15 June 2012

Public Awareness: Monday is Ride to Work Day

If you're on the road coming Monday, June 18 – driving, horseback riding, walking, bicycling, scooting or motorcycling like I plan to – an important news item typically bypasses those who do not ride a scooter or a motorcycle:

This Monday is Ride to Work Day.

Big Deal – what's the purpose, you wonder:

On Ride to Work Day, – now in its 21st year – motorcycle and scooter commuters seek improved recognition and support for this form of transportation and increased public and government awareness of the positive value of riding.

Because commuting with motorcycles and scooters makes urban parking easier and traffic flow better, according to Ride-to-Work, a non-profit advocacy organization. Look at major cities worldwide and count the businessmen and -women commuting to work on a scooter or moto – Z├╝rich, Paris, Munich, Rome... Riding saves gas, time and emissions:

Studies have shown that across the same distances, riders reach their destinations faster than those using automobiles. Most motorcycles and scooters also consume less resources per mile than automobiles.

"Riding to work on this day is fun and highlights the positive value of motorcycling. For many people, riding is a socially responsible form of mobility that saves energy, helps the environment and provides a broad range of other public benefits," stated Andy Goldfine, this year's event organizer.

A study for New York City confirms details:

Data from a new traffic model released today demonstrates that the nation’s largest city could significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a key factor in the global warming debate, and reduce fuel consumption while saving a great deal of time lost to congestion by simply incorporating more motor scooters into the commuting vehicle mix... [Ideally, results could be:]
  • A total decrease in delay of more than 4.6 million hours per year — which translates to time savings of nearly 100 working hours per person
  • A reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 26,000 tons (52,000,000-pounds) per year
  • A decrease in fuel consumption by over 2.5 million gallons per year
  • A total savings for New York City of more than $122 million per year in fuel and labor productivity 

No wonder that participation in the yearly Ride-to-Work-Day is estimated to triple the number of riders on the road. Besides the US, countries taking part include Canada, Germany, Philippines, England, France, Israel, Turkey, Ecuador and several others.

I know this post is off-topic, but I felt introducing you to a subject you may not be aware of and may otherwise have little or no connection with.

So, if you see me and other riders on the road on Monday – or any other day – think of the lesser impact on traffic a bike makes and be kind to us please. Thank you!

More event info here. More on the NYC study here. Photo: topspeed.com

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