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.
After last week’s disaster, I still think it’s safe to ride the Red Line. But after another week or so riding to work and class , I have to say that I’m finding alternative transportation between home, work, and school; this blogger has fully embraced his blog’s namesake.
For starters, the Red Line itself has been predictably difficult. I’m glad Metro has taken appropriate steps to ensure our safety, but the Red Line in particular was subject to heavily dependent riders (like myself). Unlike some of the other lines in WMATA’s system, Red line trains seem particularly prone to the busy rush hour, probably because it has the fewest parallel track miles.
Usually this means that instead of riding the D2 bus to Dupont Circle metro stop, I take a D1 bus further to Metro Center, where I was usually transferring to a Blue or Orange line train. Metro is right to advise riders to build in extra time when taking the bus since they’re more packed than ever. Either way I’m loading on more time to my daily transit.
Of course good city transit is multi-modal; besides public transit and automobiles, DC is a great pedestrian town. Although I don’t have a bike, I have tried walking home from work when I can this summer. It’s only about 2 miles across a bridge between Roslyn and Glover Park, or a little less than an hour walking up Wisconsin Ave. Not to mention the fresh air and exercise.
So instead of complaining about the delays and track maintanance, I would encourage anyone to try a different mode of transit for themselves. Even if your commute wasn’t impacted, you don’t need any excuse to explore your transportation options.
After a long wait, Google’s Street View feature in Google Maps is finally available in DC. As of last Tuesday (election day!), area residents are now able to view DC at eye-level. Just like they would see things at eye-level, whether you’re a pedestrian, on bikes, or in vehicles.
What does Google Street View mean? If you’ve ever looked for an address that doesn’t match your directions, or if you feel lost in a city because the address doesn’t match the crowded mess on a block, this tool will help you visualize that business or residence in a more natural way. And with 360 degree views, and a panorama every 25 feet, plus the ability to zoom in, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding turn by turn directions. Combine this with Google’s Transit finder or Walking directions, and the urban nomad finally has the means to find their way around DC.
Better yet, street view has been released for many cellphones: Blackberry, Google phone, and iPhone (coming soon) users will be able to find whatever they’re looking for in the newest version of Google’s map apps. Download the latest version, and find that storefront from your own perspective (instead of merely top down).