Traffic Jams on Bike Paths Increase as Gas Prices Soar – Rolling News

No room to roll: local bike paths and bike-friendly streets overcrowded due to gas price hikes.
No room to roll: local bike paths and bike-friendly streets overcrowded due to gas price hikes.

Rolling News. March 12, 2013.

Bike commuting – originally seen asĀ aberrantĀ social behavior in line with activities such as public intoxication and planking – has gone mainstream. With the efforts to build renewable energy infrastructures successfully blocked at every turn, gas prices have risen at an alarming pace. One oil company executive was overheard saying, “It’s simple supply and demand. We have the supply, and we demand more money for it.”

In response, commuters have taken to their bicycles in massive numbers. Some estimates indicate a bicycle commuting jump of nearly 1,200% in most urban communities. Unfortunately due to decades of limited funding for bicycle-safe roads and paths in many major cities, this has lead to severe congestion and delays among existing bike paths.

Car accidents are down, but bike accidents have risen at an alarming rate. “It’s insane!” yelled George McCready, a former daily driver/commuter. “I don’t know how these cyclist nuts do it. I’ve been commuting by bike for two weeks now, and I’ve been in an accident nearly every day! It’s like the bikers and runners don’t know to move out of my way. They don’t see me coming or something? What’s with that?”

When asked why he doesn’t just ride his bike on the street, he said “Are you crazy? You know how dangerous it is to ride your bike on the street? Bikes don’t belong on the street. Cars do. That’s… that’s where I belong.” He then fell into a sullen silence, and refused to answer any more questions.

Cyclists observing this ever-worsening trend abandoned the overtaxed paths and took to the streets in droves. “It’s awesome,” says Erin Trovino, a long-time cyclist and bike commuter. “The drivers who can’t afford to drive anymore, they’re so scared of being on the road without their 2-ton security blankets that we get it all to ourselves.”

No one’s sure how long the national average gas price of $37.50/gal. will remain, but most analyst projections only show things getting worse. Only time will tell whether drivers will get used to this new normal.