Idea for next year's Bike to Work Week
Found this note today on the web.
“Wearing a business suit and riding a Breezer commuter bike, Patrick Cunnane won the Bike vs. Car vs. Transit race in Philadelphia during National Bike-to-Work Week. The annual event, held during the 8 a.m. rush hour, pits a cyclist against a driver and a subway rider on a 4-mile course through the city. Cunnane, president of Advanced Sports, Inc., and a daily bike commuter, finished in 13 minutes and 20 seconds to crush the competition. The driver arrived in 19:20 and it took the transit rider 24:09. “In busy cities like Philadelphia,” the winner says, “riding a bike is simply the fastest way to get short distances, especially at rush hour.”
For the sake of the discussion, Advanced Sports Inc is the company that owns the Fuji, SE Racing and Breezer brands, perhaps amongst a few others I’m not thinking of off the top of my head.
I think that’s an awesome idea. I’ve always wondered about that. I have a sinking suspicion that the bus rider would fail more than I’d like, though.
I know that BP riders have done this event in the past, or some version of it….
Seems to me that the winner would depend an awful lot on the start and end points and precise time of day. The bus could win occasionally but it would be tough.
I suggest we have three separate bike-bus-car contests, one from the West, one from the East, one from the South. North, there’s no backup to contend with. Maybe make Oakland a central destination for one of them, or maybe E/W/S-Oakland in the following year.
The one I’d like to see done is from Dynamo Way and Electric Ave in East Pittsburgh, to Downtown. If you could safely cross those tracks by the Glenwood Bridge, and cut past Carrie Furnace through Duck Hollow, I bet you could get Downtown in half the time of a car.
from along the busway to downtown, there’s nothing that can compete with a bus. i went from shadyside to uss, 12 minutes door to door taking the g2. and most of that was walking to the bus stop. bike and car would be pretty close, and depend on the time of day, though. and rider.
@Stu: I see no reason to exclude the North. I can’t beat a car unless traffic gridlocks, but I smoke the bus every day. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the Ft. Duq Bridge will grind to standstill….
OK, how about this? Make North a 4-way ride. Start a mid-way distance, say maybe Avalon/Bellevue. 4th option is someone with a bike on a car rack, who switches from car to bike at the Park & Ride lot that’s at the corner of Beaver/Island/Chateau underneath PA65.
Meanwhile, the bike-bus race would be an interesting pairing. My 51-year-old butt can beat the 500 (without the current bridge detour) into town from the center of Bellevue, mainly not using the trail.
I’d rather see us showing something other than more ways to enable suburban sprawl.
i know for sure that it only takes me 5 minutes longer to ride to work on a single speed (to the north side) than it does in my car at even 6am. this is a great idea.
i don’t think the bikers need any advantage… if its not faster then they shouldn’t win… every way (n,s,e,w) everyone should start at the same point and end at the same point… whoever wins wins. personally i have commuted from the south hills quite a few times and i think during rush hour i would probably do fine vs. anything…
I bike to work in less time than I would be walking to and waiting at the bus stop most days, not even counting the time actually sitting on the bus.
i beat cars to work every day – at least the ones that don’t blow by me doing 40+ in a 25. but, not quite the same on the ride home so it’s kind of cheating
ya i think a very good percentage of commuters under 5 miles away from work’s fastest option is bike… i’ve always wanted to start a project in pittsburgh where you just have a map full bus stops basically, and each one has this data:
you start at a selection of points about 3 miles out of downtown and time a fast biker, a slow biker, a car, and a bus… then at every major bus stop you pass you just have the elapsed time for each category… you mouse over a bus stop and it tells you: the bus made it here in 8 min, car in 6, slow bike in 8, fast bike 5… or whatever it is…
it would be so cool to see how hills, stop lights, speed limits, and all kinds of things effect the times, and what modes get benefits… it’d be a great advocacy tool and helpful for bikers too, especially in the sense that you could see: “oh, if i bike like a maniac from oakland to downtown i gain 3 minutes on the slow biker… is it worth it?”
i dunno, just a dream… i do think that PAT riders are the #1 target market for bike-pgh, despite the fact that its not really the one they’re most interested in.
The PAT riders waiting around in Sq. Hill could walk to CMU in less time than it takes them to get there in on the bus. I don’t understand it.
Yeah, I live 8 miles from work. Except in the middle of the night, when there’s no traffic, biking is as fast as or faster than driving. The bus is the big loser- it consistently takes 45-65 minutes longer than either other option.
I’ve been in transit advocacy for nearly 20 years, and the more I’m into cycling, the more I realize the common enemy (if you want to think of it that way) is the auto. More fundamentally, the biggest enemy is land-use decisions that rely 100% on auto use.
Bikes are not going to be the best option for everyone, but they certainly can do a good job of relieving overcrowding on transit in heavy use areas like the central city. This frees up transit for doing what it is better at, the medium distance hub-spoke trips to inner suburbs like Wilkinsburg, Bellevue, Crafton and Baldwin. Yes they can be biked, but it’s just too far for the typical non-athlete to do daily, yet it’s a short transit trip. Transit might not pay for itself going out here, but it doesn’t take that much public subsidy to do it.
Farther out (McCandless, Moon, Monroeville), transit just cannot do the job in a cost-effective manner, though travel time may be comparable to the car. There are too few people spread too far apart. Cycling from out here essentially cannot be done except by the extremely fit or extremely dedicated, and takes considerably longer in most cases.
So, what to do? The proper fix is in Harrisburg and County Council, encouraging land use and transportation funding decisions favoring non-dependence on cars.
Meanwhile, as I’ve been saying for almost 20 years, keep riding buses, and bicycle everyplace you can.
More fundamentally, the biggest enemy is land-use decisions that rely 100% on auto use.
I saw Bland on KDKA Sunday Morning today, it was very interesting. I don’t know if they have these recorded on their website. I wrote them an email encouraging to do more on the topic of transportation.
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