TriMet Tries To Keep Up With Needs Of Bike CommutersThis is an encouraging article. No, not because multimodal bicycle commuters are having trouble finding space on transit systems (an encouraging problem to have). But because journalists are starting to deal more substantially with the issues confronting bicycle commuters.
High gas prices are getting more Americans out of their cars, and some are even plotting a new course to work. That could mean jumping on public transit, or hopping on a bicycle. In Portland many commuters are combining those two options.
It's a Tuesday morning, and the MAX Blue line train from Beaverton to Gresham is packed. In fact ridership on TriMet has jumped more than 10 percent over a year ago. Colin Maher: "This is where we have our highest ridership, on these crowded rush hour trains."
That's Colin Maher. He's the Bike Programs Planner for TriMet. Maher says the relationship between high gas prices and record ridership is obvious...Maher says right now four percent of MAX users bring a bike, but that number is rising steadily. Colin Maher: "There's no way...we could pack more bikes on here."
No, more bikes are definitely out of the question headed into the city, but 20 minutes earlier, Cameron Adamez was doing a head count on her westbound train. Ten cyclists, with only four bike hooks to fight over. Adamez just joined the bike commuter movement a few months ago. Cameron Adamez: "I hardly ever...get to bike except on the weekends cause commuting took up a chunk of my time. But I found that when I took my bike I felt better in the morning, and I felt better in the afternoon, and it took me only an hour." (Read more, includes audio.)
Much of the news coverage this year has been about the novelty of bicycle commuting--"Local Man Rides Bike to Work." In recent weeks, we've seen more articles about specific issues confronting bike commuters: challenges finding bike parking at workplaces; the issue of dressing for work; reducing bicycling injuries; selecting a suitable bike for commuting; improving safety of existing bicycling infrastructure (such as bike lanes or sharrows); and other topics.
Problems don't get addressed until attention is raised about them. There are many existing street and community conditions that challenge wide-spread bicycle commuting. It's gratifying to see the media begin to pay attention.
What bicycle commuting issues would you like to see journalists expose?
Visit: Train 'n Wheels: Caltrain Threatens the Perfect Commute, Wired.com
Visit: Dallas transit agency to add bike racks to buses, Dallas Morning News
Visit: Bicycles Oversaturate Metro Rail & Busway, LAist.com
Visit: City could open bike transit center, Daily Utah Chronicle (Salt Lake)
Visit: Bicycles crowd out riders on commuter rail cars, KSL-TV (Salt Lake City)
Visit: Florida: Cyclists flocking to trains, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Connecticut bicyclists fight for train access, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Bikes on rails, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Bicycling on transit in Sacramento, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Amtrak Capitol Corridor celebrates 15 years, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site