What are the biggest benefits of bicycling? Of course, there are the environmental benefits and the fact that bicycling is many times cheaper than driving or even riding transit. One more obvious benefit, however, is that it is great for our health.  A number of doctors and other health professionals, approximately 150 of them, recently pushed for Mayor Bloomberg to continue promoting bicycling and improving the bicycle infrastructure network in New York City to capitalize more on these health benefits.

NYC transportation advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives writes:

More than 150 medical professionals have sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg encouraging the continuation of bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements….

The NYC Department of Transportation has found what other leading cities around the world have known for years: bike lanes increase bicycle ridership and reduce fatal and injurious crashes for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. The city’s increasing number of bicycle lanes and pedestrian plazas encourage New Yorkers to lead active lives, help reduce obesity and asthma levels and improve air quality.

“Imagine the tremendous health benefits that less traffic and air pollution could mean for New Yorkers,” said Dr. Linda Prine, a daily bicycle commuter and family physician in Manhattan who spoke to the City Council Transportation Committee earlier this month. “When I ask my patients why they don’t bike or walk to work, they respond that their neighborhood streets often feel too dangerous.”

I love that more and more people are bringing up this health topic to promote bicycling, one of the greenest modes of transportation out there. And don’t forget what you can do to improve transportation safety and encourage others to get a bike and use it — get on a bike, yourself. 😀

Related Story: New York City Bike-Sharing Program Plans Move Forward

Photo Credit: Susan NYC