The Low Down On Green Living
February 27th, 2008
Will 2008 be the Year of the Bike? Washington D.C, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Arlington and Portland all have low cost bike-sharing programs in the works – with several set to launch in 2008.
Most U.S. bike-share plans will be modeled after Paris’ successful Velib program that is funded by advertising behemoth JCDecaux, who purchased the bikes as partial payment for Paris billboard advertising rights. On similar terms, Clear Channel Outdoor will run the bike-sharing programs in D.C. and San Francisco, according to the AP.
About 120 bicycles will be deployed in the first phase of the Washington D.C. program at 10 locations around the city. Details on membership pricing have not been announced yet. Apparently the bikes will be stored in user stations around the city and members can get access to the bikes using a special card. The launch date is not official yet but should be in in the late spring of 2008. (We hope!)
The simple efficiency of the bicycle, as a short distance mode of transportation, is amazing. If automobiles advanced to a place where they were soundless and ran on pollution-free, rapidly renewable fuel, they would still pale in comparison to a bike that offers low-impact exercise and is made with significantly less material. Ironically, the first widely popular “high wheel” bicycle came along in the late 19th century at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Many turn of the century innovations were a catalysts to our current climate crisis, yet excellent solutions, such as the bicycle, were invented at the same time. When discussing tactical solutions to global warming, noted environmentalist Paul Hawken says, “The technological solutions are here. I’m not saying that stunning new things aren’t being invented all the time, but that’s not the obstacle. The obstacle, of course, is ourselves”.
Well, it looks like we may be stepping out of the way when it comes to utilizing the time tested efficiency of the bike. Kudos to modern cities for jumping on the bike-sharing bandwagon and getting big business to pay for it!
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