Friday, July 04, 2008

energy independence day

At a family holiday gathering, one of my uncles was arguing against subsidies for mass transit, saying "why shouldn't riders pay the full price?" In answer to that, one could counter "why shouldn't drivers pay full price for the cost of roads and parking?" That's the unspoken truth. Except for toll roads and paid parking, driving is much more heavily subsidized than mass transit. Most roads are nominally free to drive on, and in less congested areas there is a lot of "free" parking. We just don't directly see the costs associated with building and maintaining this parking.

I say that riding a bike is a great way of declaring one's independence and freedom from traffic, high gas prices, and the stress of driving. And municipal spending on bike facilities gives a lot more bang for the buck than anything car-related. The reduced stress and increased exercise can be good for your mental and physical health. And it's safer than it used to be. For some useful resources on riding with kids, staying safe in traffic and other related topics, click here.

Celebrate your independence by riding a bike today!

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