Cycling Made Easier – East Coast Greenway Nearer to Completion
Monday, 22 February 2010
Cycling is the world most energy efficient means of travel. If one compares units of energy to units of energy and mile for mile, estimates of of bike MPG are almost always equivalent to hundred(s) MPG – meaning that a bike can take you farther with fewer global warming causing carbon emissions (and other pollutants) – and that is a good thing. Biking also helps to promote good health which keeps society’s costs of health care down. It reduces burden on over-crowded streets and public transportation. Helps to improve mental health. Improves safety of neighborhoods. And creates healthy and sustainable habits that can last a lifetime. But the biggest problem that cyclists face is safety. Let’s face it, you are exposed to the elements on a bike – road conditions, weather, and crazy traffic patterns can all affect cyclist safety. For that reason, it is important for cities, municipalities, states and the federal government to prioritize development of cycling infrastructure that helps to improve cyclist safety and encourages participation in this sustainable means of transportation. A big step towards improving cyclist safety was taken as the US Department of Transportation awarded a $23 million grant to help complete part of the East Coast Greenway in the Phila., Pa. region. The East Coast Greenway is a developing bike trail system that spans 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. The grant will help to create or preserve about 1,000 jobs as it helps to make the region a more bicycle friendly area by building trails, bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure to encourage participation. Cycling in cities is normally the quickest way to travel and does amazing things to improve local air quality and minimize urban congestion. When complete, the East Coast Greenway will provide cyclists of all skill levels a safe way to see the east coast and navigate our nation’s largest cities. While not all of us will be able to make it up and down the full 3,000 mile route, having such an accessible bike route near tens of millions of Americans will benefit us all.