Investment in bike paths and infrastructure will not only improve our economy, and take our country in the right direction for our future; it is precisely the kind of investment the American people want and need.
So here are a few stimulating ways to fit bikes into the future.
Rental/Free Use Program – Some cities have a bike rental or free bike program. You drop a dollar in a slot, use the bike as long as you need, and then return it to any station for your money back, similar to a shopping cart in many major grocery chains. The bikes are seldom stolen, and the program pays for itself with saved money from street repairs, traffic signals and traffic enforcement, or rental fees if it is a rental program. This type of program decreases traffic congestion and increases air quality as well.
Bike Infrastructure– Where I live there are no bicycle lanes, it is nearly impossible to get anywhere on bike. Some cities have signals and lanes just for the bicyclists, in exchange the bicyclists have to add things such as pedal powered turn signals and headlights to their bikes. The shared safety makes it better for the bike rider and the car driver and adds jobs in the implementation and support function. And again let’s not forget the reduction in street maintenance needed, less costly repairs, less often!
Bicycle Production – My bike was made overseas, it was a gift some time ago before I had the conscious I do today. But when I do get a new bike someday, I will buy an American made bike (or locally made, if you live in another country). There is a great company right here in New York called Worksman Cycles, quality is important, but so is proximity to your home, if you live in NY Worksman Cycles has both.
Transportation Sustainability Research – What if no one drove their cars for one day a year? or Two? How much pollution and congestion could we save? more research is needed for better bike designs and ideas. What about a 4 seater that can go 35 or 40 miles an hour with electric assist? Add a solar panel and four commuters with a conscience and BAM you have year round safe and clean solution!
Cottage Industry – As bicycle repairs, production and customization increase, so will the industries that fulfill those needs. Jobs are mostly created by small businesses, and what better small business than a bike shop? There is little waste and we can improve it as it grows.
So there you go, some ideas to improve the economy and think ahead.
We need to prepare our economy and way of life for a sustainable future!