Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Not just my imagination

Yes, there really are more cyclists out there, according to this press release from the city:

SEATTLE – The number of bicyclist entering downtown during the morning commute jumped 31 percent since 2000, according to a recent count released today by the Seattle Department of Transportation.

“More and more people are choosing to leave the car in the garage and find a different way to get to work,” said Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. “We are making it easier and safer to get around Seattle by walking and biking and we are starting to see the results. By taking a bike instead of a car, people are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and leaving the city and the planet a better place.”

In April, Nickels released Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan to significantly expand the city’s network of bike lanes, make it easier and safer to ride throughout the city and reduce greenhouse gases. The downtown count, along with surveys around other parts of the city, will set a baseline for the goal of tripling the number of bicyclists by 2017.

“The goal of this effort is simple,” Nickels said “We want to make Seattle the best and the safest city in the nation for bicycling.”

So far this year, the city has installed more than 18 miles of new bicycle lanes and shared-lane markings, or “sharrows”, and 30 additional miles of improvements are planned for 2008.

Seattle’s Climate Action Plan calls for an increase in bicycling as one means to reduce harmful greenhouse gasses and meet the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. A study of 2005 data released earlier this week shows that Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions had fallen to 8 percent below 1990 levels.

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