Thursday, May 01, 2008

Geez, those miles add up.

I just wrote a post about National Bike Month, so what did I do today. I drove a lot. Well not a lot but conventional standards, but even I was surprised by the number of miles that I drove today and everything was local. Today I ran a series of errands after work and ended up driving about 18 miles. No trip was more that 5 miles, but it did add up.

- Home to Work
- Work to haircut
- haircut to grocery
- Grocery to bank
- Bank to library
- library to home

If I planned better, perhaps I can choose places all located downtown and that would reduce those miles. But it just goes to show, that even when you are conscious of your miles, those little miles add up. 18 miles don't seem a lot. Think about what those miles would be if you walked or rode a bike or took mass transit. It's not just how we drive, it's how we build that makes a difference.


At 8:12 AM , Anonymous Kenny said...

Another detriment of losing all the local mom-and-pop stores to the big box stores; you have to travel (drive) further to get the basics-especially in the suburbs. I suppose that buying in volume helps somewhat.

Not sure that NYC built its transit system with carbon-fuel efficiency in mind, but you really don't need to have a car here. In fact, it's a bit of a burden - it's too expensive to manage an apartment and pay for parking a car in many cases.

Viable mass transit, with an economic penalty for not using it... Kinda works.

At 10:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the accessibility of public transit in the suburbs is quite challenging. I would so prefer public transit over driving my own car. However it is not practical for the most part. For example, we went to see friends in Berkeley (50 miles away) this weekend. It took us 2.5 hours to get there -> 5 hours round trip. And it cost the four of us about $60. It may be a chicken and egg thing. The more people drive, the less public transit will improve, and in turn the less people will take it. The challenge is to figure out how to provide enough incentive for to people to ride public transit and how to simultaneously improve its accessibility.


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