Monday, October 15, 2007

Walking and Biking: Better For People and the Planet

Today is Blog Action Day and bloggers all over the world are posting things about the environment. I often write about big bike trips or bike safety or the latest bikey gadget I've found but today I'm going to talk about short trips. Trips less than 2 miles.

40% of US urban travel is two miles or less. Now I'm fond of saying that "any distance is biking distance" but not everybody goes out for 50 mile rides for fun or thinks 18 miles is just about the perfect distance for a bike commute. But two miles? Lots of folks can walk or bike two miles.

And the folks at Clif Bar are trying to get more folks to use their own power to go on those short trips. Their site here:

http://2milechallenge.com/home.html

and the Walk Score folks here:

http://www.walkscore.com/

have tools that help you see what's within a short walk or bike ride of a given address.

Since Christine and I gave up our cars over 20 years ago, we've always been very conscious of the walkability of the places we've lived. We used to plot out circles on paper maps but these days the web puts that kind of info at your finger tips.

Some times we do big things that make a big difference. But often it's the little things we do, over and over, that make a big difference. Maybe one of those things can be using our own power to go to the market or the library or the post office. Small steps can make a big difference.
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