Over the new few weeks, we will be highlighting PeopleforBikes’ excellent research-based talking points to support bicycling. Share them with friends and neighbors to show why you bike and why more bike infrastructure and bike-friendly policies are good for everyone (Can’t wait? Full list is here).

The climate benefits of getting more people on bikes are substantial and, frankly, are necessary to address a major cause of climate change. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation makes up 28% of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with 57% of those emissions coming from passenger vehicles. When we build more and better bike lanes, the environmental benefits are clear: higher bike ridership, less driving, and an overall reduction in emissions.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that “if even 10% of short car trips during peak afternoon travel were replaced with micromobility, more than 4,800 car trips would not happen, decreasing vehicle miles traveled by more than 7,300 miles a day.” While this would translate to a 2.76% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, it would only be possible with “wide-scale bike lane deployment.” This study confirms similar findings from McGill University that spotlight bike infrastructure in Montreal, as well as research from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, which found new bike lanes lowered emissions in Guangzhou, China, and Bogota, Colombia.

According to another European study, if 10% of the population were to replace one car trip a day with a bike ride, overall carbon emissions from transportation would also drop 10%. Research done by Portland State Universityshowed that if 15% of car trips were instead taken by electric bicycle, we could see a 12% decrease in transportation-related emissions. Add in the fact that bikes are one of the lowest carbon-emitting modes of transportation, and it’s safe to say that any way you look at it, bicycling benefits the environment.

Want to help make bicycling and the environment better in Fairfax County? Join FABB now.


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