Share the road with bikes to curb pollution, traffic, and lethargy

Surmountable Social Issues
Jun 3, 2023
6 min read
Dedicated bike lanes benefit everyone / iStock

Issue 71 • Week of May 28, 2023

There are almost 1.5 billion cars around the world today and just under 20% are in the United States. That has risen since a mere 250 million globally in 1970 and is expected to reach 2 billion as early as 2030. Going everywhere by car is unsustainable for our planet and our health, even if everyone transitioned to electric vehicles as that would not affect traffic or our lethargic lifestyles at all.

It's well past time to cut down on driving since more than half of all trips are under 3 miles. These short journeys could take 20 minutes or less via bike.

In honor of National Bike Month in May and World Bicycle Day on June 3, these three US facts may surprise you:

  • How many Americans bike every year? Almost 100 million.
  • How many trips have been taken via public bikeshare and scooter programs since 2010? Half a billion.
  • How many adults want to bike more than they do now? Half.

The good news is that bike lane coverage has quintupled nationally since 2010 and weekly bikeshares are approaching 1 million in New York City alone. We're going in the right direction, but not everything is in high gear. Biking to work dropped by 33% over the past decade because the #1 concern preventing Americans from riding more often is their safety. Every year, 130,000 drivers crash into cyclists.

How can we encourage more people to ride bikes?

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