The short description from League of American Bicyclists of how bikes fared yesterday in the East Coast earthquake reminded me of a feature of trails pointed out to me by one of Congressman Bobby Rush’s staffers: when disasters strike, non-motorized trails can be evacuation routes.
Which makes a lot of sense. Think of the big disaster scenes from the news, when people are fleeing—it’s not by car or train. Those systems prove surprisingly dependent on many factors that can’t withstand run-for-cover events. What you see is people fleeing on foot, and by bike.
Maybe we add a fourth bottom line to the Triple Bottom Line benefits of trails: disaster preparedness.