Getting There Greener
Union of Concerned Scientists’ published an analysis of the environmental impact of domestic vacation travel, where global warming pollution can add up quickly. Getting There Greener: The Guide to Your Lower-Carbon Vacation, provides a comprehensive, peer-reviewed comparison of the highest-carbon and lowest-carbon travel options. Our research shows that three key factors determine the environmental impact of your travel:
The type of vehicle you are taking
The distance you are traveling
The number of people traveling with you
While the basic concept might seem intuitive, some of our findings may surprise you. Find the complete Getting There Greener Report here.
Benefits of Biking
1. Bicycling is for everyone
Bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity in the United States. (Outdoor Foundation, 2010)
47% of Americans say they would like more bike facilities in their communities. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008)
Most trips Americans make are short: 50% are less than 3 miles, 40% are less than 2 miles, and 28% are less than 1 mile. (US Department of Transportation, 2009)
2. Bicycling can help you live longer and better
Adults who bike to work have better weight, blood pressure, and insulin levels. (Gordon-Larsen, P., et al., 2009)
Women who bike 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. (Luoto, R., et al., 2000)
Adolescents who bicycle are 48% less likely to be overweight as adults. (Menschik, D, et al., 2008)
3. Bicycling boosts the economy
The U.S. bicycle industry sold $5.6 billion in bicycles and equipment in 2009. (National Bicycle Dealers Association, 2010)
More than three times as many new bicycles (14.9 million) are sold in the U.S. each year than cars (4.6 million). (National Bicycle Dealers Association, 2010; Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2010)
Studies have shown that homes closer to bike paths are more valuable. (Various sources)
4. Bicycling is less expensive than driving a car
The average American househould spends $7,179 per year on owning and driving their cars. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2010)
On a round-trip commute of 10 miles, bicyclists save around $10 daily. (Commute Solutions, 2011)
5. Bicycling reduces road congestion and air pollution
Traffic congestion wastes nearly 3.9 billion gallons of gas per year in the U.S. (Texas Transportation Institute, 2010)
For every 1 mile pedaled rather than driven, nearly 1 pound of CO² (0.88 lbs) is saved. (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009)
6. Bicycling is safe, and together we can make it safer
The health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a factor of 20 to one. (Hillman, M., 1992)
There is safety in numbers: the more cyclists there are, the safer bicycling is. (Jacobsen, P., 2003)
Taking Bikes on Trains and Buses
CTA Train Rules
Bicycles are permitted on the ‘L’ (CTA trains) every weekday except from 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm (with certain exceptions where crowding is anticipated). On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (except when prohibited), bicycles are allowed on trains all day. No extra charge.
CTA Bus Rules
All CTA buses are equipped with bike racks. No extra charge.
Metra Train Rules
Metra permits bicycles on all weekday trains arriving in Chicago after 9:30 A.M. and leaving Chicago before 3:00 P.M. and after 7:00 P.M., and on all weekend trains except for Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza, and the Air & Water Show. No extra charge.
Biking Advocacy, Education, Networking & Events
The mission of Active Transportation Alliance is to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. We advocate for transportation that encourages and promotes safety, physical activity, health, recreation, social interaction, equity, environmental stewardship and resource conservation.
Visit here: www.activetrans.org
Statewide advocate for all Illinois bicyclists, promoting bicycle access, education, and safety.
Visit here: www.bikelib.org
Proud to be the only not-for-profit club in Oak Park devoted to cycling and fostering mutual respect between all who share our suburban streets.
Visit here: www.oakparkcycleclub.org/
The Chainlink is the one-stop Chicagoland resource for connecting cyclists to share info on bikes, routes, rides, and events.
Visit here: www.thechainlink.org/
Zappa Wheels, making biking part of your: Resources for commuting by bicycle
What kind of lock should I get?
Depends where you park and for how long. No lock is perfect. “U” locks are effective and convenient. Add a cable to secure the wheels in high-risk areas.
What can I do to be safe?
Try to be as visible as possible (lights, bright-colored clothing, white helmet), but pretend you are invisible. Never trust a car. Avoid car doors! Avoid busy, fast roads. There are many quiet side streets in Oak Park that will take you nearly anywhere you want to go. Use hand signals so that drivers know your intentions.
Is the old bike in my garage adequate?
Maybe. Pump up the tires and take it for a ride around the block. Check the brakes and the gear shifters. If in doubt, take it in for a tune-up ($80).
How can I pick a safe and simple route?
Consult the Oak Park Bicycle Plan on the Village website or contact Karl Lauger, firstname.lastname@example.org, 708.265.4011, or Bill Watson, email@example.com, 708.997.5524, for advice.