Despite the claims of some who have fought against bicycle-accessible travel in the Bronx, there really is no “bike mafia.” But maybe there should be.
Our car-centric society has labeled bicycles in our community a nuisance, when instead it’s a key factor needed to ensure there even is a society — or at least an Earth — for future generations to enjoy.
Bicycles are slow, they typically don’t come with motors, and because they’re not pedestrians, they have to travel the roads instead of sidewalks. Bicycles also are hard to see, especially if they are racing through an intersection, and those cyclists who fail to obey traffic laws only make the entire bicycle community look bad.
Yet, we need bicycles, now more than ever.
Each year, pollution accounts for 13 percent of all deaths globally, according to The World Bank. That’s 8.9 million people who died prematurely because the air, water or the very ground they walk has been contaminated.
Gas-powered vehicles contribute to all three areas of pollution. Exhaust fumes choke the air we breathe, while chemicals from engines seep into the ground and eventually fresh water supplies that all of us depend on for life.
Although it struggled when it was first introduced, Citi Bike — which lets you rent a bicycle on the street for you to use as you please — now offers 600 stations in 55 neighborhoods. Except few, if any, are in the Bronx.
That is slowly changing, especially as Citi Bike coasts into the southern part of the borough. But we could help it speed in by not only showing support for this green transportation, but actually demanding Citi Bike open kiosks in Riverdale and Kingsbridge.
A common refrain is that if people want to ride a bike somewhere, they can do it in the park. Yet no one says the same about driving a car.
Bicycles are more than just recreation — they are a fantastic way to get around. And the only exhaust you’ll see coming from these vehicles are the carbon dioxide exhaled from a rider who is getting a great workout.
Think of the future. Think bicycles.