Cargo Bikes Cleaner than Trucks

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By Charles Pekow — Replace auto delivery with a cargo bike and you can improve city life in a variety of ways. At least that's what a limited study in Oakland, CA found. Researchers at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University examined a program in which packages were left at a transfer hub by an auto and delivered to the final destination on a bicycle equipped with plenty of space for packages.

Cargo bikes are cleaner than trucks when moving goods from one place to another, especially short distances. Photo by Dave Iltis

Assessing the Public Health Benefits of Replacing Freight Trucks with Cargo Cycles in Last-Leg Delivery Trips in Urban Centers found that sure enough, the city exhibited less air pollution, less noise, less traffic congestion, less wear and tear on streets, and more jobs and exercise.

The report notes that not much research has been done on the topic. See https://transweb.sjsu.edu/sites/default/files/1952-Hartle-Freight-Trucks-Cargo-Cycles-Delivery_0.pdf

 

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Charles Pekow is an award-winning Washington correspondent who has written about bicycling for years in publications such as the Washington Post, Bicycle Times, Dirt Rag, SPOKES, etc. as well as Cycling West/Cycling Utah. He also writes frequently on environmental issues and beer, among other topics. Weather permitting, you'll find him most weekends and some summer evenings astride a bicycle in a park. He is also a charter member of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

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