Attention! This is what a bicycle looks like: According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is “a light two-wheeled vehicle with a steering handle, saddle, and pedals.” And get this: Bicycles were once used as transportation devices! Ha! Can you believe it? People once used those man-powered contraptions to get to work instead of fueling up the mini-tank SUV!
The Plog offers you this lesson in history because, according to this report just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, bicycle-riding commuters in Kansas City are nearly extinct. As Eric Rogers with the Missouri Bicycle Federation and the KC Coalition for Walking and Bicycling recently pointed out on his bike advocacy blog, KCMO ranks last among 50 cities surveyed. In 2005, Rogers says, just 50 of 216,000 workers pedaled to the office on a regular basis. Kansas City ranked below average in bus riders, walkers and car poolers, too. What does all this mean? Mull it over during your scorching-hot, gridlock-ridden drive home tonight. – Ben Paynter