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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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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
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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 »
Bike sharing sweeps Europe by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the New York Times, 11.09.08 : European Support for Bicycles Promotes Sharing of the Wheels BARCELONA, Spain — In increasingly green-conscious Europe, there are s ... Read on »
Bike shop sales strong across the U.S. by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From The Daily-Journal (Kankakee, IL), 09.20.08: Bike sales increase as more people pedal to work Hal Trovillion, pastor of First Baptist Church of Manteno, rides his b ... Read on »
Bike shops roll with fuel prices by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Providence Journal, 11.05.08: Bike shops roll with fuel prices When the price of gasoline spiked to $4 per gallon last summer, commuters didn’t rush to bike sh ... Read on »
Bike to Work Guide Available Soon by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking My publisher, Adams Media, contacted me this week to inform me that marketing had begun for the book project that kept me busy much of the summer. The Bike to Work Guid ... Read on »
Bike-Sharing Gets Smart by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From Time, 06.12.08 Bike-Sharing Gets Smart With gas prices skyrocketing and carbon-footprint consciousness going mainstream, more and more cities are betting that ... Read on »
Bike-Sharing Gets Smart by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From Time, 06.12.08 Bike-Sharing Gets Smart With gas prices skyrocketing and carbon-footprint consciousness going mainstream, more and more cities are betting that ... Read on »
Bikes beat gas pumps, again. by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From Reuters, 06.12.08: U.S. cities promote bicycling as gas prices soar U.S. cities that have long promoted bicycle use by commuters are now seeing a steady rise ... Read on »
Bikes beat gas pumps, again. by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From Reuters, 06.12.08: U.S. cities promote bicycling as gas prices soar U.S. cities that have long promoted bicycle use by commuters are now seeing a steady rise ... Read on »
Bikes crowding onto transit by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From Oregon Public Broadcasting, 07.29.08: TriMet Tries To Keep Up With Needs Of Bike Commuters High gas prices are getting more Americans out of their cars, and s ... Read on »
Bikes made for commuting are hot! by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From U.S. News & World Report, 06.21.08: Comfy New Commuter Bikes for Getting Around Town Neither age nor inexperience need be a barrier to biking If $4-a-gallo ... Read on »
Bikes made for commuting are hot! by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From U.S. News & World Report, 06.21.08: Comfy New Commuter Bikes for Getting Around Town Neither age nor inexperience need be a barrier to biking If $4-a-gallo ... Read on »
Biking, walking gain in San Francisco by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the San Francisco Chronicle, 06.29.08: Commuters ditching cars for bikes, foot power In this era of increasing prices at the pump, bad air quality and general ... Read on »
Buying the right commuting bike by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Boston Globe, 07.27.08: When it comes to 2 wheels, there are countless choices So you want to get back into bicycling after all these years. Or, perhaps i ... Read on »
Car appeal sinks in rising gas price tide by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking Could America really be ending its love affair with the car? Earlier on this blog, I wondered if rapidly escalating gas prices might indicate a "tipping point", wh ... Read on »