Tag Archives: co2 savings

Today’s Forecast: Cold and Dark – Yet Many Still Park&Pedal


It is December in Boston Massachusetts. Temperatures are dipping below freezing making commuting by bicycle a cold proposition. Tonight the sun will set at 4:12pm and it will be dark before many people get out of work.  So riding a bike home from work requires riding in the dark, not something many people are willing to do.  And as of yesterday (December 1st of each year) the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Park&Pedal locations are no longer “in season”. DCR has found it may need its parking areas to deposit snow from local roads and can’t guarantee their availability.

Yet, despite all these reasons not to ride, today there were 62 people parking and pedaling to work from DCR’s Herter Park&Pedal hub, one of 20 Park&Pedal hubs in the greater Boston area.  These 62 people are extending the season past what was once considered a date when no one would be willing to ride and use the program.

By parking and pedaling today, those 62 people saved 887 pounds of emissions of carbon dioxide that they would have burned driving all the way to work. That is a whopping 7,750 cubic feet of greenhouse gases!  In one day!  At one location!

Great job park and pedalers! As time goes on, I am sure that more and more commuters will join you in realizing the health, financial, environmental, and time savings benefits that Park&Pedal offers.

Thanks you!

David Montague


Park&Pedal CO2 Display at Massachusetts Transportation Building

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activities. According the US Environmental Protection Agency, transportation alone accounts for 31% of the CO2 released into the environment by humans, a close second only to electricity production.

Every car on the road contributes to the amount of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, and with the average round trip commute in the US at 24 miles and getting longer, shifting our mode of transportation is a serious matter.

At Park&Pedal Fest 2016, the celebration event for the expansion of the Park&Pedal program, we built a display to illustrate a rather shocking reality.

The average American car commuter produces 230 cubic feet of CO2 every day.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack liked the display so much when she saw it at the event, she asked that it be installed in the offices of MassDOT.


Inside the lobby of the Massachusetts Transportation Building is the rather conspicuous black box shown above. The sign reads, “Volume of this box = ONE Commuer’s CO2 Emissions from ONE DAY”. Visible to everyone who enters the offices of MassDOT or the MBTA, the 10 foot long 230 cubic foot box is a reminder of the impact  on the environment of every car on the road.

We wish it is was possible for everyone to use alternative transportation as the sole means to get to work, but not everyone lives close enough or conveniently enough to cycle/walk the whole distance, or take advantage of public transportation. Park&Pedal allows those car commuters without a green alternative to cycle part way, reducing the number of miles driven and the amount of greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere.

Park&Pedal Picking Up Steam (and Saving CO2)

Today, unlike almost every other day of the year, Boston area commuters had many reasons to drive to work.  It is July 26th, the height of summer, when many are on vacation.  The Massachusetts Turnpike going into the city of Boston, which is choked by gridlock traffic almost every other day of the year, had 60 mile an hour traffic sailing into the city. And today, gas prices are near a ten year low, making driving and commuting by car cheap. And finally today it is hot outside, really hot. Heat wave hot. And sticky. Perfect weather for air conditioned driving.

Yet today, at the Herter Park&Pedal hub, one of 20 Park&Pedal hubs around the city of Boston, there were approximately 50 people who had decided to Park&Pedal in to their jobs, rather than take advantage of cheap gas and smooth sailing on an open turnpike.

I sat and watched as car after car pulled up, and pulled out a bike, and started the better part of their commute. I marveled at the fact that there were more than a dozen pickup truck drivers who had opted to leave their vehicle and ride their bike to work. Think of the emissions that saved!

All in all, with one location, on one day, the Park&Pedal program reduced emissions in the Boston area by a huge amount. Just the carbon dioxide alone that those 50 cars and trucks did not produce today totals around 6,730 cubic feet. That is substantial savings in emissions.  And the best part is, the price tag for setting up the program that made those savings possible was almost nothing. That’s right, Park&Pedal cost the taxpayers of Massachusetts virtually nothing.  It uses existing, underutilized weekday parking areas, some signs, and a little awareness.  And that’s it.

Park&Pedal is catching on quickly. It is getting people out of their cars, and onto their bikes for their commute. It reduces emissions. It also reduces gridlock traffic and parking issues near areas of employment, while providing commuters a healthy, less stressful way to get to work. Other cities, states, and countries would do well to note the success here in Massachusetts, and consider programs in their areas.

David Montague