Some might get the wrong impressions that I want to improve our bicycle lanes to suit my purpose. After all aren’t I a frequent biker who simply wants our streets to be safer and easier to bike so I can more easily get around town? First let me start by saying that I am a very casual cyclist. On average I bicycle 1-3 times a week for about 30 min. each time primarily for exercise. Yes I’d love to bicycle around town a lot more but the amount of time and effort I am putting into popularizing biking simple is not worth the effort to simply make biking more available for myself. I spend more time writing on this blog than riding my bike. I have far more altruistic motives for my passion to make this city far more bikable. I am a senor who is losing the ability to use my legs and maintain balance. I casually cycle for exercise and to use muscles in my legs not used for walking which I do far more of than biking. So my biking days are limited. I know that most of the things I am asking for I will likely never enjoy. I only hope I will be able to witness many of them happen. But I see a city that is becoming increasingly congested with car traffic which is making our street more crowded, less walkable and bikable, and far less drivable as the city grows and traffic congestion becomes increasingly more routine. This is especially problematic around our schools and is becoming worst elsewhere. This is a huge problem needing solutions.
I believe that bicycles are part of that traffic congestion solution. If this city could make our streets far more safe and attractive to bicycle we could possibly get 20% of the population to bicycle locally much of the time thus getting cars off the streets. This city is designed for urban sprawl where many streets form intricate mazes and dead ends. Once lost in such mazes without GPS or a map it is difficult to find one’s way out. Many of the houses in these mazes are some distance from the nearest major arterial road where public transportation is possible. It is very difficult to convince people to give up their cars and almost impossible to design a public transportation system or shuttle bus system that will feasibly serve most of this city’s residents.
Bicycles are a partial and practical solution. If there were frequent bus services along major arterial roads and adequate bicycle parking at bus stops residents could bike the 1/4 to 1 mile distance from their homes to a bus stop. If buses had sufficient bicycle racks residents could optionally take their bike with them on the bus. This will optimize public transportation allowing more frequent service with far fewer bus routes and give residents the option to use their bicycles to get out of these urban mazes to public transportation. No need for expensive shuttles. It is all about efficiency and frequency of public transportation service. The city could even provide free bicycles everywhere.
This is only one of many solutions bicycles can economically and practically provide if only our streets were made more safe for people of all ages to bike. I am advocating bicycles as part of the traffic solution because I believe it can be done quickly and with little investment in money relative to all other alternatives. There are also many benefits for people to bicycle far more instead of driving everywhere. Reserve driving for very long commutes where alternatives are not available. I am by nature a problem solver and see cars and traffic as unsustainable means of transportation for fast growing communities like Cupertino. I foresee traffic becoming a major problem as our city grows and could ultimately strangle the life out of our city and make it far less habitable. I have a long term stake in this community having first moved here in the mid 1970s. I have absolutely no ulterior motives. I talk the talk and walk the walk.
I simply want Cupertino to become the most Sustainable and Vibrant Community to live in and to improve our overall quality of life. Car traffic is simply counterproductive to these ends but bicycles are sustainable from many aspects ranging from economic, environmental, traffic congestion, and exercise and health. This blog contains many specifics why bicycles are so beneficial to our sustainable existence into the future. But it requires a cultural shift from a car-centricity to a sustainable way of thinking and living. That is what I and this blog are all about.