Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bupkis for Bikes

Cash for clunkers, jets for junkets, BUPKIS FOR BIKES?? While reading this article I wondered how many new bike commuters would be created if the government offered to pay $4500 in exchange for a promise to ride to work? Would that save more gas per dollar of handout money than scrapping clunkers (many of which might not even be on the road before scrapping). The problem of course is that putting people on bikes makes healthier, friendlier neighborhoods and cities but does not scale up the GDP like cars and jets and roads and airports. This is what happens when the wrong measure of value is chosen. The genius of the bicycle is that while the rider gets tremendous benefit, everyone else benefits too. It is the ultimate "pay it forward" machine.