Bicycle Commute

Is Austin a bicycle-friendly city? Since our local news is dominated by arguments over helmet laws and lack of bike lanes, you might not think so. Looking on the bright side, you might conclude that the arguments are evidence of a population passionate about biking. Biking conditions, like most things, could be improved but, compared with many other American cities, Austinites are working on it. (Or at least we’re talking about working on it.)

Recently the Enviromental Defense Fund ran an article on Bouldinista Bob Sessa and his commitment to commuting to his job in the Capitol Complex from South Austin. Problems encountered: lack of bike lanes (even in this short downtown commute) and lack of showers at the workplace. My husband’s workplace and my former workplace (both software startups) provided showers for bike commuters or people who wanted to jog on their lunch hour. Does yours?

Why don’t you commute by bike? Is it the lack of showers? bike lanes? distance from work? fear of automobiles? or something else?

What would encourage you to bike to work?

5 Comments so far

  1. M1EK (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    I blog about this a lot. In short, every single time the City Council has been faced with a choice between neighborhood ‘interests’ and promoting bicycling for transportation, they have gutlessly caved and went with the short-sighted neighborhood position (I refer here, of course, to Shoal Creek – the most important commuting artery in the city for cyclists, which is somehow less important than the ‘right’ of a hundred or so people to park in front of their house on a main road).

  2. M1EK (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 1:02 pm
  3. mr (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

    I’d bike to work from the East side to the Capitol Complex if the Waller Creek trail were cleaned up and maintained. It’s scary–broken branches and bottles, washouts, sleeping homeless…

  4. mss (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 8:12 am

    I especially like your link to Michael Bluejay’s presentation to the Austin City Council on Shoal Creek bike lanes.

  5. Les (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 8:19 am

    The following is a related set of comments I had after reading that great article on family and work biking from Environ. Defense. Keep on Peddlin…

    Great article!! We also are a 2 kid, 4person family surviving with only one car and bikes. The way I solved the heat and shower issue is I went with an electric bike. It is still lots of workout
    since it is a regular bike and a heavy one but on the hills you supplement with motor and it keeps
    the AC (breeze) on. I can use electric bike even in meeting clothes and arrive ready to go. Mine
    cost $795, a “tank” of fuel costs me about 25 cents.

    Alien has a Mongoose now that is a great
    e-bike at only 495$. My ebike also helps me feel safe in city traffic since I can zip extra
    smoothly through dangerous areas and ntersections. going a lot lot slower than cars in some areas
    is dangerous.

    Anyway, congratulations and thanks. You didn’t mention what a joy it is gliding with a smile past
    all those idling one-person each cars in the traffic jams. Also, I think I have $3000+ extra per year now since we got rid of the second car. I love that part too! We save on the cost of a car,
    the extra gas, extra repairs, insurance, taxes and registration, parking, you name it. More than
    enough to feel it and to be able to afford a cab now and then.

    And I would say the only burden of all this is a little planning, like checking the weather, bus
    schedules when needed (can put your bike on those too), etc. -Les

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