Millennials and Baby Boomers Are Connecting
It’s no secret. Millennials desire better public transportation options and they’re choosing to live in urban areas that cater to walking and biking. (We’ve even talked about it in last week’s Two Link Tuesday post when discussing how millennials are choosing where to live and work.)
It’s also not a secret that millennials are a little different than their predecessors, gen x and the baby boomers. The stereotypes we all know so well make the age gap and especially the cultural gap between generations seem even more drastic.
What’s interesting is, despite this significant age and culture gap, that baby boomers and millennials are similarly affecting the automotive landscape in this country. Sure, there are a lot of things that the two generations don’t agree on but one thing is certain: they’re both driving less.
What’s exciting or cool about this? These two generations make up approximately 50% of the U.S. population. That means a shift in transportation preferences in even a portion of these groups would be monumental and could forever change transportation practices in our country.
A recent article on how the aging baby boomers are utilizing walkable infrastructure points to this connection between generations. Just like millennials, baby boomers are becoming a reason for cities to increase walkability in communities.
Airmet says it best in her article when she queries, “maybe we can bridge the generation gap with sidewalks and bike lanes.” This connection between generations isn’t often discussed but it should, without a doubt, be encouraged. These are groups that have the power-and apparently the desire-to change the way society caters to transit and that cannot be ignored.
Biking: The Increasingly Popular Fix-All
Walkability isn’t the only thing cities need to think about. Something near and dear to us, cycling, is proving to be a really healthy lifestyle change and some are even calling it the new wonder drug. In his article, Shaun Courtney cites The Dutch as proof of the benefits of building communities and cultures that cycle. The Dutch are the quintessential biking example who are often placed on a pedestal of what the future of transportation in communities could look like… and for good reason.
Especially when we’re talking about the older citizens in our communities and the general health of our population, the Dutch are kind of showing us how it’s done. Courtney states that “…more than two-thirds of Dutch people aged 55 to 74 get at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, mostly through cycling. Even among Dutch people aged 80-84, more than 20 percent say their preferred method of transit is cycling. Cycling keeps older Dutch residents active, socially connected and healthy.”
So yea, we’d say we have a thing or two to learn from the Dutch.
Biking is already becoming more and more popular among millennials and those who live in urban areas. We have good reason to believe that’s healthier for our communities as well as in the long run. The key here, is that it has to be made an option. The infrastructure that makes biking a viable option has to exist.
From environmental benefits to cost efficiency to overall happiness, cycling is the answer that meets all of those needs. Are you convinced?
Give us your feedback in the comments!