It has been a tough few weeks. Between the Boston Marathon, Texas plant fire, poison-laced letters to a senator and the President, and your average local shenanigans that never make it on CNN because it’s not scary enough, it’s a lot to hear. I’m here to tell you that you can smile because more people are apparently caring about the environment and their health – our road-structured nation is actually driving less!
Bloomberg reported on a few new studies which have shown major increases in bicycle riding (did you know that D.C.’s bike share program broke a record for most bikes rented since its inception during this year’s Cherry Blossom festival – thank you tourists!), walking destinations, and a decrease in receipt of driver’s licenses. There are also your common contributing factors such as unemployment and high gas prices. A Frontier Group study published in April 2012 found the following:
From 2001 to 2009, 16- to 34-year-olds took 24 percent more bike trips and were 16 percent more likely to walk to their destinations. Meanwhile, from 2000 to 2010, the share of 14- to 34-year-olds without drivers’ licenses increased from 21 percent to 26 percent.
In summary, the 34 and younger crowd loves to live where they can walk, bike, or take public transportation (the Bloomberg article said that too). I know in D.C. those are all top selling points for many homeowners and renters, as I’m sure it is for other cities too. Encourage your local decision makers to improve bike lanes and public transportation in your neighborhood so that you’re not always in a car. I know it’s easier said then done, so at least think of all the tiny switches you can make in your daily routine to change up your long car habits. Check out Craigslist for bike ads, ask your neighbors and friends to do a walking or running group, or even better search online for your town’s bus schedule. It could never hurt. It will save you money, and exercise is always good for your health.
When you do go for a walk, here’s some proper form from the Mayo Clinic:
Hope you did your part for Earth Day this year. Cheers.