About 500 people gathered recently outside one of the only green spaces downtown: the 1300 block of Brickell Avenue. They were the Brickell Run Club, all decked out in running shoes and workout shorts, ready to go for a run.
Once every week they run through the city. Some trips start on the corner of Southwest 13th Street and Brickell Avenue, then stretch past the Rickenbacker Causeway and back. But distance isn't the runners' only challenge. Frankie Ruiz, the club's founder, says it's hard for runners, bikers and pedestrians get through the city on foot.
When we delved a little deeper into the numbers, we found that while bicycle sales remained steady in a six-year period that began in 2006 (the top chart), sales of electric bikes exploded (the second chart).
For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain.
Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That's due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars.
In a state that is noted for its dedicated car culture, it seems a given that residents and tourists would benefit from any measurable decrease in road congestion, car exhaust, and air pollution. As National Bike Month winds down and South Florida, communities make moves to become more bike friendly, it pays to talk about the potential environmental impact of having more bicycles and less cars on Florida's roads.
Riding a bike is a childhood right of passage. As we age, we move from tricycle to bike with training wheels to classic two-wheeler. But at some point we shift from bikes to the expanded mobility of owning a car.
Kathryn Moore, program manager at Broward B-Cycle, thinks people should consider going back to the basics when it comes to getting around downtown Fort Lauderdale.
This is a place that’s sunny, warm, and flat. It seems like it should be a pretty perfect place to ride a bike. It’s not.
Last month, the 36-year-old father, husband and amateur triathelte Aaron Cohen was hit and killed by a car while riding on the Rickenbacker Causeway. The tragedy revived a debate about how drivers and cyclists share—or don’t share—our roads.