A bicycle and pedestrian conference in west-central Wisconsin addresses energy costs, public health.
Experts at the conference in Eau Claire focus on walking and bicycling as viable transportation options across the state. Why are more people turning to human power as a mode of transportation?
Tom Huber, Wisconsin DOT Bureau of Planning and Economic Development, says some cyclists are environmentally conscious, some want to get into shape, and others want to save money.
"With the increase in gasoline prices we've heard from a lot of people that they have decided to either buy a bicycle or use their current bicycle much more often."
Huber says you don't have to walk or ride the bike ALL the time. Every little bit helps.
"Turn a short driving trip down to the store or to work … and turn that trip into a walking trip rather than an automobile trip."
In addition to pedaling to save money, get fit, and help the environment, some people actually like it! Regular riders enjoy the various scents of the outdoors, the breeze, and the freedom of being outdoors.
Currently about 8% of all trips in Wisconsin are made by foot and by bicycle. The conference includes discussions on the economic and health benefits of biking and walking, the Safe Routes to School Program, and new concepts in regional bicycle and pedestrian system planning.
The conference is Wednesday and Thursday, August 13 and 14.