Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The upside of $4 gas

The Gazette has a front-page story today about how, socked with $4 gas, people are slowly shifting to bicycle commuting. Cities are experimenting with more bike lanes. Bike sales are climbing even though other consumer markets are in the tank. Colorado Springs, for its part, continues to add to its network of over 100 miles of bike paths and lanes. I can't help but think, long term, this may be the only elixir able to cure the exurban sprawl that now covers much of El Paso county. Plus, biking is good for you, fun, and less likely to foster road rage -- well, until some yahoo passing by throws his half-eaten Slurpy at you while you're riding to work. At least now you can take comfort in imagining him swearing when he has to pay $70 to fill his truck again.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Riding on the road with the ya-hoos, rednecks and teen punks is plain crazy talk. The high cost of gas likely will increase driver rage. Glad the are plenty of bike paths in town.

Anonymous said...

The map on springsgov.com looks a little out of date and is a pain to look through, so I wish that the city would have a more user friendly/searchable map of the city bike paths. I think that would help people interested in commuting out somewhat and make it easier to find out how to get somewhere else by bike.

al said...

The bike trails in town aren't pure heaven, but they're not pure hell, either...like spending a half-hour trying to get through Union and Austin Bluffs. OTOH, can't carry a string bass on a bicycle.

zen said...

I have to wonder if the Springs is really any worse than anywhere else when it comes to mean spirited drivers hassling bikers. I've heard of and witnessed this kind of thing all over the place, from the suburbs of Denver to the Bay Area of California, even Davis, CA which bills itself as one of the most bike friendly cities in the nation.

al said...

It's probably about the same everywhere. Anytime you get dissimilar modes of transportation in the same place (buses/cars, cars/bikes, bikes/hikers, etc) conflicts arise. Heck, they arise between drivers when it rains and some drivers pretend the pavement's dry and some pretend it's covered with black ice.
The only thing I've found that comes close to working is being extra courteous, even in the face of hatred. Sounds naive, I know, but laws and cops and city council resolutions don't seem to work as well. Easy to say; hard to do.

Jeremy said...

H. Con. Res. 305: Recognizing the importance of bicycling in transportation and recreation was passed by the House on May 21st.