This past weekend I was in New York City. It’s one of the world’s great cities – and not just because I was born there. 🙂 It’s also a city striving to become much greener than it is today. And it’s fun to see the many ways that greener reality takes shape.
Some Serious Bikes Paths
Leaving my hotel on 8th Ave, I was amazed to see a bike path along this busy, major road. Not a skinny path squeezed alongside as an afterthought. This was a wide, well-marked, well-paved section of the road reserved for cyclists. There are even traffic signals specifically for cyclists.
As I walked (on the sidewalk), helmeted riders whizzed by in their lane, unfazed by the sub-freezing temperatures. Some were riding bright blue Citi Bikes, which belong to the city’s bike sharing program. (No, I am not paid by Citi Bike.) With thousands of bikes and hundreds of pick-up and drop-off bike stations throughout the city, you really can bike from point A to point B very quickly without waiting for a cab, bus or subway.
Cycling Benefits Everyone, Including Non-Cyclists
I am not a cyclist. But I celebrate this as another step towards greener cities and a greener economy. The bikes and bike paths benefit cyclists and non-cyclists alike because this transportation option:
- Produces no greenhouse gas emissions. All New Yorkers benefit from cleaner air and no greenhouse gas emissions when a fellow citizen grabs a bike instead of driving to their destination.
- Provides safety and speed for cyclists. The designated bike paths make biking in NYC much speedier and safer than before. Cyclists don’t risk their lives by jockeying for position in lanes full of yellow cabs, cars and buses.
- Offers convenience and flexibility. There are literally THOUSANDS of bikes and hundreds of bike stations throughout the city now. There’s no hunting around to find a bike, or a place to park it at a destination.
- Builds better health. People who cycle regularly are rarely fat. I envy New Yorkers who can combine their commute – even on some days – with their exercise routine. Talk about a win-win.