What are your transportation resolutions for the New Year? If you don’t have one, here are some ideas that have been circulating online for the past couple of weeks.
California newspaper MercuryNews of Silicon Valley suggests “have a car-free holiday,” such as on your birthday, and commit to using less gas.
The California Office of Traffic Safety created a Facebook pledge page for Californians to share their transit-related pledges, mostly related to safe driving practices.
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association also has a “Resolve to Ride Responsibly” campaign, asking cyclists to pledge to ride more responsibly in 2011.
Be Healthy and Fit
Yes! Magazine says phasing out mechanized travel for transit (including elevators!) is a lofty and beneficial goal. Plus it’s fun, cheap, and healthy. (One of my major goals this year is to exercise more regularly, which means I’ll be biking more, even in the cold months.)
Last year, U.S. News listed a few green resolutions that included a few transit suggestions like joining a bike-share program and thinking about walking or biking for shorter trips.
The American Public Transportation Association has a New Year’s message for Congress: “Pass a new six year $123 billion transportation authorization bill that would create, support or sustain over 4.4 million new jobs.”
Plan for a “staycation” rather than flying far away. It’s a great way to spend less time traveling and explore something different nearby where you live.
In Raleigh, the North Carolina Department of Public Transit recommends sharing a ride to work. You can use a website to find travelers who have similar commuting patterns. “By joining a carpool or vanpool, commuters can save money and reduce stress, as well as remove vehicles from the road,” the agency says. “That, in turn, reduces congestion, harmful emissions and the need for more road maintenance.”
This year, think about what you buy and where it comes from. All the trucks on the road and planes flying across the planet are releasing a large portion of emissions. For example, in France, 3 percent of household emissions are due to the transport of goods within France; 10 percent are associated with goods transported outside of France. Consuming local food or locally made products can have a huge influence on emissions and the number of cars on the road.