This blog will be a new experience for me, and that means it will be a new experience for readers as well. So, first I will try to explain myself, which may help put my comments and opinions in context.
I love riding a bike instead of driving, and try to do so at every opportunity. But, I am not a serious bike recreationalist; I simply enjoy using a bike to get places as a preferred mode of transportation. Actually, I should qualify that, my wife Susan and my favorite form of recreational exercise together is riding a tandem. In our travels we try to take the tandem everywhere with us, along with Cooper, a lovable, large, black lab/poodle mutt, in Cooper’s van, a ’97 VW Eurovan camper.
This love of biking only began a little over 5 years ago, after I retired and started taking environmental studies and urban planning courses at the University of Utah. I quickly discovered biking was the most convenient, healthy and enjoyable way to get to campus from Holladay. From my studies and on-street experience, I became convinced that biking was an environment-friendly form of transportation with wonderful personal health benefits, both physical and mental. It wasn’t difficult to become an advocate with the realization that active transportation can play a vital role in improving our regional air quality problems, and the attributes of active transportation contribute to a better quality community. From a city and urban planning perspective the benefits to a community from less driving are enormous, and biking and walking are an important complement to public transit. Besides being cleaner, bikes take less space, calm traffic, and make neighborhoods safer. A community which promotes walking and biking has been proven to be more inviting, safer (less traffic accidents), and has higher real estate values.
This is a long explanation as to why you may see many posts about issues related to climate change, public transit and our regional pollution problems. Active transportation and biking can be related in a complementary way to all of these issues. In my opinion they are all connected. Well, isn’t everything and everyone connected?
Many of my posts will probably be derived from my previous newspaper editorials, op-ed commentaries and letters-to-editor that you may have seen or read. Some readers have found them to be contentious and controversial; I hope you find them interesting, informative and useful.