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Changing City Parking Forever

For those of us who live in the New York City Metro area, we all have experienced the frustration of driving into and attempting to find parking in Manhattan or any of the 5 boroughs.  Often we either have to park many blocks away from where we are going or we end up paying ridiculously high rates at parking lots and garages to keep our vehicles in relative safety off the streets.  For the residents who live in these areas and who want to or need to have a vehicle, it is even tougher.  But what if there was a way to alleviate many of the parking problems.  We think we found one.
In the city of Portland, Oregon there is a move on to provide greater amounts of bicycle parking to encourage local residents to use their bikes more within the city limits.  The reality is that many people who live in cities would prefer to ride bikes, weather permitting, than drive cars or use public transportation.  The more that personal vehicle traffic can be reduced the better the traffic situations will be as commercial vehicles and public transportation, often using flex-fuel vehicles for tax breaks, will ease and the overall environment will improve.  The air quality alone will see a welcome increase for those who live in the city.
By encouraging more bike riding, we can also reduce the number and size of parking lots that are needed within the city limits.  Additionally, the reduced vehicle traffic will allow for better road quality and more manageable timetables to repair roadways and bridges.  Now, all of this may seem odd coming from a company that exists to pave parking lots and roadways, but there are opportunities for us as well.  Building bicycle parking lots will be necessary as will bicycle paths and lanes.  As bicycle use increases the necessity for new bicycle parking lots or the re-formatting of large parts of vehicle parking lots for bicycle use will be necessary as well.
For the areas outside of the city limits, especially Long Island, the increased use of bicycles will be difficult as many have commutes that are not feasible on bicycle and public transportation cannot service.  But there are benefits for the suburbs.  Think of how many trips you or your family make to run local errands that can be done by bicycle instead.  For those living near one of the picturesque villages that dot Long Island like Babylon Village, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and East Hampton, think about how nice it will be to see these village centers become more hospitable to pedestrians, cyclists and even those who use roller blades, skateboards and scooters.
New York City’s former mayor Mike Bloomberg instituted a bicycle-share program that at first had its issues.  Now, two years down the line, it is showing many of the benefits it promised.  By increasing the ability for our citizens to use healthier, more environmentally friendly modes of transportation when possible, we are helping ourselves and future generations to improve the world around us.