Ban Cars, Ride Bicycles

Jeremy Hubble
The Battalion

Despite constant dieting, the American public continues to get fatter. Our physical condition is despicable. The environment is being destroyed by pollution. And, to top it off, nobody can find a parking place on campus.

There is one simple solution.

Ban cars.

What started out as a great innovation has now transformed itself into a nightmare, and excuse for laziness. People jump in the car and drive 50 feet for a pack of gum.

And we wonder why we're gaining weight.

Take care of a few problems and College Station will be the perfect town bike town. We already have a bike lanes, sidewalks, and public transportation to facilitate car- free transportation. Unfortunately, step on campus and this great planning gives way to a general mayhem.

Drivers just can't seem to understand the meaning of "Bicycles only." Bike lanes are often invaded for passenger drop off, free parking and emergency passing. With cars clogging up the bicycle lanes, bicyclists are forced to the sidewalks, creating a chaotic turmoil as they try to dodge pedestrians.

Even after having their lane stolen, biking still remains the fastest way to get to class. Driving, it takes 5 minutes to get to campus, then up to an hour more navigating campus traffic, searching for a parking place and walking to class.

A biker simply whizzes by the traffic, arriving directly to class in 10 to 20 minutes. In the driver's best case scenario, he might arrive right before the cyclist. In the worst case scenario, he'd arrive just in time to here the professor announce the next day's assignment.

The biggest facing bicyclists is bad weather. Riding a bike suddenly gets a lot harder when freezing rain is pouring down. A&M tried to provide an option by providing commuter bus service. Unfortunately, with slow service, long stops and campus traffic, you can just about make it to campus faster walking. And don't even try to pay the bus fair on the spot.

Now, it's either plead a ride or have fun in the cold. Luckily cold weather is not a common occurrence in College Station. In the future, hopefully we'll can see a bike accessories such as a lightweight plastic roof, a CD player and a solar generator.

Texas Avenue also poses a minor inconvenience. Let's try reversing it. Instead of banning bicycles, ban cars. Suddenly people will think twice before revving up the engine.

With advancements in alternative transportation, cars can be eliminated along with a host of other social problems.

Obesity would be curbed and physical condition would improve as people propel themselves. Even leisure time would increase as people combine transportation and exercise in one.

Crime would take a nose dive. There'd be no DWIs. An inebriated roller-blader will fall on his face before causing death. Increased physical activity also contributes to increased emotional stability and less propensity to crime.

Without cars' heavy load, highway maintenance costs will be reduced, cutting the government debt. Personal financial conditions will improve as money once spent on car loans can now be freely spent. The world would be a better place to live.

And it all starts with riding our bikes to school

January 28, 1996