Ten Percent Challenge

Muscle Powered and Bike Carson are challenging Carson City to reduce motor vehicle traffic by 10% in Carson City on Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 21. Measurements will be taken at some key traffic locations on Bike to Work Day and one week beforehand, so that comparisons may be made.

We’ve come up with ten actions that may help Carson City achieve this goal:

  1. Ride your bike to work
  2. Walk to work
  3. Carpool
  4. Use public transportation
  5. Let your kids walk, bike, skateboard and scooter to school
  6. Exercise at home
  7. Make meals at home
  8. Accumulate errands
  9. Steer clear of big box stores
  10. Turn off your cell phone

A Ten Percent Challenge document provides detail on each of these items, letting you know more about what you can do and why. A Ten Actions for 10% flier is available that you can print for your own use, and post around town in places where people will see it.

We ask for your help in measuring motor vehicle traffic. Please volunteer by contacting Dan Allison, allisondan52@gmail.com. We need to know ahead of time your name and the location you pick. It can be a high or moderate traffic street or intersection. You need not specify the time you’ll be there ahead of time, but the time does need to be the same on May 21 and on May 14. It can be at any time of day, not just commuter hours, since we are trying to reduce overall motor vehicles trips, and only about 1/3 of trips are now related to work. We ask for at least one hour, though if you can do more than an hour, that is great. You’ll report your counts by Monday, May 24, and we will compile them and report back on the results for Carson City.

If you can count two things at once, then you may also count bicycle traffic, but our main focus is motor vehicle traffic. We will start counting bicyclist and pedestrian traffic in the future.


Bicycle Trip to the Dentist

I had a dentist appointment today, and I decided to ride my bike. The problem was that I had no idea if there was secure bicycle parking, and when I arrived, I realized that there wasn’t. The lobby of the office was too small to expect them to allow my bike to stay in there, so I ended up chaining up to a handicapped parking marker. It was just a pole, but thankfully it was pretty tall.

I spoke with the Dentist about the parking issue, and he mentioned that someone had visited just yesterday on a bike too. He said it was probably time to get a bike rack, and we discussed some of the options.

This conversation led to another conversation with my hygienist about bicycle commuting. She thought maybe she should give bicycle commuting a try, living less than a mile from work.

The lesson I learned today? It doesn’t take much to convince people of the need for proper bicycling infrastructure. Sometimes all you need to do is show up on your bike to create a demand! Also, showing others that you conduct your business without a car can be a powerful message.