This is just one example of how biking around town is easier than driving. Last week I had to drive my car downtown, then through the construction mess by old Route 34 and into the Hill -- and I thought I would lose my mind. It was a real traffic jam (in the middle of the day) and the cars were going so slowly there that they didn't exceed the existing 25 mph speed limit, and they actually didn't go faster than the 20 mph that Elm City Cycling, the advocacy group I'm a part of, has been championing. I could feel my blood pressure rising as I sat at red light after red light.
In fact, a neighbor of ours was advised by his doctor to ride the five miles each way to his job in the Hill as a way to bring down his blood pressure -- and it worked. Not only due to less stress, but because cycling is good for you!
My friends at New Haven's Healthy City/Healthy Climate Challenge have launched
goNHgo, an effort to get more folks out of their cars and walking, biking or taking public transit. That would remove some vehicles from the streets, clean up the air, make biking and walking safer as more people start doing both, and address climate change. Check it out.
And speaking of bridges, the federal Highway Trust Fund that pays for road and bridge repair is about to run out of money. A major bridge in Delaware on I-495 is out and that will affect all interstate traffic between Washington and Philadelphia. And, as I noted in an earlier post, the American Society of Civil Engineers has given the U.S. an overall grade of D+ on its infrastructure for 2013. How many collapsed bridges and tumbling cars do we need before our erstwhile (not actual) legislators do something? The federal gas tax hasn't been raised in 20 years, and that's one thing that could be done, although as Americans drive less and drive more fuel-efficient cars, less money will be going into the pot. My friend Aaron describes it as a carbon tax that should just be raised as the pot shrinks due to the reasons I just mentioned. But then he noted that there's a political problem with that...