Let's just start out by saying that the ability to walk, bike, or take public transportation may not be available to everyone. We all have different mobility paths due to either external or even physical circumstances. We may live in a place where we don't have access to safe sidewalks, bike paths, or reliable transportation.
But what we do all have in common is personal power. The power to individually create change in our local communities. When it comes to alternative forms of transportation, it can be especially hard when our towns and cities are not set up for biking or walking. If that is the case, then gather your community up and voice your opinion. Make some waves. One person can make difference.
Why move towards more alternative travel?
It's good for building community and very good for the environment! Developing alternative transportation pathways for communities offers up advantages like safer streets and more access to local shops and establishments. These help create closer knit communities, reduce traffic, pollution, and slowly re-develop urban planning to include alternative transportation. It's also way cheaper than owning and maintaining a vehicle.
I love to walk. It's not the fastest way somewhere, but if you plan out your walk around your errands you also tack on exercise too! Many cities, like here in Boulder, CO, have expanded multi-path sidewalks on busy streets that can accommodate pedestrians and cyclists on the same pathway. This makes it much easier to walk more directly toward your destination, rather than taking side streets or paths. Again, walking may not be an option for you because of distance or other circumstances, but if it is, explore what your city has to offer and also voice your opinion to your local city council if they are stubborn on alternative transportation.
Many cities across the United States are beginning to roll out bike sharing programs. Here in Boulder we have a bike sharing program called B-Cycles. There are bike stations all around the city to utilize. Everything is included in the bike! You don't have to maintain the bike or own your own locks, lights, or basket!
If your town doesn't have a bike sharing program in place, ask for one!
No bike sharing in your area yet? Then ride your own bike. There is a great organization called People Bikes to help put more people on their bikes. Your local city may have information on bike paths and commuting designed specifically for your area.
Watch this short video on bike sharing!
This week, replace one car trip (if you can) by either walking, biking, or taking a form of public transportation.