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The Price of Parking at Workplace

June 07, 1992

In "Free Parking at Workplace Is On the Way Out in O.C.," Linda Uman's disappointing bicycle commuter program was told. Uman gives the impression that employees will not commute by bicycle, even though their employer spends large sums of money encouraging them to do so. As a longtime bike commuter and McDonnell Douglas employee, please let me straighten out the record.

According to Louis Harris polls conducted in 1990 and 1991, 20% of employees would (commute by bicycle) if they had safe routes and a shower at work. For years, McDonnell Douglas bicycle commuters asked the company to pressure cities for more bike lanes and to provide us with shower facilities. McDonnell Douglas' expensive program did not address these bicycle commuter needs, and that is the reason for the disappointing results.

Seattle has an aggressive bicycle program. In contrast to Orange County, bicycle projects in Seattle receive a high priority. Employers in Seattle must provide secure bicycle parking and showers. As a result, 4% of downtown trips in Seattle are by bicycle.

In Orange County, solo driving is discouraged by the AQMD and encouraged by local government. McDonnell Douglas and other O.C. employers must lobby all levels of O.C. government for more . . . transportation alternatives to solo driving. This is an inexpensive and effective step that O.C. employers can take toward meeting the AQMD mandates.

MICHAEL R. MOTT, Chairperson, Orange County Bicycle Coalition

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