Across the state of Maryland, County leaders are celebrating Bike to Work Week.
Every year jurisdictions nationally celebrate Bike to Work Week, an unofficial holiday aimed at encouraging commuters to incorporate a healthier mode of transportation into their routine. This year is particularly important as the conversation around transit-oriented development, transportation access, and other similar topics have become more important.
In the Washington DC region, the Metropolitan Council of Government’s Commuter Connections, a network of transportation organizations in which MCDOT participates, and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association are the co-organizers of the Washington Region’s Bike to Work Day event.
According to the Montgomery County Press Release:
“With the change in weather and rising gas prices, biking to work is a great way to save money and get exercise,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “It’s a healthy and fun way to travel and it is good for our environment. Biking can help expand mobility in the County while reducing carbon emissions. I encourage residents to give it a try—even for a short trip.”
“We are glad to get back to our traditional celebration this year,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “This is a fun event that we hope residents will enjoy participating in. Our County has over 100 miles of bike lanes, with over five miles of protected bike lanes, and that network is growing. With spring coming, Bike to Work Day is a good reminder to get your bike cleaned up and ready for use this season.”
Further north the Baltimore Metropolitan Council has created a Bike to Work Week campaign aimed at encouraging and celebrating bicycling to work and promoting public awareness of bicycling and bicycle safety.
According to the Baltimore Metropolitan Council Bike to Work Week is important for three distinct reasons:
Improved Health Outcomes
Spending time outdoors is good for physical and mental health. Biking has a positive effect on wellbeing, self-confidence, and resistance to stress.
Reduced Air Emissions
Switching from driving to biking – to work, school, essential trips, and recreational activities – reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to the climate crisis and can have serious negative health impacts.
Improved Safety for Bicyclists
Promotion of Bike to Work Week helps raise awareness of the rules of the road for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and also highlights the need for continued expansion of safe sidewalks, bike lanes, and safe crossings.