Biking is not alternative transportation

While at a conference in Buffalo last year, Dom Nozzi corrected me. Biking and walking are not alternative transportation. Alternative transportation is an auto-centric term which implies that only motor vehicles are mainstream transportation.

It’s a loaded term and one worth dropping, especially given the U.S. DOT’s recent policy statement that encourages government agencies to consider “walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.”

That said, the “alternative transportation” theme was commonly used in the recent Let’s Save Michigan poster contest. Many of the submitted posters highlighted cycling and transit as a positive part of Michigan’s future.

The critic’s choice poster by Jonathan Wilcox is shown. Wilcox included this explanation for his inspiration.

Truly embracing alternative forms of transportation, such as trains and bicycles, could be a good way to increase travel into, out of, and within cities, and between city and suburb, while also easing the environmental issues of having so many cars on the road. Michigan has long been known for its commitment to transportation and it’s time we think and act accordingly in this new decade.

Great poster, great direction.

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3 Responses to “Biking is not alternative transportation”

  1. » What We’re Really Saying When We Say “Alternative” Says:

    […] on the Streetsblog Network, member blog argues against the use of the word "alternative" when referring to non-automobile […]

  2. Biking Towards a Healthy Lifestyle Says:

    […] Biking is not alternative transportation | […]

  3. Is it time for a cyclists’ legal defense fund? « BikingInLA Says:

    […] maybe it’s time to ban the term avid cyclist, too. And come to think of it, bikes aren’t alternative transportation, either. Yellowstone’s snowmobile season is over, so it’s time to break out the bikes and bear […]

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