Q?: How Can We Make Biking to Work 'Normal'?


Photo: Joshua Putnam, CC

"We need to show people that ride bikes to work, not cyclists that ride to work."

Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, and our friends at StreetsBlog, bouncing off something written at M-Bike, ask a very important question: How can we make bike commuting "normal"? How can we make the idea of commuting to work on a bike seem normal (as in not-out-of-the-ordinary) so that more people will be tempted to give it a try. We'd really love to hear your ideas on this one in the comments.M-Bike's suggestion is to start by showing bike commuters in normal clothes:

But if Metro Detroit has any hope of increasing the number of people biking to work, we need to make it look normal, starting by showing bike commuters in normal clothes.

Blue jeans. Khakis. Collared shirts. Perhaps a suit on occasion.

Biking to work doesn’t mean one must dress like Lance Armstrong. We need to show people that ride bikes to work, not cyclists that ride to work.

The video below shows cyclists in Copenhagen, and I think it illustrates well just how normal biking is there.

Copenhagen - City of Cyclists from Colville Andersen on Vimeo.

Of course a big part of the problem is getting the infrastructure right (such as physically separated bike paths).

But it's a chicken and egg problem: There won't be much pressure to fix the infrastructure as long as people in power don't feel like there's a critical mass (no pun intended) of cyclists. They won't feel much pressure to do it as long as biking is marginal. So how can we fix that?

Via StreetsBlog
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Tags: Bikes | Transportation

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