While the official Austin Bike To Work Day isn’t happening for a couple of months yet, Friday May 16, 2014 to be exact, there’s no time like the present to get in a little practice. If you’ve been in Austin longer than about 2 minutes you have experienced our traffic. While it certainly gets worse during such events as the just-ended SXSW, we have so many events here as well as 110 net new people arriving everyday...
While the official Austin Bike To Work Day isn’t happening for a couple of months yet, Friday May 16, 2014 BiketoWorkAustin.org to be exact, there’s no time like the present to get in a little practice. If you’ve been in Austin longer than about 2 minutes you have experienced our traffic. While it certainly gets worse during such events as the just-ended SXSW, we have so many events here as well as 110 net new people arriving everyday bizjournals.com/how-many-people-move-to-austin-a-day that we’re moving ever closer to constant gridlock.
And if you are thinking of driving downtown; to use the mobster vernacular - Fuhgeddaboudit! If you do try, you’ll find constant construction, changing traffic patterns, new bus lanes, pedestrians crossing just about every place imaginable except the designated areas and no place to park or $20 parking if you’re lucky. I’m not even an old-timer Austinite but find myself asking what happened to this city when I’m downtown. I know what you’re thinking, who needs to drive when we’ve got Austin’s incredible light rail and bus system? Yes, that last sentence was dripping with sarcasm. Anyone miss the free Dillos that Cap Metro killed in 2009?
I know of many people who commute fairly impressive distances on their bikes; from the ’04 to Dell in Round Rock and South Austin to Pflugerville to name a few. My point is not to say that no distance is too far but moreover just to point out that it can be done, where there’s a will there’s a way. If your distance, your job, or your bike just doesn’t allow you the ability to bike to work, perhaps you can abandon your vehicle for other activities. Grab a backpack and ride to the store instead of driving. If it takes you a few more trips, all the better.
As we continue to get ever-closer to hitting the 2 million mark for the Austin-area in 2015, biking to work may become one of your best bets unless of course you enjoy sitting in traffic for a few hours every day. A mid February 2014 unofficial study by 5 Austin Post staff on Friday afternoon rush hour through downtown showed just how much faster biking (and even walking!) is than driving in our traffic these days. A cyclist took 22 mins to cover 4.5 miles while a walker took 76 minutes and the driver took 91 minutes. AustinPost.org/article/great-transportation-race-bike-beats-bus-beats-foot-beats-car
So c’mon Austin, join the hipsters on fixies, kids on push bikes, racers on $10K+ high tech carbon fiber rockets, triathletes on their aero bars, and that guy that rides around on his double decker bike (how the heck does he get on that??).
I’ll see you on the road.
DrKPMay - Mar 23