Sometimes when I leave the office, I play a counting game. I count all the single-occupancy vehicles lined up on our street as they wait to squeeze on to the packed highway. Sadly, that number climbs up pretty fast.
Many cities are starting to take some great steps towards alleviating congestion and trying to make it easier to get around town without the need for a car. Bixi has been launched in the downtown Toronto area after successful roll-outs in cities like Montreal, Washington DC and London UK. I was fortunate enough to catch this info tent being set up in front of Urbane Cyclist on John St at lunch today.
There was a reporter from the local college radio station asking me a few questions, what I thought about the initiative. I told him I was excited for others to start using it, but being an owner of 2 bikes already I didn’t think it would be useful to me. After thinking further, I could see a huge value in this for getting around town on one-way trips, not having to worry about locking up.
The challenge might be getting people that aren’t already biking on the streets. It’s no secret that the roads in big cities can be daunting for folks to get started on 2 wheels, but there are plenty of safe routes throughout any city. One of the best resources I’ve discovered so far are www.ridethecity.com which allows you to plot out routes that are “Safe” and “Safer” for cities such as Toronto, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco.
I encourage anyone to give cycling in the city a try – it’s not as scary as you think!