What Would a Bike-only World Look Like?

, , former engineer and Kendall Science Fellow | September 23, 2014, 4:35 pm EDT
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Ever wonder what it would be like if only bicycles were on the roads? I spent a week in July biking across Iowa for an event called RAGBRAI where thousands of cyclists ride just over 400 miles across the state. While biking I began thinking about how our world would be different if bikes, not cars, were the norm.

Usually analysts like myself focus on how cars and trucks could be more efficient, but sometimes it’s important to think about the transportation system as a whole. Such thought experiments can provide interesting insights…

1. If bikes were the norm we would use less gasoline, which would lead to cleaner air, more energy security, and fewer global warming emissions.

2. People would be healthier and happier.

3. There would be less ambient noise. Listen to how quiet my video is!

4. Less road maintenance.

5. More money in your pocket!

What additional benefits can you think of? I’d love to hear your answers below.

Of course there are limitations to trading in cars for bikes—and issues of social equality and economic justice to consider—but thinking about the benefits was fun to do while riding through the Iowa corn fields. Until next year, RAGBRAI!

Posted in: Vehicles

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