Monday, October 10, 2005

Give Your Car the Weekend Off

For a quick greenie trick, give your car the weekend off.

From sunset Friday to sunset Sunday, try not to ride your car anywhere. Instead, drive a bike to the store for coffee and the paper on Sunday, walk to the nearby park or to the movies.

Try the local circulator shuttles. Try a trip on the local light rail. You might have to find some new places to go -- there may be a movie house closer than your usual, well within walk or bike distance. But that is part of the fun, rediscovering your neighborhood.

Even if you walk three miles to the movie, remind yourself it is only for one weekend! (Wear comfortable shoes!) If you can do one weekend, you will learn enough to help you try another with better success.

No need to take a sledge-hammer to your environmentally destructive vehicle (grin). Just give it the free weekend it so richly deserves!


Siel said...

I'm totally with you on this effort, except that as a single gal who likes to have a social life, I do have to drive to bars and parties and stuff after dark.

Meaning that as a 20-something female, I do honestly find it scary to walk, bike, or ride the bus after dark, and especially after midnight. I wish there were some remedy for this, but I do also feel my fears are both warranted. Realistic, you might say...

Wish there were more bars in short walking distance that my friends and I could teeter home from --

Mike Mullen said...

Great Blog. I continue to be amazed at the high number of single passenger autos, (including gigantic SUV's) crowding our SOCAL freeways during rush hour. What will it take to get these folks to car/van pool, ride share, use mass transit. Obviously the crazy gasoline prices are not enouogh. It is also quite clear they really don't think much about the environmen do they?

Roger, Gone Green said...

Mike, Siel -- You have both hit on the same thing from different angles. Just the crazy gas prices won't do it, although folks were starting to rethink the commute cost at that $3.00 mark, and big sales began to fall off.

In the end we all need more bars we can stagger home from; and jobs we can easily bike or walk to; and cities designed to stop giving priority to cars over the comfort of the life on the street.

In the end it comes down to localizing our patterns. Moving where we work, or working where we live.

Pasadena is at an unfair advantage. We have everything. For a city of about 150,000 we have multiple universities, a space program, a professional sports venue, some 70+ private schools, hundreds of restaurants, huge multi-million $$$ mansions and really poor folk -- all in a city five miles across.

As I have said before, whether you are a top white collar corporate type, an artist, a scientist, whatever -- you can work here.

Surfer's are out of luck, although it is possible to take the Light Rail to the beach, or even metro-link combined with light rail.

On the other hand, the SPRAWLIANA out the far end of the 210 is currently committing suicide; in about 10 years, when the folks who are buying the cheap McMansions and simple SuperSized Suburban dreams for low prices realize what they have -- a place to sleep and NOTHING else that doesn't take a tank o' gas to get to -- then they may get it.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for a "Quick Green" soon called "Change Your City's Zoning Code." (rofl!)

Roger, Gone Green said...

P.S. Mike: That is why so much of what I push is about simple awareness, e.g., catchy but traffic-wise insignificant acts like a "weekend off," or an awareness raiser like "Red Tag Your Car." Thanks for the kind words, in any case!