Skateboarding City Planners Could Radically Improve Transportation

Now that cities have finally acknowledged bikes as viable commuter options, why stop there?

For most of the 20th century, “bicycle planning” was not a thing. Now we have city planners and consultants who specialize in making bikes a part of the transportation conversation. The fact that cyclists are a minority among commuters is not, thankfully, a reason to dismiss bicycles as a transportation priority. Federal, state, and local governments have worked to improve conditions for cyclists, making it safer and easier for people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes—a healthier way to commute in both personal and environmental terms.

Observing the ascendance of the bicycle in transportation planning has made me wonder about other “minority modes.” At one point, I was using a skateboard to get to and from the commuter train I rode to work. The train station was a mile from the office: a 20-minute walk or a 7-minute ride on the board. One day I walked into the elevator of my workplace, a transportation agency, skateboard in tow, and an upper-level manager asked if I had actually ridden it to work. I explained that it was my “last-mile solution” from the train. He chuckled, saying “I guess we don’t have a transportation model for that!

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