I work in a county courthouse (lots of cubicle-dwellers), and people are amazed I ride to work. I always tell them it's easier than they realize, and even if they only do it once or twice a week they're making a difference. The public transit system here is sparse (I live in a poor rural county), and there's ample free parking where I work. There aren't a lot of external motivators to get people out of their cars.
It would be awesome if my county commissioners would recognize the financial benefit the county receives from cycle commuting. (I bet our insurance provider would love to hear people are getting lots of exercise!) But we're pretty cash-strapped. No one's received a COLA increase in years. A former employee recently pleaded guilty to embezzling; it's believed he stole nearly $3 million from the county. This county is not going to provide a financial incentive for bike commuting.
Of course, that's where I come in: I keep telling people how much fun it it. I commute along the Columbia River, so every morning I'm watching the local fauna starting their day (including the homeless guy who rides his bike down to one of the picnic tables every morning). This time of year, I'm greeted by the sunrise and I get to watch it set on my way home. I don't have to scrape ice off my car's windshield. I eat breakfast when I get to work, and I've usually burned at least as many calories on the ride in as I eat for breakfast. (Except for my cranberry-walnut oatmeal. That stuff is a calorie bomb, even if I use agave syrup. But oh, is it tasty!) A few extra bucks a Commute Trip Reduction program would put in my pocket would be nice, but I have to say I'm already paid handsomely!
Love God. Love your neighbor. Change the world. It really is that simple.
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