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Incentives for Driving Less

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  • Mike Neuman
    Another method of providing positive incentives for people to drive less . (Have Bike; Will Travel.) Mike ... Original URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2003
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      Another method of providing positive incentives for people to "drive
      less". (Have Bike; Will Travel.)

      Mike
      ------------ News Media Report ---------------------
      Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/sep03/167374.asp

      75 UWM students get bikes to ride
      Transportation group in neighborhood peddles free bicycles

      By TOM HELD
      theld@...
      Last Updated: Sept. 4, 2003

      It's an age-old tactic to lure impressionable college students into
      certain activities: offering that first fix for free. In this
      instance, the baiting and hooking took place Thursday in the most
      public of spaces, the concourse of the University of Wisconsin-
      Milwaukee Student Union.

      Brazenly, advocates for alternative means of transportation sought to
      entice students with bicycles, offering free use for a semester. For
      just a $20 refundable deposit, the students could be caught in a
      cycle of pedaling to work, to class, to the store.

      At least that's the plan of the Eastside Transportation Management
      Association, which plotted the distribution of 75 bicycles to UWM
      students and faculty.

      The group's Bicycle Task Force started the program last fall,
      distributing 25 bikes. The program expanded to 50 bikes in the spring
      semester.

      The task force's goal is to promote bike use, encourage students to
      buy their own bikes and continue riding instead of driving, said Else
      Ankel, chairwoman of the transportation management association.

      In the bigger picture, Ankel and her neighbors around the university
      see the bike distribution as a step toward alleviating the parking
      and traffic congestion problems they see every day.

      "I am sick and tired of the discussion always coming back to how can
      we better accommodate cars," Ankel said. "We wanted to approach the
      problem in a way that's sensible and non-confrontational."

      The bikes distributed to the students were donated to the program,
      some of them likely older than the students themselves. The Wisconsin
      Partners for Clean Air passed along a $5,000 federal grant that
      helped pay for repairs, which were done by Cory the Bike Fixer.

      Nahum Burt, president of the UWM Cycling Club, coordinated the
      distribution, and various bicycling advocates helped match students
      to their bikes during the distribution Thursday afternoon.

      Kathleen O'Regan picked out her transportation fix because it was
      red "and looked very lonely."

      A graduate student returning to UWM after six years in New York,
      O'Regan said the bike would save her time. She lives roughly 20
      blocks from campus, right in that too-close-to-drive and too-far-to-
      walk distance.

      Maurice Williams, an air management and transportation specialist
      with the state Department of Natural Resources, said those are
      exactly the types of trips that should be eliminated through the bike
      program. Cars work least efficiently in the first 1 to 5 miles, so
      even a few rides per week as an alternative will help air quality,
      Williams said.

      Lisa Bemus, a senior psychology major, expects her bike will also
      improve her quality of life by helping her lose weight and avoid
      expensive parking tickets. Bemus scored a bike for herself after
      spotting the rows of wheels sitting in the union.

      She and a few others who signed up for the free rides said they
      couldn't squeeze their own bike purchase into their tight budgets.

      Roberto Souto simply couldn't bring his bicycle with him from his
      home in Germany. The exchange student will spend a semester at UWM
      studying English and foreign language education.

      Back home, Souto used a bicycle as his only means of transportation.
      Understandably, he was thrilled to be back on two wheels in Milwaukee.

      "Before, I would use the bus or just walk," he said. "Now, I have all
      the mobility I wish for."
      --
      From the Sept. 5, 2003 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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