Bike to Work Week

May is National Bike Month and May 13-17, 2013 is Bike to Work Week. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that number of Americans commuting by bike has increased by 47 percent since 2000.  Hitting the road on two wheels has benefits for your health and the environment. Studies have shown that adults who bike to work have better weight, blood pressure and insulin levels; adolescents who bike are 48 percent less likely to be overweight as adults. Plus, leaving your car behind for even one trip saves gas, reduces air pollution and saves money. In 2012, traffic congestion in the U.S. wasted about 2.9 billion gallons of gas –  enough to fill the New Orleans Super Dome four times – and the total financial cost of congestion was 112 billion dollars. That works out to about 818 dollars per commuter.

Viewer Tip: Try biking to work or school just one day this week. Research has shown that the length of about half of all car trips – three miles – can be covered as quickly on a bike when parking and traffic delays are taken into account. These resources will help you on your way:

  • Find events for National Bike Month and Bike to Work Week  in your community.
  • Plan a bike route using Google Maps.
  • Get cyclist and pedestrian safety tips from the Federal Highway Administration.

Image courtesy of EPA.

(Sources: League of American Bicyclists. “May is National Bike Month!” http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/; Bikes Belong, “Stats and Research,” http://www.bikesbelong.org/resources/stats-and-research/statistics/; Texas A&M Urban Transportation Institute, “As Traffic Jams Worsen, Commuters Allowing Extra Time for Urgent Trips.” http://www.bikesbelong.org/resources/stats-and-research/statistics)

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