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pauldorn Patient Expert

Sacramento, California
Paul Dorn is a writer and activist in Northern California, presently residing in Sacramento. In 1997 he created the popular bicycle commuting advice website at runmuki.com/commute. Dorn is the co-author (with Roni Sarig) of The Bike to Work Guide: What You Need to Know to Save Gas, Go Green, Get... Full Bio
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Advertising misrepresents bicycling by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Birmingham News (AL), 08.13.08: Positives of bicycling often not portrayed in ads Most images of cycling presented in mass market ads follow one of two di ... Read on »
Alabama: Bicycle commute starts with a drive by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From CBS42.com (Birmingham, AL): Two wheels, no motor, no problem for local commuter! Everything Elisa Munoz brings to work must fit in a small backpack. "Makeup, noteb ... Read on »
Amtrak's Capitol Corridor adds bicycle capacity by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking Interesting discovery on my ride home this evening on the Amtrak Capitol Corridor. The car I was on had a new bicycle rack, with space for seven bikes. Six passenger seats ... Read on »
Baby on Board: Pregnancy and bicycle commuting by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking The following was edited out of the manuscript of my book, The Bike to Work Guide: What You Need to Know to Save Gas, Go Green, Get Fit. The question of bicycle commuting wh ... Read on »
Bicycle commuting hot, SUV's not by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking I thought this was an interesting finding using Google Trends, a tool from Google that allows users to analyze the trends for search volume for any term. What the graph ... Read on »
Bicycle travel, with children too! by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Oregonian, 10.09.08: Have kids? How you can still travel via bike It's no secret that Portland has a love affair with bicycles, but what to do when your kids a ... Read on »
Bicycles with belt drives excite commuters by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 11.23.08: Bikes are breaking the chain Ease of use could help industry's popularity surge If you've ever been riding down the stree ... Read on »
Bicycling and the art of aging actively by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Sacramento Bee, 11.18.08: The art of aging actively Lucia McLain and daughter Lydia Simonette are examples of how growing older has changed Let's tell Lucia ... Read on »
Bicycling continues to gain in Portland by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From The Oregonian, 11.12.08 : A banner year for bicycles in Portland Portland's annual city bicyclist counts posted some impressive numbers for 2008, and fuel prices ... Read on »
Bicycling increases, so does injury rate by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 07.21.08: Rookie and rusty cyclists hit streets ... and hospitals Mike Schatz figured it was the right thing to do. Horrifie ... Read on »
Bike Commuter Act part of Fed bailout bill by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, 10.02.08: Congress Passes Commuter Act WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN)—Employers of people who bike to work stand to gain a $20 per month ... Read on »
Bike commuters dress for work by pauldorn Patient Expert 1 Comment Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Reading Eagle (PA), 07.21.08: What to wear when bicycle commuting? When the weather is good, Terry Plowman can get from home to his downtown Pittsburgh jo ... Read on »
Bike commuters laugh at the cold by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Iowa City Press Citizen, 12.03.08: Biking is a great way to get around in the summer, but come winter a warm car sounds a lot better than a frosty saddle and bit ... Read on »
Bike commuting and economic downturn by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking The economic situation is bleak, and getting bleaker. In some sense the current economic crisis is primarily an energy crisis. The American economy rose to global hegem ... Read on »
Bike commuting: Reaching the tipping point? by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking When it comes to bicycling, are we approaching a favorable tipping point? A recent Bike Commute Tips Blog post on the surge in bicycling in Massachusetts prompted ... Read on »
Bike commuting: Reaching the tipping point? by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking


When it comes to bicycling, are we approaching a favorable tipping point?

A recent Bike Commute Tips Blog post on the surge in bicycling in Massachusetts prompted a comment from a reader:

All these stories about high gas prices getting people back on their bikes...It makes me wonder, is all of this a momentary blip? Or are these stories...chronicling a sea change? Is it possible that we are at a tipping point in American culture, where the idea that bikes are a viable means of transportation becomes mainstream? One thing is sure: people's attitudes are changing, and we are at a unique and exciting time in our history.
Another reader commented that $4 a gallon gas isn't a tipping point, as motorists can adapt to improve efficiency by buying smaller cars or hybrids, and the collapse of SUV sales is one sign this is happening.

Have we reached a tipping point?

I agree that higher gas prices alone-- even the much prayed for $10 a gallon --aren't enough to break America's auto addiction. Proactive advocacy by bicyclists will still be necessary. The media and policy makers are paying attention, bicyclists are being heard and we are making our case. Which makes this moment an exciting one for alternative transportation advocates.

Transit demand is also surging, and this presents an opportunity for bicycle activists. I've always believed that bicyclists succeed when they build coalitions with transit, environmental, and community advocates. We can help foster bicycle commuting by joining with transit advocates to call for improved transit, while simultaneously demanding improved bike access.

This opportunity is illustrated by a recent article in San Jose Mercury News, 'Large shifts in behavior' during commutes create new problems:
Transit ridership is up across the Bay Area, but riders say parking at Caltrain and BART lots is so jammed that you have to arrive before 6:30 a.m. to find a free spot. More drivers appear to be leaving their cars at home and bicycling to transit, but bike racks are filling up on local buses and Caltrain, and some riders are being left behind.
Many of these rapidly crowding transit agencies might be tempted to reduce bicycle capacity to make more space for passengers. Bike advocates need to join transit advocates to demand more frequent service to relieve overcrowding and more dedicated bike parking facilities such as the Palo Alto Bikestation or Warm Planet Bikes.

We should also challenge free vehicle parking at transit stations, and urge fees that could be used to improve transit service. To me, this would be the tipping point: Seeing public support for raising the cost of driving to support alternatives. We're not there yet. But there is clearly a favorable trend--which I trace back to the passage of ISTEA in 1991--which bicycling advocates need to exploit.

What would you consider the tipping point?

Visit:Americans Driving At Historic Lows: Eleven Billion Fewer Vehicle Miles Traveled in March 2008 Over Previous March, U.S. Department of Transportation
Visit:GM Mulls Dumping Iconic, Gas-Guzzling Hummer Brand, CNN
Visit:Will We Ever Get Out of Our Cars, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit:Bicycling against car culture, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit:Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site
Read on »
Bike joy beats auto pathology by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the American Prospect, 05.30.08: Pedal Pusher As gas prices rise and congestion worsens, cities and commuters alike are starting to embrace bicycles. ...So ... Read on »
Bike joy beats auto pathology by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the American Prospect, 05.30.08: Pedal Pusher As gas prices rise and congestion worsens, cities and commuters alike are starting to embrace bicycles. ...So ... Read on »
Bike parking a challenge in NYC by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the New York Times, 07.01.08: For City Commuters, Same Old Story for Another Vehicle: Parking Is Scarce Carlos Martinez bicycles to work in Manhattan from his ... Read on »
Bike retailers warm to commuting market by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking To say I'm oblivious is an understatement; I'm male, graying, and, um, male. So the other day when my wife and I were in a local REI store, I didn't immediately grasp her p ... Read on »