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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Illinois: Springfield residents take to bikes

Image of bridge on the Lost Bridge Trail near Springfield, IL
From the Chicago Tribune, 06.01.08:

More Springfield residents take to bikes
It took a close encounter with a deer on the highway to get Phillip Wilson thinking about bicycling to work. "Last November, our car got hit by a deer, so I had to pedal to the airport to pick up a rental," he says.

After arriving at the airport, Wilson says, he felt pretty good about the possibility of making the whole trip into town to his job..."My usual ride is about 12 miles," says Wilson. "If I get on the trail to go down to Chatham (on the Interurban Trail), it is about 16 miles round-trip. I've also gone to Rochester several times, too (on the Lost Bridge Trail)."

Wilson says his first consideration was that bicycling to work would be great exercise. "But when gas prices started to go up, I thought, 'Hey, that's cheap travel.'" (Read more.)
At least this deer didn't die in vain. (Note the passive "car got hit" rather than "I creamed a deer.") The Defenders of Wildlife, one of my favorite environmental groups, reports that more than 1.5 million animals die on America's highways each year. This likely misses those animals who survive the collision, only to die later from their injuries away from the road. And highways are, of course, enormously destructive of wildlife habitat.

Even more reason to switch to bicycling.

Image: Web capture. Lost Bridge Trail near Springfield, IL.
Visit: Second Nature: Improving Transportation Without Putting Nature Second, Surface Transportation Policy Project
Visit: Habitat and Highways, Defenders of Wildlife
Visit: Was that howl from a bicycle wheel?, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


Anonymous said...

re: "got hit by a deer" -- having talked to people who have had car encounters with deer, and since I used to vanpool through an area with quite a few deer, I have some sympathy to that point of view.

when a deer jumps out of the underbrush directly perpendicular to the highway, there's often not a whole hell of a lot you can do. my understanding is that usually both deer & car are moving at speed, not that the deer is standing still. deer can get up to 35-40 miles an hour!

but yes, it would be much nicer not to have that be a problem at all.

Anonymous said...

Bicycling to work would be great exercise,and also cheap to travel but it takes more time to travel.
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