Environmental (Most sad but true) Facts
Miscellaneous facts collected by Cycle America.

Third World SUV

Note driver in radiator cut out

The model American male devotes more than 1600 hours a year to his car. He sits in it while it goes and while it stands idling. He parks it and searches for it. He earns the money to put down on it and to meet the monthly installments. He works to pay for gasoline, tolls, insurance, taxes, and tickets. He spends four of his sixteen waking hours on the road or gathering his resources for it. And this figure does not take into account the time consumed by other activities dictated by transport: time spent in hospitals, traffic courts, and garages; time spent watching automobile commercials or attending consumer education meetings to improve the quality of the next buy. The model American puts in 1600 hours to get 7500 miles: less than five miles per hour (4.68 mph, ed).

Ivan Illich (1926-2002)
Author of "Energy and Equity"

The Story of Stuff

(double click the above image to see the
Story of Stuff)
  • 80% of the world's forests are gone.
  • 2000 trees a minute are cut down in the Amazon alone. That is 7 football fields a minute!
  • The US has less than 4% of its forests left.
  • 40% of our waterways are undrinkable.
  • The US has 5% of the world's population and 30% of the waste.
  • 75% of global fisheries have been fished beyond capacity.
  • 100,000 synthetic chemicals are used in production today.
  • Bromated Flame Retardants (BFR) neurotoxins (toxins to brain) are in computers, mattresses, pillows
  • Food with highest level of contaminants is mother's milk.
  • 200,000 people a day are moving to cities from environments that no longer support them.
  • US industry *admits* to 4 billion pounds of toxic pollution released per year (likely far more).
  • Average person consumes twice as much as 50 years ago.
  • We see more ads in one year than people 50 years ago saw in a lifetime. 3,000 ads a day!
  • People in US spend three to four times as much time shopping as Europeans do.
  • Average house size has doubled in the US since the 1970's.
  • Average American creates 4.5 lbs. garbage a day -- an amount doubled from 30 years ago.
  • For every one garbage can you put out at the curb, 70 cans were filled by all the processes
    needed in order to make it.
  • 99% of all those things we buy are not in use after 6 months.

Worldwide impact of twenty years of Critical Mass July 2013
by Chris Carlsson, its most notable founder

Bikes Lose as China Car Sales Now Outpace those of the USA Aug 2012

You're at much greater risk of getting hit by a car when you're walking than when you're cycling. Per mile traveled, according to Pucher and Dijkstra, more than three times as many pedestrians die from auto collisions as do cyclists.
Making Walking and Cycling Safer: Lessons from Europe, Feb 2000

In the early 1990s, Failure Analysis Associates (since renamed Exponent), one of the world's leading engineering firms in the specialty field of quantifying risk exposure and preventing mechanical failure, estimated that riding in a car for an hour is almost twice as likely to kill you as is riding a bike for an hour.

The U.S. burns 10,000 gallons of gasoline a second
Publisher's Weekly (2/07)

Gas stations are collections of incidental items, impulses and routines that seem in themselves to be inconsequential but aggregate into a goliath economy when multiplied by the hungers of 194 million licensed American drivers. Corn nuts, for example, are part of $4.4 billion in salty snacks sold at gas station convenience stores yearly, nearly all impulse buys. The hopeful purchase $25 billion in lottery tickets. People with the sniffles spent $323 million on cold medicine at gas stations in 2001. And the faint smell of gasoline near the pumps? In California alone, the amount of gasoline vapor wafting out of stations, as we fill our cars, totals 15,811 gallons a day -- roughly the equivalent of two full tanker trucks.

And then there is the gasoline: 1,143 gallons per household per year, purchased in two-and-a-half-minute dashes. We make 16 billion stops at gas stations yearly, taking final delivery on 140 billion gallons of gasoline that has traveled around the world in tanker ships, pipelines and shiny silver trucks.
excerpted from "Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump o the Pipeline," by Lisa Margonelli.(1/07 Pub Date)

Research in multiple cities has shown that tripling the number of bike riders
on the street cuts motorist-bicyclist crashes in half.
Transportation Alternatives Nov 2004

Americans now use automobiles for more than 90
percent of their daily trips. An average person travels more than 9,000
miles a year by car, compared with less than 4,000 miles four decades
ago. The average driver spends 443 hours a year behind the wheel.
Christian Science Monitor 10/15/03

Every year motor vehicles kill over forty thousand people; fourteen on an average day.
Thunderhead Alliance
March 2003

Children who lived near streets traveled by more than 20,000 cars
a day were six times more likely to develop cancer than those who
lived in quieter neighborhoods, where local traffic was less than
500 vehicles per day, the study found.
Monitor Publishing
April 2000

Car dependence is a global public health issue of which gasoline wars
are only one facet. Every day about 3,000 people die and 30,000 people
are seriously injured on the world's roads in traffic crashes. More
than 85% of the deaths are in low and middle-income countries, with
pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers bearing most of the
burden. Most of the victims will never own a car, and many are
The Guardian (London)
January 18, 2003

One-quarter of all car journeys are less than two
miles. A 3km walk uses up about half the energy in a small bar of
chocolate. The same distance by car expends 10 times as much energy
but from the wrong source. We can make chocolate but oil reserves are
The Guardian (London)
January 18, 2003

Motor vehicles are responsible for about one-third of global oil use,
but for nearly two-thirds of US oil use. In the rest of the world,
heating and power generation account for most oil use.
The Guardian (London)
January 18, 2003

I've been a fat couch potato since I was in middle school, and I'm now 31.
After I moved out to San Francisco, I started riding a bike a couple times a
week after work. I eventually started to enjoy the weekends when I would go
out for small rides (less than 20 miles) through Marin County. My driving
commute was the biggest negative force in my life and I was considering
quitting my job because the drive was so awful. One day a friend told me I
should try biking to work, so after a small vacation I did. I started at 3
times a week enjoying every minute of the ride, with eventually a 30-50 mile
weekend ride. The commute ended up as 38 miles each day and I lost 35 pounds
in the first 3 months. I also dropped 6 waist sizes on my pants! My commute
is now the most enjoyable part of my day, and I do it every day. I still do
enjoyable weekend rides where I spend most of the day riding around.

My off time has improved significantly as I joined the San Francisco Bike
Coalition and am now interested in the Car Free Movement and Smart Growth.

Not a bad change for a former life long couch-potato!
Geoff Schneider

Less than one trip in 100 is by bicycle. If that ratio were raised to one and one half trips per 100, which is less than one bike trip every two weeks for the average person, the US would save more than 462 million gallons of gasoline per year. That would mean one day each year that the US would not need any foreign oil!!
Bicycle Retailer

Most popular car driven by CA legislators: Ford Expedition 12-18 mpg
Santa Cruz Sentinel

“Man Who Loved Bicycles, Memoirs of an Autophobe”, now on line:

We hear about off shore drilling and many of us think of it as an almost benign activity. But do you know why environmentalists are so opposed to it? Why they know drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge could easily be worse? Consider the following facts found at (Do note the last sentence):

The Case against Offshore Oil
(compiled by Rainforest Action Network, courtesy Mendocino Environmental Center)

- A steady stream of pollution from offshore rigs causes a wide range of health and reproductive problems for fish and other marine life.

- Offshore drilling exposes wildlife to the threat of oil spills that would devastate their populations.

- Offshore drilling activities destroy kelp beds, reefs and coastal wetlands.

Over its lifetime, a single oil rig can:
- Dump more than 90,000 metric tons of drilling fluid and metal cuttings into the ocean;
- Drill between 50-100 wells, each dumping 25,000 pounds of toxic metals, such as lead, chromium and mercury, and potent carcinogens like toluene, benzene, and xylene into the ocean, and
- Pollute the air as much as 7,000 cars driving 50 miles a day.

Source: http://www.culturechange.org/caoe.html

The amount of petroleum products ending up in the ocean is estimated at 0.25% of world oil production: about 6 million tons per year.
Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Info Svs Center

The city of Los Angeles, California, alone, has more cars today than all of China.
Source: American Automobile Manufacturers Association, World Motor Vehicle Data, 1997.

Bicycles use 2% as much energy as cars per passenger-kilometer, and cost less than 3% as much to purchase.
Source: Worldwatch Institute, Vital Signs, 1998.

The impact of the average U.S. citizen on the environment is approximately 3 times that of the average Italian, 13 times that of the average Brazilian, 35 times that of the average Indian, 140 times that of the average Bangladeshi, and 250 times that of the average sub-Saharan African.
Source: UNICEF, The State of the World's Children, 1994.

A child born in the industrial world consumes and pollutes more over his or her lifetime than do 40 children born in developing countries.
Source: United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report, 1998.

Light truck sales have increased by 270 percent over the last 25
years while car sales have increased by 5 percent. With light
trucks now accounting for more than half of all vehicles sold, the
average new vehicle travels less on a gallon of gas than it did in
. This is because regulatory loopholes allow light trucks to
meet an average fuel economy standard of 20.7 miles per gallon
rather than the average of 27.5 mpg for cars.

"We burn 1.2 million more barrels of gasoline per day because
SUVs and lights trucks are less efficient than cars," said Jason
Mark, UCS Clean Vehicles Program Director. "That's about twice
as much oil as we import from Iraq, or three-quarters of what we
import from Saudi Arabia." The average light truck on the road
burns over 40 percent more gasoline than the average car. US cars
and trucks emit more heat-trapping CO2 annually than most other
countries emit from all sources combined. Higher light trucks sales
only worsen global warming. 2001 was officially the second
warmest year on record [see later report on climate change.]


Flooding in the Ukraine, Hungary and Romania killed seven people
and left 50,000 people homeless. Across Russia, some 52,000
people lost their homes in the floods. The Ukrainian Environment
Minister blamed global warming for the severity of the flooding in
the region

(ABC News 15 March, Moscow Times May 17 2001)

Cars are currently killing people at the rate of 10 jumbo jet crashes a day. That's only direct fatalities;
an additional some three million lives are lost each year to air pollution, for which cars are the major source.
Richard Ballantine
Richard's 21st Century Bicycle Book

How General Motors systematically destroyed rail transport in the US

In the U.S.A., in 1971......2 million cars are halted at stoplights with their engines running.
This means that the equivalent of 200 million horses are jumping up and down going nowhere.
Buckminster Fuller

A big reason we spend so much money policing the Middle East-$30 billion every year, by one reckoning-
has to do with our dependence on the oil there
Keynote Address By Bill Moyers
Environmental Grantmakers Association, Brainerd, MN
October 16, 2001

People are not just asking for the area to be more pedestrian-friendly, they're demanding it. Scarcely a week goes by that someone doesn't call my office asking for a sidewalk or a trail.
Fairfax County Supervisor Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason), in a 9/18/00 Washington Post article describing the increase in demand for pedestrian and bicycle projects in the Washington, DC region.

"You should know that bicycling improvement construction costs run about $70,000 a mile; for 12-foot shared paths about $128,000 a mile; 5-foot bicycle lanes about $189,000 a mile; 5-foot paved shoulders on rural roads about $102,000 a mile. You should also know that one mile of urban freeway costs on average $46 million a mile. Don't let anyone tell you we can't afford bicycle lanes! You know better".
Congressman James Oberstar, (D-MN), at the Interbike bicycle industry trade show in Las Vegas on 9/23, in a speech describing the $4 billion dollars made available in TEA-21 for bicycle facilities, trails, and greenways.

Traffic cuts 'need not harm economy'

The average stop sign in the US causes an average of 20 tons of carbon dioxide to be added to the atmosphere yearly

The average American car pollutes it owns weight in carbon in just one year

Widen the roads, the drivers will come

The University of California estimates there are 30,000 deaths a year because of gasoline or diesel fuel use

The closure of the city center of Bologna to auto traffic has reduced daily motor vehicle volumes from 160,000 to 35,000 a day
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC.

Cars Kill More Trees
People work tirelessly to protect forests from logging. For good reason. But climate change will mean drastic changes in the conditions that species have spent thousands of years adapting to. Forests will be left struggling to adapt, or migrate. The only problem: Trees can't run. A quarter of our forests will fry from global warming by 2100, unless we take drastic steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Save the forests. Kill the car.             
-Car busters

Parking lots are empty 80% of the time: between parking at home, work, and on errands,
the average car uses 3 times the space of an average home.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

Streets, parking lots and alleyways already take up at least 40 percent of the average American downtown.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

Although safety devices have reduced the chance of traffic fatalities, we still register 41,500 traffic deaths a year, nearly the same as a quarter century ago, because our mileage has doubled.
                                                    Car Sick Country by Jane Holtz Kay

In Japan, dozens of transit stations have multi-story structures in which automated cranes park thousands of bicycles. Another way Japanese planners save space is through suburban rental systems. These facilities hire out hundreds of bicycles, many of which serve more than one commuter a day.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

The daily battle with traffic congestion, according to a recent University of California study, tends to raise drivers' blood pressure, lower their frustration tolerance, and foster negative moods and aggressive driving.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

Singapore charges private cars carrying fewer than four passengers "congestion fees" for entering the downtown area during rush hours. Since 1975 the scheme has raised Singapore's average downtown traffic speeds by 20 percent and reduced traffic accidents by 25 percent. Savings in fuel consumption are estimated at 30 percent.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

As author and cyclist James McGurn writes, "The bicycle is the vehicle of a new mentality. It quietly challenges a system of values which condones dependency, waste, inequality of mobility, and daily carnage. . . . . . There is every reason why cycling should be helped to enjoy another Golden Age."
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

The average American spends 4 of his 16 hours in his car or working to pay for it.

The Price of Mid Eastern oil in 1/88 was $18/barrel, The price of such oil if included the cost of our military presence there would be $170/barrel

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can leave alone.
                                                    Henry David Thoreau

The Pentagon is the single largest consumer of oil domestically, it uses enough energy to run the entire US urban mass transit system for almost 14 yrs.....
                                                    Ecology Action News (spring 91)

Production of one truck tire requires equivalent of one barrel of crude oil....
                                                    Ecology Action News (spring 91)

The US population uses about one billion gallons of motor oil /yr, 35% of which ends up in environment...
                                                    Ecology Action News (spring 91)

An F16 uses more fuel in one hour than average car owner uses in 2 years

If one in four people commuted just 5 miles a week on a bicycle, the air would be spared of 6.7 million tons of carbon dioxide
                                                    (Bicycling, April 91)

With 5% of the world's population we squander 26% of the petroleum taken from the ground
                                                    (Bicycling, April 91)

50% of all car trips are 5 miles or less

Burning one gallon of gas creates 22 lbs of carbon dioxide (a major contributor to global warming)
                                                    Ecologue, Prentice Hall Press

Keep your car for bad weather?: For each 10 degree drop in temperature, there is a 3% fuel loss. Rain or snow reduces it another 10%.
                                                    Bernadette Valley
                                                    1001 ways to save the planet

Tip: Establish a no car limit ( ie. don't drive anything less than ____ miles)

Tip: Substitute one car chore a week with a bike trip and then start adding

Set up your own bike to work week or one at your company

Buckminister Fuller: If a person is sensitive to "as-yet-unattended-to human-environment-advantaging physical evolution tasks" in a disciplined and committed way, he no longer will have to worry about earning a living.

California can save more water today by not eating one pound of California beef than they could by not showering for an entire year.
                                                    Earth Save: John Robbins

Cars cause acid rain by emitting 34% of the nitrogen oxide in the U.S.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

Do it yourself mechanics dump an Exxon Valdez worth of used motor oil every 2-1/2 weeks.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

Commuting in L.A. takes 50% longer than a year ago. 79% of Los Angeles drivers drive alone.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

Auto emissions account for 17% of worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide (C02), whose buildup in the atmosphere is causing planetary climate change.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

Increases in the global population of cars have canceled the effects of fuel efficiency gains. Motor vehicles spew 63% more C02 into the atmosphere now than in 1971.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

There is now one more vehicle for every 1.34 people in the United States. The number of motor vehicles in this country has grown over 40% since 1974, although the human population only grew 16% in the same period.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

Operating a car would cost $3,000 a year more if the owner paid her/his share of road maintenance, health care and environmental costs.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

Total miles driven in Western industrial countries in 1985 totaled 2.5 trillion: half a light year
                                                   . Transportation Alternatives, NYC

Between 1974 and 1989, there were 775,257 deaths in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., more than all U.S. combat fatalities since 1775.
                                                    Transportation Alternatives, NYC

The National Crop Loss Assessment Program found that auto emissions cause annual yield losses of $1.9-$4.5 billion for wheat, corn, soybeans and peanuts alone.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

Thousands of acres of critical wetlands are lost each year to highway construction. Water sources are contaminated by tons of salts poured onto highways and from oil dripped from cars.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

As many as 49,000 people are killed every year on U.S. highways. If traffic grows as forecasted this will rise to 75,000 deaths every year by 2000.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

Growing numbers of big trucks are major contributors to urban congestion and highway damage. Despite this, the U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes that heavy trucks pay only 65 per cent of their "fair share in user fees.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

Per capita gas use in U.S. cities is nearly 4.5 times higher than in European cities and 1.5 times higher than neighboring Toronto. The auto- centered city of Houston, Texas uses 40 percent more gas per capita than transit-centered New York City.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

The transportation sector is the biggest consumer, using 63 percent of all oil consumed in the U.S.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

More than 3,000 miles of railroad tracks are abandoned each year.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

One person using transit for a year instead of driving alone to work spares the environment from 9.1 pounds of hydrocarbons, 62.5 pounds of carbon monoxide and 4.9 pounds of nitrogen oxides.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

Two railroad tracks have the hourly passenger-carrying capacity of 16 highway lanes. Two railroad tracks require about 50 feet of right-of-way compared to about 400 feet for 16 highway lanes.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

The U.S. could save 33 million gallons of gasoline each day if the average commuter passenger load were increased by one person.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

The U.S. could reduce the size of payments sent overseas to pay for foreign oil. In 1989 this totaled $52 billion, and is growing annually.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

Ground level air pollution from cars is estimated to cause 30,000 deaths each year.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

Auto and truck emissions contribute 20 to 30 percent of the U.S. global greenhouse gases.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

Automobile air conditioners are the single largest source of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) that are destroying the earth's protective ozone layer.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

The U.S. now consumes more oil for transportation than it produces. Imported oil averaged 45 percent of daily supply in 1989 at a cost to the economy of $52 billion.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

In the next 30 years the number of cars and trucks on already congested highways will double, just as it has over the last 30 years, if current trends continue.
                                                    New Transportation Vision

"Without question the most destructive agent of social disintegration, ecological contamination, poisoning of people and environment, waste of energy and even homicide (outstripping violent crime by more than two to one) is the automobile. "-Richard Register, Urban Ecologist
                                                    People Power

700 million gallons of lubricating oil, 200-250 million tires, 138 thousand tons of lead from discard auto batteries, and 9 million passenger cars are disposed of each year in the U.S.
                                                    People Power

Auto accidents have killed almost 3 million people in the United States since 1900 and are the number one cause of death for our nation's children.
                                                    People Power

The military budget siphons away 60% of our taxes-one third of which is spent policing Persian Gulf oil sources in peace time, which constitutes over 70% of our trade deficit.
                                                    People Power

In Denmark, they charge 200% sales tax on all car purchases and they have $1000 a year registration fee. The money is used to benefit public and bicycle transport.
                                                    People Power

In the Netherlands, 40% of all trips are made by bicycle, and a third of the people ride their bike to work everyday. The government has an "excessive driving tax" and they are trying to reduce the number of autos in the country to 3.5 million from the current 5 million.
                                                    People Power

In China, at least half of all urban vehicle trips are made on two wheels.
                                                    People Power

India has 30 million bicycles-25 times the number of motorized vehicles there.
                                                    People Power

In Osaka, Japan, 127,000 people bike to train or bus stations each day.                                                     People Power

In Bogota, Columbia, 900 cargo tricycles deliver baked goods for the entire city. Columbia has a program called "The City for the Citizens," which closes 56 kilometers of roads to cars every Sunday.
                                                    People Power

U.S. costs for imported oil could be cut by about 1 billion, if even 10 percent of American car commuters used bicycles, which would save about $500 a year in gasoline costs.
                                                    San Francisco Chronicle (11/5/89)

Delays owing to traffic jams cost the country more than $10 billion a year in lost work time, a figure expected to rise to $45 billion within 15 years, when 50 percent more cars are expected to be on the roads.
                                                    San Francisco Chronicle (11/5/89)

The United Nations estimates that the air of about half the world's cities contains excessive concentrations of such car-exhaust poisons as lead, which can cause severe physical and mental damage. Half of U.S. cities fail to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards for another car-emitted poison, ozone, which also causes human diseases and crop losses upward of $5 billion.
                                                    San Francisco Chronicle (11/5/89)

Bicycles could accommodate roughly 10 times as many people per hour as private cars in the same road space.
                                                    San Francisco Chronicle (11/5/89)

The Worldwatch report "The Bicycle: Vehicle for a Small Planet" ($4 from Worldwatch Institute, 1771 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20036) touts the bike as the vehicle of the future, not only in the United States, but globally.
                                                    San Francisco Chronicle (11/5/89)

43 percent of Holland's 100,000 populace use bicycles to get around.
                                                    Rocky Mountain Sports & Fitness

"Philosopher Ivan Illich took the average amount of time people spend working to pay for their cars and the total miles driven each year, then divided that by the amount of time in one year. The quotient Illich came up with was four miles an hour-even less than the speed of riding a bike."
                                                    -Alan Streater

Consider this: More than 90 million Americans pursue recreational cycling.
                                                    Bicycling Institute of America

From Alaska to Florida, there are at least 400 bicycle clubs, with membership ranging from 10 to 4,000 members.
                                                    Bicycling Institute of America

In New York city alone, Transportation Alternatives, a local advocacy organization, estimates that there are approximately 65,000 bicycle commuters, 10 percent of the work force.
                                                    Bicycling Institute of America

The Dodge brothers made bicycles before they began making. cars. The Wright brothers made bicycles and ran a bike shop while experimenting with aviation. The Warner brothers ran a bike shop and raced before following a fad called "the movies" where they later left their mark.

Commuter races between car drivers, bicyclists, and other travelers in cities such as Boston and Washington, D.C., regularly show that bicycling is faster than any other mode for distances of five miles or less. The more congested a city, the better the bicycle compares. A 30-minute bike ride gives you the same benefit as 30 minutes to an hour in the health club, and gets you to work in the process.
                                                    Bicycling Institute of America

In Japan 15 percent of trips to work are by bicycle; in Switzerland, 10 percent; in the Netherlands, 30 percent and in what was once West Germany, 11 percent.
                                                    Bicycling Institute of America

1 out of 74,000 people in China own a car
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

1 out of 10 people own a car worldwide
                                                    Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Vehicle Assn , 1990

50 million new cars are produced each year
                                                    Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Vehicle Assn , 1990

In the world, there are 540 million registered vehicles
                                                    Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Vehicle Assn , 1990

800 million bicycles outnumber cars by two to one, and in Asia alone bicycles transport more people than do all of the world's autos.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

Traffic monitors at an intersection in Tianjin once counted more than 50,000 bicycles passing in one hour.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

Nearly 100 million bicycles are made each year, three times the number of automobiles.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

An estimated quarter of a million people worldwide die in automobile accidents each year.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration put the country's loss to traffic jams at $9 billion in 1984. The FHWA expects a fivefold increase in that amount by 2005. Some 50 percent more cars are projected to be on the road then, the typical commuter's 10 - or 15-minute delay may stretch to an hour, and roads will likely be congested throughout the day.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

The catalytic converter actually increases carbon dioxide buildup.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

A 10-mile commute by bicycle requires 350 calories of energy, the amount in one bowl of rice. The same trip in the average American car uses 18,600 calories, or more than half a gallon of gasoline.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

100 bicycles can be manufactured for the energy and materials it takes to build a medium-sized car.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

In 1986, the Netherlands' cycle paths covered 13,500 kilometers.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

North America's closest approach to a cycling society is the bicycle-friendly university town. Two such communities in northern California, Palo Alto and Davis, vie for the title of bicycling capital of the United States. Davis has the higher cycling rate of the two-25 percent of total trips in the community of 44,000 are made by bike-and cycle trailers filled with groceries or children are not an unusual sight. Davis has some 30 miles of bicycle lanes for 100 miles of streets, and roughly 20 miles of separate cycle paths.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

A 1983 survey revealed that 32 percent of people in Denmark traveled to work by bicycle.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

The city government in San Francisco pays its employees seven cents a mile for all business travel by bicycle, and sponsors a city-wide monthly "Leave Your Car at Home Day."
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

Amenities at Xerox in Palo Alto includes a towel service in the shower room, which helps explain why 20 percent of the company's local employees cycle to work; one of the highest bicycle commuter rates nationwide.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

In John Pucher's recent study of 12 countries in western Europe and North America, it is clear that when drivers are made to pay the costs of automobile travel through taxation of ownership and use, total mileage driven tends to decline.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

Some cyclists can make all the difference in simply leading by example; Argentine President Carlos Menem has urged citizens to ease the shock of soaring gasoline prices by riding bicycles-and is a cyclist himself.
                                                    Worldwatch Institute

If Drive-alone commuters lleft their cars at home just one day a week, traffic would move once again. Congestion would be reduced by 14%.
                                                    Rides for Bay Area Commuters

In 1989 Californians drove 241 billion miles, the equivalent of 13 round trips to the moon.
                                                    Rides for Bay Area Commuters

There are approx. 400 million automobiles in the world. In Californian alone, there are more than 21 million vehicles and more than 19 million licensed drivers
                                                    Rides for Bay Area Commuters

Every day Californians lose 200,000 hours and our economy loses 3 milllion dollars to traffic congestion.
                                                    Rides for Bay Area Commuters

The number of bicycle commuters in this country has been increasing by an average of 12% a year since 1983 for a total of 3.2 million bicycle commuters in 1989 (the latest figures available) according to the Bicycle Institute of America.
Bay Area Action

In a 2-car household, bike commuting allows you to give up the second vehicle. New or old, this car usually drains about $3,00 per year, according to Federal Highway Administration statistics.
                                                    Bicycling magazine

More health clubs are offering commuter memberships for $30 per month or less. You can't use the exercise equipment, but you get a locker, shower, and bike storage.
                                                    Bicycling magazine

In 1989, bicycle, tricycle and unicycle fatalities fell to a 14-year low of 832; though they rose last year, to 856, they remained well below the peak of 1,003 in 1975. The government attributes the recent lower levels to increased helmet use and cyclist training.
                                                    The Wall Street Journal

Some employers give new bicycles to employees willing to cycle to work at least three times a week.
                                                    The Wall Street Journal

Some companies give free helmets, reflective vests and mirrors to committed riders. It also has volunteer bike mechanics on site and will rescue riders who get flat tires on their way to work.
                                                    The Wall Street Journal

"Number of Cars Is Growing Faster Than Human Population."
Sunday 9/21 New York Times, first section page 35:

The US DOT reports that in the US in 26 years the number of vehicles [presumably, MOTOR vehicles] has grown six times faster than the number of humans, and increased twice as fast as the number of drivers. There is now one car for every driver.

Going car-less ... and fat-less
9/22/97, Doug: purdy@globalserve.net wrote in the newsgroup ba.bicycles:
Three months ago after a year of walking less than 1000 feet a day, sopping up 24-30 beer per week and scarfing down garbage bins of junk food, I was becoming the Marshmallow Man. I had no energy, couldn't run up stairs anymore, my 52nd birthday was approaching and I was going to have to buy larger clothes. I'd reached the end of my belt.:(

I swore off beer, junk and car for walking and busing. Two months ago I started commuting by bicycle. Today, I found I'll have to buy smaller clothes! I've reached the opposite end of my belt! :)

Accomplishing my weight loss goal 9 months early, I've had fun exploring the city (lived here 30 years, never saw it), done things I didn't think I'd ever be able to do again, and gained tremendous power and energy. ... Suppose I might as well keep on cycling. :)