once we arrived at destinations, we spent anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes looking for parking and, in a couple of instances, had to park a couple of blocks away. In all such cases, we found that there was empty bike parking almost in front of every one of our destinations. (We need to start leaving work earlier to saddle up the bikes to ride!)
I’m sure we weren’t the only ones faced with this. Makes me wonder how many gave up in frustration and left without attending.
In 2013, 0.2% of commuters in Omaha rode bicycles. Assuming that the number holds true for ALL transportation, imagine how many cars would be off the road if the percentage increased to just 1%! That would make parking easier, reduce congestion on the roads, and help clear the air. Not to mention the benefits to overall community health; heck, look at the money that could be saved on gym memberships alone.
In Omaha back in 2013, a whopping 60% of commuters said they’d be interested in cycling as opposed to driving if they felt safer. My feeling is that we can wait for our friendly neighborhood advocacy groups to get things rolling and see results in ten years or so; OR we can jumpstart it ourselves by dusting off that two wheeled contraption hanging in the garage, pushing on the pedals and ride! The more we see cyclists on the road (and the more cyclists we SEE on the road,) the more drivers will be accustomed to us being there. In this case, there truly is greater safety in numbers. And what better time to start than now, the beginning of National Bike Month!