Climate Change - Local Transit

Even though I bike to work, I spent several hours yesterday stuck in traffic on a bus yesterday because an accident on the Bay Bridge blocked off all but one then 2 lanes of the freeway. Thousands of people (not that many carpooling) were trickling at a snail's pace to reach their destination, idling their engines, sending smog into the air. There is no way for me to bike all the way to work because there is no bike lane on this bridge. I couldn't help but think that a wide bike and pedestrian lane would have provided access for emergency crews and tow trucks to deal more swiftly with such situations instead of blocking off most of the traffic lanes. The accident was caused because of truck speeding into the new "S" curve on the entrance to the bridge, everyone thought it would slow down traffic but instead it only causes accidents. A couple of signs and maybe some enforcement of speed limits would have helped. When traffic is shared with bicycles people pay more attention and slow down. Those are the benefits of road diets - safer roads. We need to rethink how we view transportation and provide options for people who really want to ride a bicycle to work and work on long term solutions to easing the congestion. MORE BIKE LANES, More ferries and buses that run on biodiesel, more trains, more than 1 CalTrans shuttle for bicycles... and NO BART BLACKOUT FOR BICYCLES.

I bike to work because I love it, it's great exercise, cost-effective, and way better than sitting in a traffic jam. Using 2,000 LBS and tons of CO2 emissions to haul 130 lbs only 15 miles or less doesn't make sense to me. Especially with all the information we are now seeing about what is happening to our climate & air quality as a result of burning fossil fuels. If there is any remote chance that I can contribute to a solution, then why not try it?


Jo Lynn said...

You know what? I JUST heard about the bicycle black-out times on BART. What the hell is up with that? Commuters can't take their bicycles on BART during the time they would be commuting?
That's like telling carpoolers they CAN'T use the carpool lane during commute hours.
I think that is absolutely ridiculous.

Rick Gaston said...

I didn't know they had bicycle black-out times on BART. Is that so they can pack more people in the cars? That's like when Caltrain introduced new trains that had reduced space for bikes. Some people couldn't catch the train because the bike car was full. I haven't had a car since I moved here in 93. I miss the convenience of one especially when it comes to grocery shopping and other types of errands where I need to carry lots of stuff. On the other hand not having to look for parking every day is such a bonus or paying for a garage for that matter. I just rent cars now and then when I need them.

René said...

I have run into many people who would like to try to ride their bike to work but then they bring up the BART blackout issue. Good thing is - if you have a folding bike, you are always allowed on BART. It is almost a luxury not to absolutely need to own car living here in the Bay Area, isn't it?

PunkRockRunner said...

I love the fact that you ride your bike to work. I live 22-miles from the office and when I know I do not need my car during the day I will ride to work.

This is going to be very helpful as I am starting to train for my first full Ironman and, as you know, sometimes finding the time to train can be harder than actually training.

Great post, great blog.

All the best,


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