Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Choices and food for thought regarding Public Transportation - Part Two

While in Amsterdam, I noticed that their traffic congestion was very light because of their choices regarding public transportation: light rail, use of the Rhine Canal, streetcars, and bicycles.

Bicycling in Holland, and the other places we visited in Europe, seemed to have a very positive effect on personal health. My wife and I walked around a park for about two hours one Sunday in Amsterdam and the number of healthy people we saw surprised us. I have never seen so many physically fit people of almost every age riding bicycles. It was also different for me seeing people on bicycles wearing suits.

How many of us drive miles to a gym to run or cycle on a machine for exercise and yet are concerned about losing a minute on a vehicle trip? Needless to say, riding a bicycle for real has some great health benefits. I looked up the benefits of cycling and here is what I found. Cycling:

(a) helps control weight,

(b) reduces risk of premature death from heart disease,

(c) helps you cope with arthritis,

(d) reduces risk of diabetes,

(e) decreases high blood pressure or reduce risk of developing it,

(f) helps older adults gain strength, fight osteoporosis, and enhance ability to be active without fear of falling, and

(g) helps maintain proper cholesterol levels.

I would also add that exercise in general aids with your self-worth and self-esteem as well as physical and mental health.

Using bicycles also saves money:

(a) we would not have to buy that second vehicle.

(b) the government would not have to spent so much on doctors and pills.

(c) tax dollars would be saved by not having to build so many roads and bridges.

(d) so much of real estate is taken by huge parking lots (the cost of which gets passed on to the consumer) which could be reduced.

I am quit aware of suggesting real change and I am not making an apology for this. If we are not satisfied with the way things are and we keep on doing things in the same way we will keep on getting the same results.

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