The Stamford Climate Action Group discusses the benefits of cycling

We should all be pro-cycling, writes Matthew Cleathero of the Stamford Climate Action Group. By pro-cycling, we mean people on bikes. No amount of lycra is going to bring real change in cycling, the focus should be on proper infrastructure taking us where we need to go and not entirely focused on recreation.

Like all climate talks, this is something that really needs more than 350 words to discuss…

Road space is a limited resource, especially in market towns like Stamford. We just don’t have the unused concrete buildings that can be removed to increase road capacity.

Commuting by bicycle in an urban environment, gray asphalt cycle path with bicycle markings

So with that considered, everyone should want more cycling and more cycling infrastructure. The benefits of more people choosing to actively travel benefits everyone. I hope we can all agree that we would like less congestion? Quieter streets? Cleaner air?

The electrification of our vehicles replaces one box with another – powered without fossil fuels (in a tenuous way), it does not address safety or congestion.

Encouraging cycling and walking isn’t a blanket idea that works for everyone, but it benefits everyone.

With the growth and refinement of e-bikes, there is now a greater opportunity for more people to use them. You will find that it is often faster and more convenient; you can park at your destination. How often do people waste time and energy browsing Broad Street looking for a space?

A nod to capitalism here too, businesses thrive in car-free spaces. Many studies support the fact that if people feel safer walking or cycling, they will go more often, buy less and therefore spend more.

Additionally, we are also becoming healthier as a population: A few things to consider that may be related: In 2019, 68% of all car trips were less than five miles, while 63% of the population is considered overweight and half of those obese.

Cycling for transportation crosses many environmental, social and economic lines. Whether you realize it or not, cycling will benefit you.

The Climate Action Group meets monthly to discuss climate initiatives for Stamford.

This virtual meeting can be joined by emailing [email protected] for a link to the next meeting. Everyone is welcome.

Maria R. Newman