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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

As Gas Prices Soar, City Cycling More Attractive [Weather Channel]



AP PHOTO/JEFF CHIU
Stan Ades and his wife CC Sofronas wait for traffic to to cross as they ride bicycles to Sunset Elementary School with their children in San Francisco on Oct. 11. When California’s gas prices hit record highs over the past week, the millions of dollars spent in recent years on commuter bike lanes and public transportation projects in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other major cities were seen in a new light by many drivers.
SAN FRANCISCO — With an autumn chill in the air on a gray San Francisco morning, the five-member Ades family rubbed the sleep from their eyes, strapped on their bike helmets and rode right past their two cars to the kids' elementary school about a mile away.
"It's good exercise, and there's an environmental aspect to it as well," said Stan Ades, of his decision to start his kids — ages 6, 8 and 10 — bike commuting to school.
Statewide, Californians are increasingly pumping air into the flat tires on their dusty old bikes instead of gas into their tanks. Recent historic spikes in gas prices are expected to stay high, forcing many to look at their gas guzzling minivans and SUVs in a new light.
"The cost of owning and keeping a car in the city; the cost of gas and the difficulty in parking are all factors," said Cheryl Brinkman, vice chair of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's board of directors. "The first time you ride your bike somewhere and lock it to a parking meter right outside where you're going is such a gift."

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