E bikes a growing form of transportation

The E Bike market is a fast growing segment of the transportation industry. In the larger cities they are giving commuters more flexibility and freedom. There are many drive systems to fit the needs of a variety of riders. Build quality of the bikes, batteries and motors have greatly improved. As with most new things, they get better and cheaper as more of them are made. E bikes are bound to become more common.

Some feel they are an ethical component of sustainable transportation. Folding versions can be taken on public transportation, allowing riders to travel faster from a train station to the final destination. They shorten commutes to allow travelers to travel further and faster than a standard bike can. Older or less fit riders can commute where a standard bike would be too slow. Most give the rider the option to exercise as intensely as they want by pedaling at any level. Pedaling extends battery life, range, and increases average speed. Hills are less trouble too. E bikes take away one more reason not to use them to commute.

I have been riding bicycles most of my life, mostly commuting. I enjoy the dual purpose, exercising while "going someplace". As I get older, hills are getting rougher and my speed has dropped. I bought an E bike at Sullivan's here in Connersville as an alternative to not riding. I find I ride it more than I did a standard bike because I get "there" faster.

Like most small towns Connersville's streets aren't well suited for bicycles. Our streets were built for cars. Our sidewalks were built for pedestrians. The only legal place for bicycles is the street. It is cold out right now, so we don't see many of them right now. When summer gets here and E bikes become more common, more bikes will be on the streets. For every bike commuter, that is likely one less car on the road less car congestion. To those that give us space, and to those riders that obey traffic laws by riding on the street instead of the sidewalk, Thank You! To those that get annoyed by us, please be kind, give us room. E bikes move a little faster than a standard bike, so drivers must adjust to the speed when passing.

To me there is nothing like the feeling of getting a good workout while the scenery changes rapidly like when I was a kid. A ride through the country on a fall day is healthy and most enjoyable. Consider test riding one, it may get you back into bicycles. If that isn't your thing, we thank you for sharing the road with us. Share the street, keep each other safe, and Merry Christmas.

Ron Snyder,

Connersville

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Another utility shutoff moratorium is needed

Hoosiers are struggling. Families do not have enough to cover basic needs while financial-assistance programs are being eliminated. Recent surveys conducted by IU’s O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs inform us that 17 percent of families cannot pay their utility bills, with Black and Hispanic families hardest hit.

The US Census Bureau reports that nearly 30 percent of Hoosier Households are struggling to meet basic household expenses. At the same time, data compiled by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association shows that utility debt is growing significantly as we are heading into the winter heating season. Total utility debt is expected to be more than $24 billion by the end of this year, which is more than three times what it was last year.

When COVID struck, Governor Holcomb protected Hoosier households by implementing a utility shutoff moratorium, but that expired August 14th. Indiana utilities need to be held accountable to their customers. It starts with federal action.

I urge Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young to include a nationwide utility shutoff moratorium as part of the COVID-19 stimulus package immediately. No one should go without power and other essential utility services during a pandemic.

Kerwin Olson

Executive Director

Citizens Action Coalition