Too many take short trips in cars

Along with some other interesting stuff, it says here that 40% of all car trips in the U.S. are made within 2 miles of home.

What does that say about us?

Probably several things contribute to it, depending on where you live:

  • Addiction to automotive conveyance technology
  • Fear of bicycling in traffic
  • Incomplete streets, lack of sidewalks (i.e., bad planning, bad public policy)
  • Laziness

You can probably name some other contributing factors.

OCC 2009 035bWithin 2 miles of the Smith compound in S.E. Cedar Rapids, by the way, there are at least two grocery stores, a couple of drug stores, numerous drinking establishments, too many fast-fooderies, more churches than you can shake a stick at, Lindale Mall, two country clubs and several schools.

We can walk to some but not all of those places without walking in the street, and we can ride bicycles to any of them without touching a trail (or a bike lane, for that matter).

I’ll try to count when I’m out (and I don’t go to all of those places, so I admit my count will be incomplete), but my guess is that outside of the schools there are no more than a dozen bicycle-parking racks within that 2-mile radius. That won’t stop me from pedaling over to HyVee Drug to pick up a prescription, but a place to lock the two-wheeler would be nice.

It would be great to see a few officially bicycle-friendly businesses around town.

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1 Response to “Too many take short trips in cars”


  1. 1 Sam Bergus August 5, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    One thing you can do to encourage businesses to get bike racks is to just start taking your bicycle inside with you. If a business isn’t going to give you a safe place to leave your bike outside, force them to either deal with you having your bike inside, or deal without your business.


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