Today, marks the 60th anniversary of National Bike to Work Day — a day for acknowledging that bicycling is a reliable alternative to the car for commuting to and from work.
It's also an opportunity for planners and other design professionals to underscore the need for infrastructure that supports bicycling.
At APA, many of our own staff members are avid cyclists. We recently asked them about why they bike to work and what features of the road make it possible (or challenging). Here's what they had to say:
"I bike to work because it ensures that I'll do at least two active things each day (i.e., the trip to work and the trip home). I also enjoy the freedom of biking and appreciate that it forces me to pay close attention to the city around me. Chicago's highly connected street network and extensive system of dedicated bike lanes makes my commute safer and more convenient."
—David Morley, AICP, Senior Research Associate in APA's Chicago office.
"Biking is the fastest and most fun way for me to get to work. In D.C., the cycle tracks and bike lanes, as well as the critical mass of bicyclists (especially women bicyclists!), make me feel safe. I also love that biking to work incorporates physical activity into my daily commute — multi-tasking at its best!"
— Michelle Madeley, Research Associate in APA's Washington, D.C., office
Renee Kronon-Schertz on her 35-mile commute into Chicago from Naperville, Illinois.
"It was very challenging zig-zagging in from Naperville to Chicago. There is no direct way; in fact, we rode on nearly two dozen different streets or paths. Some were designated routes, some were not. When we hit Oak Park, Illinois, we took Madison Street straight into Chicago. It's a great street to ride on because there are two lanes the whole way, and a separate lane for parked cars. The only challenge, though, is the fragments of glass along this road. Downtown Chicago is doing a nice job putting in dedicated bike lanes. They still have a ways to go, but they are certainly headed in the right direction. Bikers appreciate their efforts!"
—Renee Kronon-Schertz, Leadership Associate in APA's Chicago office
"I commute to work by bike because it's 'free,' fun, and fast. Thanks to the Kinzie and Dearborn protected bike lanes, I'm able to ride to and from work safely."
—Eric Roach, Program Associate in APA's Chicago office
About the Author
Emily Pasi is APA's Communication and Outreach Associate.
Top image: The logo for 2016 National Bike to Work Day in Washington, D.C.