Towards a Sustainable Future: How Bicycles Are Building America Faster Than Cars

Topics: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Bicycle, Cycling Pages: 3 (1165 words) Published: June 16, 2013
Chris Lutz

Professor Roydhouse

The Urban Experience

Research Skills Project

Towards a Sustainable Future: How bicycles are building America faster than cars

A majority of people can recollect the day of having the training wheels taken off of their bikes as children. Once those extra means of safety were gone, some people took their time making sure to stay upright while others decided to speed off as if their shackles had just been removed. Unfortunately, the United States was one of the others. In fact, the U.S. sped off so fast that bikes became a thought of the past once those two wheels suddenly evolved into four. Automobiles were a huge part in the rise of the United States; but they also meant the death to bikes. “Popular condemnations of America's obsession with the automobile and the destructive impacts it has had on US cities, the environment, and daily living are a staple of postwar urban commentary” (Beauregard 2005). However, a new leaf has been turned over and bikes are now a huge factor in pushing the U.S. towards a sustainable future. Unlike automobiles, bikes are more than just a form of transportation, they’re one of the biggest keys to building an energy efficient America.

One of the biggest problems that automobiles created was urban sprawl. According to Paul M. Torrens, “Sprawl is a process of urbanization--urban growth by suburbanization. THis process is quite rapid and is a characteristic of the expansion of some of the fastest-growing cities in the United States” (Torrens 2006). Every building, every street, and even the sidewalks were all planned out based off of the scale of the automobile leading to the modern push of the U.S. Coincidentally, by allowing for all this space to provide for the everyday traffic of automobiles, the U.S. also has been overusing natural resources and contaminating the planet for decades. Luckily, thats where bikes tie back into place. By sacrificing four wheels and downgrading...

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