Are You Going My Way?

How do you get to work each day? How do your children get to school? What mode of transportation do you use for going to the gym, grocery shopping or out for dinner?

Wednesday’s Waste Reduction tip is intended to get you thinking about the choices you make each day when it comes to getting from ‘A’ to ‘B’ and I am challenging you to make one alternative arrangement this week.

Here are some alternate transportation options:

  1. Carpool (Travel with a friend or coworker who lives in your neighbourhood)
  2. Run/Walk/Ride Your Bike (Are you close enough to your destination that you could feasibly choose one of these options?)
  3. Take Public Transportation
  4. Cut your driving down (Park further away from work and walk a little extra – every bit counts)

Consider one of these option to reduce carbon emissions this week and don’t forget to enter your activity for a chance to win a 3M Filtrate Furnace Filter: http://wp.me/pYin4-4H

Photograph provided by freedigitalphotos.net

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19 responses to “Are You Going My Way?

  1. It’s funny because in Europe, in a city like Berlin over 12% of the population bike to work. That’s 400,000 people!! It’s incredible to witness this and it’s efficiency. Hope that one day Canada gets wise and creates an infrastructure to support safe commuting biking. Fingers crossed!! For now, the sidewalk is a rule I’m willing to break to be safe 😉

    • That’s cool to hear Mary! Kyle and I were in Montreal one weekend and we noticed that they have actual cement medians all over the downtown where bikers can have their own blocked-off lane! It was so efficient and there were tons of people biking everywhere! Another cool thing we found while we were there was a bike rental system called Bixi: http://www.bixi.com/home They have these bike stations all over the downtown area so people can put their credit card in, take a bike for $5 for 1/2 hour and as long as they have it parked back in another bike station somewhere in the City within 1/2 hour, they can rent another one for free and continue on all day long if they want! I actually wrote to the company after we got back and asked about other cities that they were planning to implement this in and they said that they were starting it in Ottawa too. I suggested Toronto of course, and London could probably support it too! We’ll see 🙂

      • That is the coolest thing I have ever heard! Mayor DeCicco-Best, if you are reading this (wishful thinking) please, please implement this idea.

        I would ride my bike to work if I could find a convienient, safe place to park it so this is a fantastic idea! I imagine it would promote much less use of cars. Interesting to see if it ever makes it to London!

    • Why is Europe always so many miles ahead of us? Is it because they are so much older than us?
      And I agree, bike safety does not have a very high priority in Canada; at least in London. Do you think a policer officer would actually write a ticket for that?

  2. I had hair/tanning appointments after work yesterday, so I was considering going home to get my car first and then driving back, but all the places I was going to were right downtown. So, I decided to be environmentally friendly and just continue to bike everywhere 🙂 It took me about the same time it would have to drive because of rushhour traffic!

    • Ya Lindsay! Smart move! How much did my posts this week and the fact this it is Waste Reduction Week in Canada influence your decision?

      I can’t tell you what a pet peeve it is of mine when I decide to take the ‘easy’ way out when picking up Little S from school. Sometimes I am rushed from work or just having a lazy day so I walk home, grab the car then go pick her up (instead of walking). It always ticks me off so much because:

      1. The parking situation at her school is CRAZY and I wonder why I deal with it, and
      2. It ALWAYS take me much longer to get to her school than if I had walked, and
      3. Once we were driving when we could have been walking and we ended up getting rear ended by another car and I hurt my neck . Talk about Karma!

      • Ya, I have found that too, that you usually do get to places in the downtown faster if you’re walking or biking compared to driving, at least during rush hour.

        To answer your question, I think your blog definitely added to my inspiration to choose biking yesterday, over going home to get my car. I already had my bike with me at work, which I do everyday, but your blog brought the issue to my attention moreso this week, so it was on my mind to choose more environmentally friendly options when you can and it was the extra push for me to choose biking over driving in the car!

  3. My family and I live just outside of Washington, DC, so I’m not quite a city mom, but I had to chime in. I love, love, love walking with my son in the stroller to a shopping center that’s about a mile away. It’s such a great stress-relieving time for me, and it’s practical, too!

    • Hi Jen,

      Thanks for stopping by! I agree that walking is a big stress reliever. There’s not much else you can do while walking; no work; watching TV, cooking, dishes etc. so it’s a good chance to let your mind go a little. I walk to work every morning (alone) and I count on this as ‘me time’ everyday. 🙂

  4. I think certain parts of Europe are light years a head of us with being Eco-friendly and having a work/life balance. They seem to have a solid flow and outlook on everything! We watched parents in Prague discipline their children and it was calm and effective. We didn’t just see this once, it was an entire afternoon a letna gardens of watching parents with children. Being Eco-friendly, I believe, is an extension of being balanced in life generally. It’s pretty hard to “take the time” to be Eco if we’re always running around like busy bees everywhere!! David Suzuki said it best – there is a scared balance we need to be aware of. And I think Europeans compared to North Americans have this figured out 🙂

    • I definitely agree with you guys that Europe does seem to be ahead of us in many areas including Eco-friendly options. I don’t really know why that is, but they are more open to new ideas it seems and that probably helps. If we wanted to try something totally new here, our government would have a million loops that we’d have to go through first before we could implement something new. We’re not as accepting of thinking out-of-the-box I feel.

      However, I think Québec is an exception to this. They are similar, or more similar, to Europe that way than Ontario is. BC tends to be more forward thinking too I find. When we were in BC we noticed what a great bus transit system they had. You could ride the bus from one end of Vancouver all the way up the coast for $2! They were the first City I had seen that had the bike racks on the front of the bus so people could still take their bikes with them. The way the buses ran were so efficient and they had recycling stations at every stop! I have also heard that they have implemented special parking spots that are up front and closer to buildings for people that are driving smart cars and can fit in a smaller space! Incentives like this really seem to work for people to consider changing their ways…

  5. So the question is, is it their government that’s more open to ideas or are the people more assertive is getting their needs met. QC is more like Europe then other parts of Canada! And you’re right BC has an outdoorsy feel that helps drive the mindset of being Eco-friendly. I think the shift happens at our level. Let’s get our picket signs ready!! :D. “Bike lanes or bust!!”. I also think there should be tax breaks or insurance breaks for people who split their time between car and bike. A little motivation goes a long way!!

    • Interesting point Mary, I wonder if it is the people there that are more assertive in getting their opinions heard! I’m with ya on the picket lines 🙂 I should note though that right here in London we have had some new additions to the biking downtown world. Ridout street has put pictures of bikes along the side of the road by the courthouse. It definitely makes me feel better about riding on the road because I know cars can see that bikes are clearly allowed there as well. It’s not going to stop someone from hitting you by accident, but it’s something anyway. This past summer I was also able to ride my bike up to my gym that was at Southdale/Wellington faster than driving because Wellington gets soooo backed up at rush hour too. Having the new bike lane all the way down Ridout meant that I didn’t really have to stop and could keep a good pace going all the way to Commissioners. So, at least we’re getting on board here somewhat 🙂

      I have also heard comments from bikers outside of London that our bike path system here is world class. I used to use them for running and I know they are well maintained and do spread all over the City! So maybe we are leaders in our own right?

  6. Guess what! Thanks to your blog, I am now biking to my class tonight! I have always wanted to do this, and in 6 years of part-time education, I have never once biked to class. I always feel bad to make Kyle leave the house to drive me, only to come back and pick me up 2 hours later so tonight I am going to finally bike and it’s thanks to this conversation that I thought of it 🙂

    • That is awesome news! I am happy for you, the environment and I am so pleased that City Mom is reaching people in this way! Thanks so much for your support!

  7. A couple interesting videos on biking in Copenhagen, another European city that has a large bicycle commuting population (they claim 38% of all commuting trips are done by bicycle):

    http://www.streetfilms.org/cycling-copenhagen-through-north-american-eyes/#more-47411

    It’s all about the infrastructure. I actually think just painting bike icons on the road and claiming it as a bike path is a cop out, although I guess as a bare minimum it’s better than nothing. The dedicated lanes, like Lindsay mentioned on Ridout, is a much better way to go as they provide a sense of safety to the riders.

    Also, the City of London does have a Bicycle Masterplan that you can read about here: http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Reference_Documents/bicycle-master-plan.htm

  8. Ya, cool info Ryan! I agree, we should do more in our downtown for bikers. I noticed on the link you provided the “painted on” bike lanes is called “In Boulevard Bicycle Paths” and they are probably an cost efficient way to implement something. I guess as we get more population maybe they will look at more permanent structures like the cement medians, or a lane dedicated just to bikers? We’ll see… 🙂

  9. That link to Copenhagen (sp?) is so cool! Very moving. Hopefully one day!

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