Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bikes, walking can help climate

Thanks to John Edward Smith for pointing out this encouraging news:
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Transportation has confirmed the climate benefits that can be gained by a community that embraces bicycle and pedestrian travel. The non-motorized trips covered in a new report to Congress are viewed as critical parts of the nation's surface transportation system.

The report reveals that bicycling and walking trips in Columbia, Mo., Marin County, Calif., Minneapolis, and Sheboygan County, Wis., range from 7.3 to an unexpected 19.6 percent of total person trips. In comparison to the four communities, commonly cited data place this figure near 9.5 percent nationally. Additionally, Minneapolis' total non-automobile mode share rises from 19.6 to a high of 29.3 percent of total person trips when transit riders are added.
Those four communities were examined because they're where a pilot project was done to test whether walking and bicycling could measurably reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce street congestion and improve public health. It looks like they can on all counts.

A news release about the interim report is here, and the report itself right here.

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