For the second chapter in our Moving Beyond the Automobile series we'll take a look at bicycling. More and more people are choosing to cycle for at least part of their commute in cities across the world. Leading the way in the United States, Portland, Oregon is up to a daily bike count of 17,000 riders! For this video we spent some time with leading thinkers in New York, San Francisco and Portland to discuss the direct relationship between providing safe cycling infrastructure and the number of people biking. The benefits of cycling are simple. Biking helps reduce congestion, air pollution, meet climate action goals and makes for healthier communities.
(Note: This series is made possible by funding from the Fund for The Environment & Urban Life.)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer: [00:13] It’s important that people have choices. They shouldn’t have to burn a gallon of gas to get a gallon of milk. Half the trips that are taken everyday in America are within 20 minutes on a bike. A quarter of them are a 20 minute walk.
Mayor Sam Adams: [00:32] An investment in bicycling is an important part of an overall effort to reduce congestion, air pollution, meet climate action goals, ensure that you have a healthy community.
Janette Sadik-Khan: [00:43] Cities around the world are doing whatever they can to improve the feel, the attractiveness and the economic competitiveness of their cities. And that means investing in sustainable forms of transportation. And that increasingly means investing in a high quality cycling network. In New York City we’ve laid down some 250 miles of on street bike lanes in the last four years alone. We’ve seen a 66% increase in cycling over the last two years. So people are voting with their feet, they’re voting with their pedals. What we’re doing here is creating the kinds of street designs for cycling that really work. So we’re building out an entire network of protected bike lanes. Every single place where we protect the cyclist physically, we’ve seen a 50% reduction in injuries for all users in the corridors. New York City is not alone in the incredible investment that its made in its cycling infrastructure. You see it all over the country. You see it in Columbus, Ohio. You see it in Boulder, Colorado. You see it in San Francisco. You see it in Portland. I mean this is a national movement. This has become a fundamental mainstream form of transportation.
Andy Thornley: [01:52] Here we are at beautiful Downtown San Francisco on Market Street, San Francisco’s main street, where you can see more and more people are riding their bikes because it’s becoming more and more comfortable and more and more inviting because of the changes that we’re making in Market Street.
Mayor Sam Adams: [02:07] You know in 1993 we weren’t the bicycling capital of America. 17 years later for the equivalent cost of a single mile freeway, we now have a bike infrastructure. We have about 2500 bicycle trips everyday across the bridges onto Willamette River. Since then we’ve invested in our infrastructure. Today our daily bike count is now 17,000, from 2500 to 17,000 and for every mile of improvement we make on the bikeways we are always surprised at how exponential growth in terms of bike riderships. If you get a certain level of basic bike connectivity, that means it’ll turn out riders. The fact that there are more riders visible on the street means more people will say, hey, look they’re doing it, we can do it too.
Janette Sadik-Khan: [02:55] If we’re going to continue to grow and thrive and accommodate the million more people that we’re going to have living in New York City by 2030, we can’t accommodate those people with cars. We need to accommodate those people through more sustainable forms of transportation.
Earl Blumenauer: [03:07] An opportunity for us to help people
with the big picture, giving them choices, reduces the demands for the
automobile, and allows them to reach their destination using the tools
that are appropriate for them. It saves them time, it saves them
money, it improves their health, and it frankly enriches their daily