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Driving charity backs people getting on their bikes

Old 09-03-09, 07:49 AM
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exchangeandmart
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Driving charity backs people getting on their bikes

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (a driving charity) is campaigning to get more motorists to cycle after research found it could cut congestion, improve health and reduce pollution. Just read an article about it over in the car news at Exchange and Mart and thought people would probably have a lot to say about this here! So what are your thoughts on this and what would be the best way to encourage non-cyclists and motorists to quite literally get on their bike?
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Old 09-03-09, 08:30 AM
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The study said drivers in the lower-middle or upper-working classes were most likely to take up cycling, along with drivers aged under 25 and people living in the South-east.
This tends to support what I've been saying, which is that one factor that affects the number of people who ride bikes is cost - if it's expensive to drive, fewer people will drive, among those for whom the cost of driving is a significant portion of their budget.

Which is why it makes sense to use a cap-and-trade system to gradually increase the cost-to-pollute, until each country produces no more pollution than is safe for global ecosystems.

At the same time we use economic strategies, though, I think we want strategies that affect people's attitudes about driving and other high-pollution activities. I would love to see the American Auto Association follow the lead of this British group, and become another automobile group asking people to use bicycles whenever bicycles are convenient.
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Old 09-03-09, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by exchangeandmart View Post
So what are your thoughts on this and what would be the best way to encourage non-cyclists and motorists to quite literally get on their bike?
I can understand this. Congested traffic is no fun to drive in. The best way to make driving more fun is to reduce congestion. The best way to reduce congestion is to promote bicycling and public transportation.

The best way to enourage people to use their bikes is for their slightly richer neighbors to use theirs. Then keeping up with the joneses goes pedal powered.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 09-05-09, 11:53 AM
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I think an interesting way to promote bicycling is to use shame to get friends and family into riding. It would only work in certain situations and I wouldn't use it with everybody. I just thought of this so don't question me about its effectiveness. Every plan, good or bad, started with an idea.

If one of your fit friends visited you or met you somewhere and they took their car you could say, "Where's your bike?". If they say that they drove there you could then say, "What's the matter? Aren't you fit enough to ride a bike?". Whatever their excuse you could just give a very brief "Humph". I don't know how else to alliterate that sound. It's the sound you would make when getting an answer to something with which you disagree, not the hmmm you might say when you hear something interesting that gets you thinking.

It would need to be said in a slightly condescending tone of voice and then dropped. Quickly move on to your next topic and let the person feel that something is wrong with them because they didn't ride their bicycle.

Using this technique would implant the thought in peoples minds that maybe they should be using some other form of transportation sometimes, whether it is for helping the environment or to save money. It would communicate that not riding a bicycle is somehow uncool or not acceptable in your eyes. It invokes peer pressure in a subtle way.

This wouldn't work on frail elderly people or with mothers hauling several very small children. Sometimes it is practical to drive cars. If the car is full of people then it is being used efficiently. That is what I (as a cyclist and environmentalist) prefer to see.

Last edited by Smallwheels; 09-05-09 at 08:40 PM.
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