cycle to work this ‘transport month’

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2011-10-17 11:19

Bikes from one of BEN's BIC's (bicycle empowerment centres)Bikes from one of BEN's BIC's (bicycle empowerment centres)

Bike to work this Transport Month and be part of the solution.

With most of the worlds population now living in cities, it is no news to say that traffic congestion has become a huge urban problem, as is the pollution and accidents caused by motor vehicles. With the added fear of climate change and peak oil, there has arisen an urgent need for a social shift towards more sustainable mobility use.

The City of Cape Town recognises October as "Transport Month" and last week hosted a couple of events focussing on Public Transport Interchanges (PTI).

A PTI is a facility where commuters can

transfer between different modes of transport such as bus, train, mini-bus taxi, metered taxi's, bicycles and walking. The City has developed more than 200 PTI's, some catering for large numbers of people moving through all day long.

The City's long-term public transport plan is to expand the Bus Rapid Transit concept, consisting of feeder and trunk buses throughout the city.

As part of Transport Month the City of Cape Town has compiled a questionnaire to better understand residents' public transport needs.

The time is ripe for us to turn to alternative modes of transport and many local cycle advocates are using this opportunity to busy themselves with public awareness events, upping their push for better bicycle facilities in our Mother City.

One of these such events will be the ‘Bike to Work Day’ on the 19th October, where Pedal Power Association will be working in collaboration with BEN bikes to create a bicycle awareness event.

‘We are still finalising details of the day’s events, but will have some staff cycling to work along the West Coast cycle path,’ says Elizabeth Robbins of Pedal Power Association. ‘Other staff members will be doing a helmet hand out to commuters cycling to work near Retreat.’

The aim of ‘Bike to Work Day’ is to encourage more commuters to use their bicycles as a means to get to and from work: even if you only do so once a week/month, this will cut down on your carbon footprint exponentially! While cycling is low-cost, good for your health and pollutant-free, you can also save money on petrol and skip traffic jams.

‘This event is important as it demonstrates to Cape Town commuters the effectiveness and efficiency of using bicycles as a form of mobility to work, and begins to change their behaviour towards a more sustainable transportation,’ says Andrew Wheeldon, founder of the local NGO ‘BEN bikes’.

Obviously safety is a concern, but if precautions are taken on the day you should be fine. Remember - if more people cycled in Cape Town, the government would recognise the need for better cycling facilities.

A city that had more bicycles and less cars would look prettier, smell nicer and require less space for tarmac. So why not commute by bicycle on the 19th of October, and help Cape Town change it’s attitude towards travel - for the better!

To find out more about ‘Bike to Work Day’ and how you can get involved,call PPA 021 689 8244 or email projects@pedalpower.org.za

Also see the Pedal Power Association's website.
http://www.pedalpower.org.za/blog/news/lets-cycle-to-work-on-wednesday-19-october/

Bicycling tips:

  • Find a safe route
  • Be visible: Wear bright and/or reflective clothing
  • Be careful: Follow the K53 principles and keep a clear space around you
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Be polite to motorists
  • Wear gloves. It improves grip on the handlebars, and protects your hands
  • Use lights if you ride in the dark, dawn or dusk