Liz’s New Year’s Wish for You: A Better Commute
In 2011, I wish for you to have a better commute. One way for a better commute is to get on your bike and do more cycling. I wish for more biking, because biking is fun. It’s healthy. It’s inexpensive. It’s independent–no timetables or budget deficits but your own (I’m looking at you, MTA). Biking reduces emissions. It relieves congestion on roads and subways and busses. You get the gist.
You don’t have to be intense about it, either. I’m not exactly what you would call a hard-core cyclist–I ride my bike to work most days, but if I’m feeling sniffly or have a nice pair of shoes I’d like to wear, I’ll hop the subway with the best of them. Even if you only bike once in a while, getting outside and breathing the fresh(ish) NYC air makes for a better start to the day.So I wish for more biking.
But more biking is no good without responsible biking. City biking doesn’t have to be dangerous, and it doesn’t have to be obnoxious. But too often, it’s both. Too many bikers behave as though the rules of the road don’t apply to them–cruising through red lights, plopping down in the middle of crosswalks, zipping the wrong way down one-way streets. So drivers, pedestrians, and other bikers don’t trust or respect them as fellow travelers (and fairly so, in many cases). It’s a vicious cycle, and the result is that the streets are less safe for everyone–and that makes it harder for new cyclists to feel comfortable on the road.
So in 2011, I’d like to see more people on bikes, and I’d like to see those people heed traffic signals, use lights when riding at night, and generally behave like vehicles. Give it a try. I think we’ll all find it makes for a better commute.
Happy New Year!