Recently I tried to run some errands around downtown Tempe with my vehicle. Wow, that was an exercise in futility. Never again. Drive around in a circle looking for a place to park, find quarters, end up parking much further away than hoped, walk in the heat, repeat. No, thank you! And when ASU is in session, downtown Tempe’s streets are even more clogged, literally, mornings, lunch and closing time. It’s pretty futile to attempt to drive into, around or out of downtown during these times. It is definitely much simpler and quicker by bicycle. It’s also much cheaper, an ASU parking structure permit ranges in price from $210 to $780 per year! You can buy a pretty sweet bike and accessories for $780 and even $210 pays for 90%+ of a single speed road bicycle which makes great transportation and is pretty stylish to boot!
This short blog post isn’t really a place to get into why folks continue to use the automobile instead of the numerous alternative transportation options available, especially in downtown Tempe. I’ll just say that it’s an addiction, rife with all the habits and denials of any other addiction. If you’re interested in this topic, you might want to look for my friend’s book that’s forthcoming this fall, titled America’s Addiction to Automobiles, by Chad Frederick.
No, the point of this post is to talk about alternatives, namely the bicycle and a bit of public transit. The bicycle is the perfect vehicle for getting around downtown Tempe. A bicycle gets as many as 36.3 miles per burrito! If you don’t own one, you can even test the waters without having to purchase one, courtesy of Tempe’s newly launched GRID bike share. If you have any questions about using a bicycle for transportation or otherwise within the Phoenix metro area, come chat with us, we can advise! We’re transportation focused and we can help you find the right bicycle to suit all your needs!
As for getting to downtown, there are more than a few park & rides conveniently located along the light rail and others throughout the valley. Tempe also provides a free neighborhood shuttle service called Orbit. All buses have bike racks on the front, and bicycles can be wheeled onto the light rail trains. Even if you do use a vehicle to get closer to Tempe, these options help you ditch the car outside of the congested downtown area and let you move through Tempe with ease using the bus, bike or rail.