The U.S. bike sharing fleet has doubled this year as the concept has taken off in New York City and other major urban centers, providing a low-cost, low-carbon way to hop around congested cities.
strong>By Lester R. Brown
Cars promise mobility, and in a largely rural setting they provide it. But in an urbanizing world, where more than half of us live in cities, there is an inherent conflict between the automobile and the city. After a point, as their numbers multiply, automobiles provide not mobility but immobility, as well as increased air pollution and the health problems that come with it. Urban transport systems based on a combination of rail lines, bus lines, bicycle pathways, and pedestrian walkways offer the best of all possible worlds in providing mobility, low-cost transportation, and a healthy urban environment.
Biking. It’s not just for hearty commuters and weekend racers anymore. With the energy pinch on, people are finding more uses for two- or three-wheeling, whether it’s puttering to school or the grocery. Even businesses are finding ways that bikes can solve problems.
Take City Harvest in New York City. The food rescue agency collects leftovers and unwanted produce from farmer’s markets, restaurants and groceries, and delivers it to various agencies and soup kitchens serving the poor and displaced.