Tag Archives: bike

Car Free Everyday

Has it been one year already?  Only one year ago this blogger celebrated Car Free Day by making a video documenting my daily commute using public transit, which went on to win a contest sponsored by the WMATA.

In celebration of this holiday, which encourages us all to reduce (or replace) our commute using multi-modal transit, I encourage you all to learn more about how to go car free today (and everyday) on this annual event’s website.  Here is the video documentary, in case you missed it, to show how one student (me!) went Car Free after moving to the National Capitol region:

Although many daily commuters already know why to use alternative transportation to automobiles, those new (or skeptical) to Car Free transit should consider some of the advantages of using these means.

  • Reducing individual emissions from fossil-fuel powered vehicles (by taking them off the road)
  • Reducing stress from traffic jams on the Beltway
  • Increasing savings from fuel costs saved using public transit
  • Increase exercise by increasing walks, or burning calories through cycling.
  • Increase of leisure time – Sit back, read the newspaper, and let the driver do the work!

The best way to discover the benefits of using public and alternative transit is to try it for yourself, so please take the pledge to participate on Car Free Day.

Are the streets ready?

A.) For those looking to get into cycling accross town, here is a good summary of DC bike rides:

B.) For those who are already seasoned veterans of biking in DC metro, or for those training for it on the weekends, this service might help.  By comparing routes you might find a safer route, or if you use the new iPhone app to record your trip’s route and pace, you will be healthier for it. 

Or at least you’ll have something to brag about in a Twitter message for us lollygagging pedastrians waiting for for bus in the cold.  MapMyRide is available for FREE.

Of Ghost Bikes and Blind Spots

On the morning of July 8th 2008, cyclist Alice Swanson was fatally struck by a truck on her commute to work.  A memorial in the form of a Ghost Bike was recently erected on the westbound corner of R Street and 20th Street, where the truck made a right turn in front of the cyclist riding in their bike lane.  On a weekend you can see the monument for yourself on foot, or you might pass it by on your bike in Monday morning like so many others who commute on R street everyday.

Like so many others in DC, I have already had my fair share of close calls with car drivers.  I have also had close calls with cyclists in the crosswalk and on the sidewalk.  In DC you cannot wait on a corner, but at least a few feet back for the wide turns of a bus.  Drivers will not necessarily yield in the crosswalk even when they have a red light at a right turn.

Everyone – drivers, cyclists, workers – is a pedestrian once they exit their vehicle.  Since wearing a helmet would not suffice for Alice Swanson, you’re on your own across town.  Perhaps the best protection is knowledge – please take a short refresher course on the rules that keep us all safe.

Car Free Day

To celebrate Car Free Day this Monday September 22nd, WMATA is going to sponsor a video contest, where riders are encouraged to document their reduced commutes with a video. Although I am an inadvertent participant since I sold my car before moving to DC, I still haven’t thought of a trip video clever enough to earn one of the $100 prizes – I’ll be sure to post one here (if I make one at all).  
According to their website:

 Metro is sponsoring the contest in support of the international event in which people are encouraged to travel without a car, using transit, bicycling, walking and any other alternative modes of transportation. By taking more cars off the roads, participants can improve air quality, save money and reduce their carbon footprint. 

There are three categories participants can enter: most humorous or entertaining; most unusual or unique commute and most informative or best documentary. One winner in each category will be chosen on October 9 and receive a $100 SmarTrip card. 

And while we wait for videos to populate the tubes, let us remind ourselves that there are worse options than user-generated videos; Metro could have paid to produce a video like this one, promoting use of the bus bike racks in Louisville, KY.