by Dennis Markatos-Soriano
As the price of oil climbs back up above $75 per barrel (more than three times its average in the 1990s), it’s important for us all to keep our expenses down by consuming less. Bicycling is a great replacement for car travel (complemented by carpooling and public transit for longer and more dangerous cycling areas). So, I encourage everyone to get their bikes ready. And let’s work with our elected leaders to improve bicycling infrastructure. We certainly can use your help to complete our model bike/pedestrian route along the East Coast in the coming years, even if you don’t live along our 3,000-mile corridor.
Once we establish the East Coast Greenway as safe and accessible to all, we can share what we have learned in the process to establish an interstate network that then connects the East Coast to communities to our West. This will be important to complete during the 2010s as oil prices could more than double and would cripple our economy again if we aren’t ready to transition away from the fuel.
With oil consumption rising in China, India and elsewhere, oil production is largely stagnant. That’s a recipe for higher prices and makes 2010 an important year for us to make bicycling a mainstream affair for everyone. For the East Coast Greenway, this will mean highlighting the routes that are currently safe for families to enjoy together – like our 34-mile stretch in New Jersey from New Brunswick through Princeton to Trenton. It also means that we will need to work hard to improve the more dangerous sections of our route in partnership with local stakeholders — from municipal leaders to regional nonprofits and bike clubs.
Are you ready for $3+ per gallon gasoline? It’s probably coming in 2010. For us all to keep our transportation costs from climbing, we need to lower our consumption at least as fast as the price rises. Let’s help our friends and family make the switch to more active transportation in the months ahead. We’ll see what we can do.
Onwards to Sustainability-