Happy Trails: An Inexpensive Way to Revive American Suburbs
Atticus Mulkey
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A Class 3 electric bike can do 28 MPH. A sustained 28 MPH with no stop signs, lights, or traffic is much faster than the average speed of a rush hour commute by car, and eliminates the time and money expense of parking when you get there. Yet even here in San Francisco people are absolutely clueless about cycling as a mode of transportation, and are always astonished when I don’t want a ride to wherever we’re going and then beat them there by 5 or 10 minutes.

Very few people try cycling instead of driving, which means there aren’t enough advocates to convince others to give it a shot, and misinformation persists about the non-existant (and usually negative) time and comfort benefits of driving. If even 10% of drivers knew how much better life could be as a bike commuter, traffic jams would all-but disappear, communities would be fitter and healthier, and state and local governments would save vast sums of money.

Yet with a pervasive attitude that bikes are for kids and recreation only, I don’t see how the virtuous cycle can ever get started of significant numbers of cyclists convincing local governments to invest in infrastructure leading to more cyclists.

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