Cyclists ride in the bike line across the Brooklyn Bridge during the evening commute August 25, 2009 in New York City. Recent improvements in biking infrastructure have led to a 35 percent increase in bicycle commuting in the center of the city between 2007 and 2008. The Department of Transportation recently announced the completion of a three-year project that created 200 miles of bike lanes throughout the city with more scheduled to open next year.
"Besides the environmental benefits of cycling itself (reducing fuel consumption, gasoline production impacts, air and water pollution, and greenhouse effects), let's also look at the environmental benefits of designing infrastructure for bikes.
Four main environmental benefits come to mind in this category: reduction of stormwater runoff, reduction of urban heat island effect, increased green space, and less building material."
When I read this article, I already knew that new infrastructure was needed for cities to thrive in the world's new attempt at becoming eco-friendly, but there were a few things that i didn't think of that the article talks about, like how bike infrastructure is much more efficient and eco-friendly than just regular pavement and vehicle centric infrastructure.
When making biking infrastructure, the amount of materials, labor, and pollution created vastly dwarfs the amount needed for things vehicle related. In California, bikers have created an event where they park in regular parking spaces to see the amount of room that's being wasted on just one car, the article says twelve bikes can fit into just one parking stall. I feel that it also brings up good points about the idea that we are overheating our cities in the summer with the amount of asphalt we use, it creates a black pavement where heat is absorbed rather than reflected. The absorption of heat from the sun heats the city up even more, creating a bigger need for air conditioning. Also, with the reduction in the size of the amount of pavement used for creating a bike path, it creates less run off, hardly any oil runoff, less heat built up, and creates more room for natural cooling mechanisms. By that I mean plants and trees that create shade and help convert CO-2 into oxygen.
People need to become aware of these possibilities and ideas that are being presented into this article. Another little tidbit that wasn't talked about in this article, is that with the creating of these modern day infrastructures, it creates green jobs and helps the labor/construction/union groups to stay in business and work.
Kessler, Lori. "Designing for Bikes: Environmental Benefits | Momentum - The Magazine For Self Propelled People!" Momentum - The Magazine For Self Propelled People! 1 Nov. 2008. Web.