One of the things that causes me confusion these days is how we Americans/Alamedans can absorb almost daily doses of really bad environmental news and do so little to alter our behaviors. Even here in liberal/relatively-environmentally-aware Alameda we seem to be resistant—sometimes even hostile—to modifying our transportation-related behavior. But, thinking outside of our regular boxes, there certainly are options. By way of example, Sunday’s New York Times had a piece about European bike-sharing programs:
In increasingly green-conscious Europe, there are said to be only two kinds of mayors: those who have a bicycle-sharing program and those who want one…In Barcelona, streets during rush hour are lined with commuters and errand-goers on the bright red bicycles of Bicing, the city’s program, which began 18 months ago. Bicing offers 6,000 bicycles from 375 stands, which are scattered every few blocks; the bikes seem to be in constant motion.
Though bike-sharing programs are taking off in Europe, in the United States Continue Reading
So this week’s column (it came out in the Alameda Journal on Tuesday) is about my family’s experiment with living without a car. An interesting—and surprising—side effect of this approach to getting around (we’re on day 35 of the challenge) is that instead of making the Island seem bigger and harder to navigate (as I expected) it’s actually making it seem smaller. Trips that I had in my mind that I needed a car for—like going to South Shore, or Park Street or various friends’ houses—I find are quite quick and easy to make by bike or by foot. And often, once I get over the hump of getting my bike out of the garage, making sure I have my lock, and getting the kids all helmeted up, the trips are more pleasant than they used to be by car.
Past “Life on the Island” columns
August 25, 2008: Lessons learning on vacation
August 4, 2008: Leaf blowers, no!
July 29, 2008: Backyard wells and conserving water
July 22, 2008: Out and about on a home-town date
July 15, 2008: Changes in school leadership offers new opportunities
July 8, 2008: Getting an education in civics Continue Reading