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Bicycling Insights & Ideas

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bike.jpgBY BEN LAUER

One fact that should be widely known to residents of the Twin Cities Metro area is that their city is home to some of the most widely available alternative forms of transportation in the nation. Ingrid Schneider's recent Frontiers in the Environment presentation, "Toward Active Transport in Minnesota: Insight & Ideas From a Statewide Survey," provided plenty of important insight into the motivations behind active transport.

Schneider looked to find answers and information to better understand the choices made by commuters, as well as to encourage the use of active transit. Data she presented from statewide studies showed that while 3 percent of commuters biked to work, 20 percent were likely to consider switching over to a biking commute. The Twins Cities' alternative transit system, Schneider said, would have the ability and capacity to handle such an increase in alternative transit.

Schneider noted that the Metro Area has accumulated considerable praise of late due to the development of alternative transit. Named the most bike-friendly city in the U.S. by Bicycling magazine, Minneapolis is continually investing in and upgrading its biking infrastructure to provide better alternatives to auto transit. 

The speaker and audience members agreed that addressing overall accessibility and safety could improve use of active transport - as could getting out the message about its contribution to healthy lifestyles. 

Schneider noted that bike commuters derive more satisfaction from their commute than any other type of commuter. Overall, the presentation conveyed that a commitment from commuters to switch to active transit would lead to overall sustainable and healthful and sustainable changes for not only individuals, but also for the surrounding Twin Cities community.
You can watch Schneider's archived talk here. Interested in improving your knowledge of bike travel in the Twin Cities? Check out cyclopath.org to find paths near you.
Ben Lauer is a student at Macalester College in St. Paul and a communications intern with IonE. Photo of Twin Cities bicyclist courtesy of Payton Chung via Flickr.

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  of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.