Biking to the Airport

Tom Vanderbilt remarks on a comment that it's surprisingly pretty easy to ride a bike to LaGuardia airport in New York; but finding a place to lock it up at the terminal that's a challenge.

(from sindändùne on Flickr)

I think most people would agree that airports don't need racks for people to leave bikes, because who in their right mind would bike to catch their flight? By the very nature of air travel, the fact that people carry a lot of awkward luggage, that airports are usually on the fringes of cities, and that flights often leave very early in the morning and arrive very late at night, makes it kind pointless for most travelers to ride a bike.

The real benefit of having safe bicycle routes to airports, places to lock up bikes, as well as good public transit, is more for the benefit of the employees than it is for travelers. Airports employ large numbers of service-sector and blue-collar workers. Being able to get to an airport without having to drive, park, and potentially shuttle into the jobsite is a huge benefit. Otherwise, you limit those jobs who can either reasonably drive themselves to work, carpool, or who have to awkwardly commute on insufficient public transit.


    I'm actually surprised to see you say this. If the bike is your primary means of transportation, and you're taking a short trip (and many trips taken by plane are short), I don't see why you wouldn't take your bike.

    Of course, you have more experience with actually having a bike be your primary means of transportation than I do...