The Park Record Editorial, May 19, 2010 |

The Park Record Editorial, May 19, 2010

Commuters across the country will be grabbing bike locks and helmets instead of car keys this week in recognition of national "Bike to Work Week." And Park City where Friday has been designated "Bike to Work Day" is no exception.

The fifth annual iteration of the event is spearheaded by the Mountain Trails Foundation and over the years has attracted a growing number of participants. The event itself, though, is just a small part of a larger commitment in the community to improve bicycle and pedestrian traffic within the city and up into the surrounding mountains. To that end, Mountain Trails has done an excellent job.

Park City Municipal, with specific approval from voters, has also set aside funding to make alternative forms of transportation safer and more accessible. From bike paths to flagged crosswalks, the city is trying to remove any barriers that might discourage biking or walking to work.

This year’s event is especially timely in light of the oil rig explosion which has underscored the immense price Americans must pay for their dependence on oil and gas. In the case of the most recent oil spill, it is hard to say whether the most devastating losses will be measured in dollars or in environmental destruction, but no one can argue that it has made all of us reconsider our own levels of fuel consumption.

That can be a frustrating enterprise as most of the time, especially in more rural areas, holding down a job requires driving back and forth every day. But this week, for one day, try to find an alternative. It might even be fun.

If your commute is too far to bike, try carpooling. Or drive to a commuter lot (there is one at Kimball Junction and one at Quinn’s) and bike from there. Or take a bus and walk part way.

It may seem as though the environmental effects of biking to work for one day a year are miniscule compared to the looming environmental threats of global warming but imagine your efforts duplicated in cities and towns across the country.

And of course we don’t need to mention the beneficial side effects of leaving your car in the garage like getting a little exercise before a long stressful work day.

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