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A Bike-Friendly EPA Headquarters

2013 September 25

By Ed Fendley

It’s awesome to be part of an agency that’s helped clean America’s air and water and is working to reduce emissions of deadly mercury. Now I’ve got a new – and local – reason to appreciate the EPA: outdoor bicycle racks here at our headquarters buildings.

Recently, four sets of modern bike racks were installed outside at the Federal Triangle campus in Washington, D.C., as part of a broader EPA plan to welcome bicycling by employees and visitors. (We already have bike parking in our basement garages.)

Giving people choices in how to get around is a great thing. Studies show that if people can conveniently walk, bike, or take transit, many of them will choose to drive less – reducing traffic and cleaning the air.

And that fits neatly into our mission at EPA. According to EPA’s Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009 (April 2011), roughly 17 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from passenger vehicles. Investing in public transit and other transportation options, like biking, make it easier for people to drive less, lowering greenhouse gas emissions. These approaches can also help reduce carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and other pollutants emitted by motor vehicles.

As EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld recently wrote, there are lots of good reasons to ride a bike – including pure joy. I can relate: my kids and I ride a lot. They bike to school and we often tool around on the weekends together. I’ve also ridden to work for 20 years now. It’s exciting to see that bicycling rates are increasing rapidly across the country.

Building design is part of that. Convenient bike parking, as well as showers and lockers, get more people riding. Placing racks within 50 feet of building entrances is recommended as it helps visitors who may not have access to the parking garage. It also helps employees like me who bike during the day to meetings around town.

As more employees and visitors choose to ride, EPA will need to make further improvements. But for the moment, I’ll pause to celebrate as I park my bike and stroll into my office.

About the author: Ed Fendley is a senior policy analyst with the Office of Sustainable Communities.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Arman.- permalink
    September 25, 2013


    If you come to Jakarta, I’m sure you will be shock to see motorcycles are swarming everywhere. GHG’s ? worst level ! By this article, I hope citizens, here, could retrospect how maintain the air, anywhere places at the country…..

  2. Drew Pilant permalink
    September 25, 2013

    Excellent post. That 17% emissions statistic is sobering. Have a nice ride-

  3. Master Melvin M. Lusterio permalink
    September 26, 2013

    The Good Force be with you!

    Great job, Ed! Keep it up!

    Live forever & prosper!

  4. Stuart permalink
    September 26, 2013

    Progress indeed and going forward, city planners need to figure out how to park more bikes in a smaller footprint. Here’s one nifty idea to accomplish that from McGill University in Canada: VeloCyko – The Story of a New Bike Rack

  5. mayphotocopy permalink
    September 27, 2013

    Nice article! Thanks Ed Fendley! Have a nice day :))

  6. permalink
    November 16, 2013

    I’m a really fan of the type of that bag. I also like what looks great as a classy accessory for a quick look.

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