Can Bicycles Really Help The Environment?

Can Bicycles Really Help The Environment?

September 16, 2022

If you are like most people, you are concerned about reducing your carbon footprint here on earth. There are plenty of ways you can do this, but some ways are definitely more impactful than others. Because vehicles are a huge contributor to pollution and a drain on fossil fuels, many people are switching to alternative forms of transportation in order to do their part.

You may have wondered, does biking help gas consumption on a worldwide scale? There are many people who believe that it does. This quick guide will help answer the question, “How much do bikes help the environment?” Let’s dive in.

National Changes

The research is in and it has concluded that switching to bicycle transportation is the way to go in order to reduce carbon emissions. This is especially true in big cities. Large cities produce more carbon emissions per square mile and they are already set up to be easily biked. It only makes sense that this is a great place to start making important transportation changes.

Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, and China have already taken bold steps to encourage citizens in big, bikeable cities to make the change. These countries are building bike infrastructure that will help to support bikers and keep them safe while they travel.

Big Impacts

Research conducted by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy has studied the impact that transitioning to bike transportation can make on a city’s carbon emissions. It is estimated that bikes and e-bikes could help to cut carbon emissions by 11% if, by 2050, 14% of travel in big cities were done this way. This estimate is on a worldwide scale.

What We Need

In order to make these types of bold and impactful changes, there are several things needed.

Education: First and foremost, individuals need to be properly educated on the need to reduce carbon emissions. As of today, there are still huge groups of people that simply refuse to believe that this is even an issue.

Bike infrastructure: Bike infrastructure refers to making cities more bike-friendly and safe. Many people skip the idea of biking to work or around the city simply based on safety reasons. When bike infrastructure is not established, bikers feel threatened and unsafe. Cities must commit to building infrastructure that will protect bikers and encourage biking.

Bike access: It is also important that more bikes are made available in cities that do have strong infrastructure.

Bike safe laws: Creating laws that protect bikers and hold drivers accountable is also important. Currently, most traffic laws favor drivers over bikers.

Bikes and the Economy 

Some wonder, how do bikes help the economy? This is looking at the issue from the wrong perspective. If the goal is a cleaner environment, then the impact on the economy is not the priority. Over time, less reliance on gas and vehicles would impact the economy drastically, but in the long run, the health of our planet would thrive. 

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