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More Cycling: Good for Everyone — Not Just Cyclists

April 5th, 2012 | Posted by Nick Andrew in advocacy | cycle tracks | environmental | transport

Extracted from the excellent Streetsblog website.

Next time you’re just minding your own business, riding your bike, and someone drives by and shouts something at you, perhaps the best reply is to smile, wave, and say “you’re welcome.”

As Jay Walljasper at Shareable Cities reminds us today, more bicycling is good news for everyone — not just cyclists:

Even if you will never ride a bike in your life, you still see benefits from increased levels of biking. More bicyclists mean less congestion in the streets and less need for expensive road projects that divert government money from other important problems. Off-road paths, bike lanes, sidewalks and other bike and ped improvements cost a fraction of what it takes to widen streets and highways. It’s proven that bicycling and walking increase people’s health and reduce obesity, which will translate into huge cost savings for government and a boost for our economy.

Policies that are good for bicyclists actually benefit everyone on the streets. Good conditions for bicycling also create good conditions for pedestrians. And what makes the streets safer for bikes, also makes them safer for motorists.

Higher gas prices (which have topped four bucks for the third time in four years) means more Americans are looking for other ways to get around. Bikes offer people more choices in transportation. This is especially true for people whose communities are not well served by mass transportation or where distances are too far to walk to work or shopping.

Kinda ironic that these are the activities that get targeted as “money wasters” by most governments around the world.

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