As Gasoline Prices Go Up, Columbians Go Biking
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia helps people shift to non-motorized transportation as gasoline prices go up. Columbia resident Chris Leahs went biking at the MKT Trial with his family on Saturday morning. He said he enjoys biking both for its recreational and economic function.
Leahs said he started bike riding in 2008, when gas prices went up. He said he sees it as a good way to save gas money.
Columbia is one of four cities to receive federal money for the Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program. In addition to $22 million dollars in original funds, the city received an extra $5 million for further improvement.
Former mayor Darwin Hindman led an advisory committee meeting for GetAbout Columbia on Friday to plan possibilities with the new money. Hindman said an advocacy of biking has been changing the city's outlook. "Except for people using the MKT Trial, you hardly ever saw a bicycle or walking," Hindman said. "Today, especially when the weather is half-way decent, you can hardly go anywhere without seeing people walking or riding bicycles. When you get in toward the central part of town, where things are denser, more together, where students are live, bicycles are everywhere. It's great."
PedNet Coalition is a non-profit organization that advocates non-motorized transportation. Coalition Education Coordinator Gina Overshiner said biking is promoting a healthy lifestyle, both for citizen's physical health and the city's environmental health.
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