Head of “The Department with a Heart” Begins Biking

Recently the City of Austin Public Works Director, Howard Lazarus, had an epiphany: he likes bikes…and he wants to try bike commuting. But Lazarus is quick to tell you he isn’t a “cyclist”, but rather a “person on a bike.”

During a recent trip to Holland to experience their bike facilities first hand as part of the Green Lane Project, Lazarus was inspired to try changing his commuting habits. Lazarus learned, that in Holland, 75% of Dutch people equate cycling with happiness. Lazarus told Movability, “The concept of a healthier and happier lifestyle is a driving force [behind his commitment to bike commuting].  I also want to set an example that if I can do it, so can others.” That’s why Howard has graciously agreed to allow Movability follow his process as he transitions from a strictly drive alone commuter to a multi-modal user as he begins to incorporate biking into his commute. The challenge is on!

To kick things off we asked Howard (HL) a few questions about these coming changes.

 What is your plan for biking to work?

HL: My plan is to get dropped off or park and then ride into work about 2-4 times per month to start. I’d like to go totally Dutch and wear work clothes when I ride in.

What support will you need while starting this new routine?

 HL: I’ll need support from my wife to ride share, and some encouragement from coworkers. I think I’m going to get the Transportation Director, Rob Spillar, to join me 1-2 times per month, as my route goes past his house.

Stay tuned for more as we follow up with Howard in the New Year and see how his bike commuting is going. Feel free to leave him encouraging words in the comments!

4 Responses to Head of “The Department with a Heart” Begins Biking

  1. Chris Ewen says:

    As more people travel and work globally, it seems only appropriate and astute that our city leaders also travel, including globally, to identify potential approaches to solving our local problems. Also, I enjoyed the distinction in identification between cyclist and person on a bike.

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