Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This is How We Roll

An article in the April Continental Airlines magazine, titled "This is How We Roll", talks about Washington, D.C.'s upcoming bike-sharing program and has some really great quotes from the many people with which the reporter spoke.

"Buoyed by the runaway success of bike-share programs in such European cities as Paris, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo, proponents [of bike-sharing] see the United States as the next frontier." With apologies from Star Trek - To boldly go where no bicycle has gone before. (Well, not exactly "no bicycle" as the U.S. only has a bicycle mode share of about 1%. Low numbers are easier to double though.)

Another good quote:
“ 'We always go on and on about how Americans have a love affair with their cars,' says Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. 'But I’ve always felt they also have a love affair with the quickest, easiest, cheapest, most convenient way to get around. And if we make that something other than the car, Americans will love that just as much.'

D.C. is an ideal location for the U.S.'s first 3rd generation bike-sharing program. Yes, it's a big city which would provide a good example for other big- and medium-sized American cities. Yes, D.C. is becoming more bike-friendly with more miles of bike lanes and more bike parking. Yes, bike culture is growing in D.C. And yes, MetroBike is located here, so we would get to use the system daily. But there is another important reason that should not be overlooked. What is this fact?

" 'That fact, says DeMaio, is the U.S. capital is an ideal launching pad. 'We have Congress — the senators and the representatives and their staff who will be using these bikes every day will see how wonderful they are, and then they’ll want them back in their home states.' "

Let's call this bicycle osmosis.

image credit: Continental Airlines magazine

No comments: