In Today’s East Volusia News Journal, Phyllis Salmons offers a positive article about bike commuting.
Commuting to work on a bicycle is more than a dream for some introduces us to two Embry-Riddle professors: Bob Fleck who has been commuting by bike for 45 years and Jason Aufdenberg who doesn’t own a car.
Said Aufdenberg: “Just think — no car payments, no gasoline expenses, no car insurance, and no car maintenance. My bicycle expenses, including tune ups, tires, tubes, and lights, run approximately $100 per year.”
Aufdenberg has either biked or walked to work and school for the past 14 years.
The article mentions the realities of bike transportation:
…inconsiderate motorists, time limitations, busy routes, long distances, dealing with kids, nasty weather, arriving sweating and smelly, flat tires, carrying a briefcase or laptop, and safe parking.
“I wish we had the mindset that Europe enjoys — share the road,” said Fleck, who has taught numerous summers in Europe for ERAU’s Study Abroad Program. “(Here) I’ve ridden a bike all around Europe and never been yelled at or told to get off the road.
Agreed. Cycling advocates like to point to places in Northern Europe, like Copenhagen. But I’d rather point to places like Italy. I’ve been to Italy with my bike twice. I’ve ridden on rural roads as well as in downtown Rome. I did ride on one MUP, but otherwise just roads with no bike facilities and very narrow lanes. Italians are vocal, and they like to honk at each other, but I was never honked at because they didn’t believe I should be on the road. In rural areas especially, I felt more than respected. Cyclists are second only to soccer players in hero status. Also, the car is not king in Europe, so car drivers don’t have a sense of entitlement that they are more important than everyone else.
Here’s where I’m going to look a little cross-eyed at the article. Most people don’t understand the pros and cons of bike infrastructure, but it really is in our interest to pay attention to this stuff.
With increasing attention being paid to global climate change and rising fuel prices, many government agencies have intensified interest in exploring ways to encourage alternative forms of transportation, such as bicycles.
Daytona Beach Zone 5 Commissioner Dwayne Taylor said construction of a new multi-use sidewalk/bike path is scheduled to begin in the fall
Think about it. You have a culture that is barely-to-not accepting of cyclists on the road and motorists who believe cyclists belong on the sidewalk. How does building a sidewalk/bike path help this problem? So now you reduce quality of service by putting cyclists in an unsafe, slow cycling environment, increase hostility toward those who prefer to ride in the road where it is safer and faster and pat yourself on the back for accommodating cyclists.
Stop it. Just stop it! FerthaluvaGod, FIX with the cultural problem, don’t coddle it at our expense and then act like you’re helping us.