20 November 2010

Inspiration on Wheels

While I'm embarrassed that my own city can't boast this, I'm also very inspired..

As someone who has just recently given up having a car, this video really resonates with me. My reason for doing so wasn't largely environmental - it was more that I hardly used my car, it was expensive to keep, and to say parking in Boston is a drag would be the understatement of the century. I am delighted, though, with the environmental impact it has had, and the amount of exercise I'm now getting just by walking.

During the warmer months, I had a 3 mile roundtrip walking commute to work, which took me through the beautiful public garden and commons. Now with the dark nights and the cold, I've finally given in to taking the T, but I still feel good about my decision.

It has proven difficult to see friends, almost all of whom live outside the city. A few live near enough to the train that I can still commute, but for many, visiting them at home is almost impossible. I have grocery stores within walking distance, but to purchase furniture or other heavy items, I need to make arrangements beforehand.

Having a bicycle wouldn't completely eliminate these problems, but it would certainly make getting around easier and less time-consuming. However, I feel that riding a bike around Boston with the awful drivers {I can talk - I was one of them} honestly isn't safe. I've seen the attitude that motorists give to cyclists, and instead of respecting their decision, there is -as the video says- a feeling of two different species. There have been some changes around the city recently, with a bike lane painted onto Commonwealth Ave, but I still don't think my skills/senses are acute enough to get around safely.

I would love to see a movement towards Copenhagen's view on bicycling, for the environmental benefits, the health benefits, and a general respect and kindness towards others.

video borrowed from The City Mouse

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