Thankfully Asbury Park residents don’t need to use public transport to get around. Because it’s only 1.4 miles sq, we can bike, scooter or walk almost anywhere. Surprisingly, Italy and Spain have banned cycling during the coronavirus crisis, even though they have well-developed bike infrastructure. It’s counter-intuitive to ban bikes – drivers of motor vehicles are responsible for 1.3 million deaths a year. During the viral pandemic there are fewer drivers, but riding a bike is safer than driving a motorized vehicle. So especially now, it should be made easier to ride bikes. “The Colombian capital, Bogotá, has begun to do this.” Besides avoiding crowded mass transit, the benefits of outdoor exercise to physical and mental health are well-documented.
The logic for these bicycling bans is to avoid the strain on health services in case a cyclist is injured and needs to be hospitalized, but this “approaches the issue from the wrong way”. Cycling is inherently safe, and the “the danger is almost all external” – from drivers of motor vehicles. If the intention really is to prevent bicyclist injuries and fatalities, then the best way would be to reduce speed limits.
So let’s encourage bicycling, especially now.
Why not encourage cycling during the coronavirus lockdown?
Bikes allows people to maintain isolation but provide important respite from being indoors
Cycling for everyday transport has not so far been restricted outside places which have imposed hugely draconian containment measures, like China. While Italy and Spain have placed temporary bans on leisure cycling, riding a bike for permitted everyday travel is officially allowed, albeit with reports of some over-zealous police enforcement.
On Thursday, the chief executive of British Cycling, Julie Harrington, wrote to the health secretary, Matt Hancock, urging ministers to add cycling to their list of recommended activities during the outbreak.
Earlier this week, a group of nearly 50 academics and experts on public health and transport wrote an open letter to the government, urging ministers to not discourage walking and cycling amid the pandemic, noting their vital importance in the wider public health issue of combating inactivity.
Read about it~
Let’s encourage bicycling now.