March 23, 2018
Is your transportation mode to work or school causing stress in your life? According to a study by Portland State University, single-driver commuters were among the least happy in an assessment of commuter well-being. Factors taken into account were stress, boredom, congestion and travel time, among others. The happiest? Bicycle commuters.
Over 75 percent of U.S. workers drive alone to work, take an average of 25 minutes to get there, and spend much of their time stopped in traffic. Depending on your commute distance, if you travelled by bike, you could save time and money by combining commuting and exercise, finding non-congested routes via bike lanes or trails, and not having to search and pay for parking.
Worried about affording a bike? Let’s look at the numbers: A bicycle costs $50-200 to maintain annually if ridden 2,000 annual miles, averaging .05 to .15 cents per mile, according to the Victoria Transport Policy Institute. In driving a vehicle, however, we accrue operating costs (gas, maintenance and tires) of approximately 19.64 cents per mile, according to AAA. With an average total daily driving distance in the U.S. of 29 miles, or just over 50 minutes behind the wheel, this works out to a costs of $2,078.89 to operate a vehicle each year; more than 40 times more expensive than operating a bicycle. This estimate doesn’t even include the cost of the vehicle itself or insurance.
Is the environment your top priority? According to the EPA, transportation accounts for 36 percent of our nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and the largest sector of that is passenger cars. Transportation is the highest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation. Riding a bike as your form of transit directly decreases emissions and helps improve our air quality.
Perhaps you are most worried about your health. Did you know that the health benefits of active transportation can outweigh any risks associated with these activities by as much as 77 to 1? They also add more years to our lives than are lost from inhaled air pollution and traffic injuries.
Riding a bike is associated with increased:
-Balance and flexibility
-Endurance and stamina
Consider changing your mode of transportation. You have nothing to lose (except maybe weight!) and everything to gain, including health and happiness.
By: Roslynn Brain, Utah State University Extension sustainable communities specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, 435-797-5116
Thanksgiving with the Family - Tips for Survival
It's that time of year when family members travel from far and wide to gather, give thanks and eat a large meal together. Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time filled with traditions, famous family recipes and catching up with each other's lives. However, some view Thanksgiving with concern about how everyone will get along.Read More
New Youth Development Director
Utah State University Extension has named David Francis as the program's new youth development director. Francis is currently Extension faculty with responsibilities for STEM. He has worked with Extension youth programs since 2001, where he began his career at Thanksgiving Point as an Extension educator.Read More
USU Extension Receives Grants to Fight Opioid Crisis in Rural Areas
Utah State University Extension recently received two grants totaling over $1.4 million to fund projects focused on preventing and reducing opioid use disorder in rural areas.Read More