Tomorrow is the last day of Bike to Work Week — and it’s National Bike to Work Day — and it looks like the weather might not be too bad, so if you haven’t done so already, try to get on the bike tomorrow. Also, if you will be in the Princeton area at lunch time, please check out our free event at the Princeton Public Library! Info can be found here.
By biking to work tomorrow on National Bike to Work Day, you’ll save yourself $4 per gallon in gas costs while simultaneously reducing congestion, energy consumption and air pollution.
National bike commuter data, provided by the American Community Survey, supports that more Americans are biking to work – there has been a nationwide 44 percent increase over the past 10 years. Communities that have actively encouraged bicycling have seen even bigger increases, including those designated by the League of American Bicyclists as Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFCs). Platinum-level BFC Portland, Ore. has seen a 230 percent increase in bicycle commuters since 2000, their percentage holding steady at 5.8 percent of work trips, while 12.3 percent of citizens in Platinum BFC Boulder, Colo. ride every day. Other stand out BFC commuting cities include: Silver-level Gainesville, Fla. with 6.3 percent, and Gold-level Minneapolis, Minn.’s number of 3.9 percent commuting by bike daily. Statistics for more than 200 U.S. cities are available here. Trenton, the only GMTMA-region city on the list, has achieved bronze-level status.
Furthermore, the bicycle economy is booming in recent months — bike sales were up 9 percent in the last quarter. And there was an even bigger jump — 29 percent — in sales of road bikes, implying that people are using their bikes to commute. We don’t know if this is because of rising gas prices or a new commitment to healthier and more environmentally-friendly transportation choices, but it’s a good sign nonetheless.
So get on that bike tomorrow! And don’t forget to stop by the Princeton Public Library for some free food (thank you, Witherspoon Bread Company!) and great discussion about how to make our region more bike- and ped-friendly.