Bicycling and Walking Benefits
There are numerous benefits to non-motorized transportation, both individually and to our community. Below are just some of the benefits and some statistics that reflect the importance of bicycling and walking!
Motor vehicles discharge a significant amount of pollution into our air. According to the Clean Air Council, motor vehicle emissions account for about 31% of total carbon dioxide, 81% of carbon monoxide, and 49% of nitrogen oxides released in the United States.
On the other hand, bicycling and walking do not create any air pollution. It is estimated that a 4-mile non-motorized trip keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. (World Watch Institute)
Regular exercise and recreation have enourmous benefits to both the community and the individual. Individually, people who exercise have lower risks of heart disease and stroke, and an increased chance of remaining independent as they age.
According to the American Medical Association, 60% of Americans lead a completely sedentary life. One of the reasons for the sedentary lifestyle is "walking and cycling have been replaced by automobile travel for all but the shortest distances."
A good bicycling and walking environment increases our alternatives for travel. The transportation benefits of bicycling and walking include the increase in our overall mobility and reduction in traffic congestion.
The Rondale Press found that 40% of us want to walk or bike instead of using our automobile.
There are both economic benefits to the City of Clearwater and to each individual. The annual cost of operating a car is about $5,000(AAA), the average cost of bicycling is about $120 (League of American Bicyclists) and walking is free (except a good pair of shoes)!
Non-motorized transportation is also good for our local economy—just think of the economic impact derived from one million annual Pinellas Trail visitors!