On Your Bike – Or Feet…How Do You Travel To Town?

When you travel to your local city or town centreCommuters walking near apartments (or even your local shops), do you automatically hop in the car and drive?

Plenty of people do – even though they have other travel options.  It is the combination of lots of people just hopping in their car that leads to:

  • traffic congestion
  • more and more land being taken up with carparks and roads
  • rising costs of parking
  • frustration and time wasted as you try to get where you’re going quickly, easily and cheaply…but can’t.

And if you live in a country town, don’t just think these problems are city problems.  Think about how much of your town centre is devoted to parking nowadays.  I recently visited one of the towns I grew up in and was astounded to find rows of houses were now carparks.

Unless you live way out of town or are incapacitated in someway, there are usually at least three options:

  1. driving a car
  2. cycling
  3. walking

And maybe you have others…like public transport…or roller blading or riding a horse! 😉

One person (or even two) travelling in a car is very damaging to the environment – both the immediate environment on the ground (see above) and the atmosphere (motor vehicle emissions are a major contributor to climate change).

Even catching a cab or travelling with others is better for the environment.

And if you use active transport – transport that is human-powered eg walking or cycling – your body and brain benefit as well as the environment and your hip pocket.

As more people use active transport, our cities and towns become more pleasant, healthier and more people-friendly and environmentally friendly – and we become healthier too.

Tomorrow I am taking part in Canberra’s annual count of people using active transport to or from our town centres.  The objective is to collect consistent and comprehensive data to help the ACT Government and others plan our city, particularly its design and transportation system.

I will be one of several people who will count every person who walks or cycles across selected counting ‘lines’.  The ‘lines’ that are strategically located to form a cordon (or screen-line) around each of Canberra’s town centres over a specified time.  We make the counts to cover the main times people travel in and out of the town centres: the morning peak, lunchtime and the afternoon peak.

Does your city or town know exactly how people travel to and from its Central Business District?  If not, perhaps you could encourage them to do so. If you are interested in how Canberra does its cordon counts, check out the website at http://pedalpower.org.au/projects/cordon-counts/

And next time you need to get about in your town or city, think twice about hopping in the car – and take the healthier option if you can.

Use the Reply box below to let me know how you go.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!

Leave a Comment or Question