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Article by Stephen Box

For almost two decades, Los Angeles has led the nation in traffic congestion, a dubious distinction that results from our collective commitment to getting “from here to there” in the comfort of a single-occupant vehicle.

The most effective solution to this problem is to simply leave the car at home and to ride a bike.

If riding a bike is not for you, at least give some respect to those who choose to ride. After all, they are reducing congestion, they are contributing to a healthier environment and, most importantly, they are changing the world.

You see, cyclists are the “Indicator Species” for a healthy community.

Cyclists favor well maintained streets, free of pot-holes and debris in the curb lane. Good for cyclists, good for motorists!

Cyclists also prefer streets with moderate vehicle volumes and speeds, creating an environment that is safer and more hospitable for all modes of travel. Good for cyclists, good for pedestrians!

The presence of cyclists on the road benefits local businesses, especially if the community has provided bike racks to encourage cyclists. Good for cyclists, good for business!

An increase in the number of cyclists on the road has a direct relationship to a reduction in crime. Good for cyclists, good for the community!

Well maintained streets, shareable roads, moderate traffic volumes and speeds, lower crime rates, and prosperous local businesses are all elements of a healthy, sustainable and complete community.

Riding a bicycle is not an absolute solution but any adjustments in behavior add up and contribute to a collective remedy that has the potential to change our world.

So get out of your car, live locally as much as possible, ride your bike and start thinking in terms of traveling “from here to here!”

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