Transport yourself…

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

Gain time, relax and enjoy your trip.

By Brett Marlo DeSantis

Will you peddle a bike? Or go for a hike? Would you forgo your car if the trip was not far?

Would you get on a bus if it wasn’t a fuss? Take a trip on a trolley, and bring your friend Wallie?

Every day we choose how we get from here to there. Over half of us live in urban areas, and according to the United Nations, sixty-six percent of our population will live in urban areas by 2050. If you think traffic is bad now, just wait!

Did you know that the definition of transport is either to describe a system of conveying people or goods from place to place, or an overwhelmingly strong emotion? The irony is evident as conversations about transportation tend to draw out strong emotional responses (much like sitting in a traffic jam!)

The design of cities and how we get from our homes to our destinations is quickly becoming a serious matter. If we have no rhyme or reason on how we choose to travel, then we will lose opportunities to make better choices in the future.

As Janette Sadik-Khan says in her New York Streets Ted talk, streets are some of the most valuable resources a city has and yet it is an asset that is largely hidden in plain sight. She shares projects that have reshaped street life by being bold with temporary solutions that yield results quickly.

While we are not all commissioners for the department of transportation, we wield more power than we realize. Every trip we choose to take in our independent vehicles speaks to our city planners. It is an unspoken vote for designing auto-centric cities.

While US car sales are still on the rise from the recession, there is an overall decline of motor vehicle sales from previous decades. Is it because half of us live in cities now? Or that we have more ability to do our jobs from home? Is it because of our concern for the environment? Could it be the cost of ownership, or that the love of sharing is catching on? Or is it simply that traffic is maddening and we just don’t want to spend so much of our lives sitting in our cars?

MSN reported that members of the millennial generation are more interested in going online than getting behind a wheel of a car. Perhaps American car culture is fading much like our postal service system. We admit that snail mail is not the best, or fastest, form of communication these days. Are our cars the best, or fastest, option for transportation now or in the future?

What are our options for getting around town, or out of town? Every city is unique, and has its own transportation plan. In Gig Harbor, we are very fortunate as we have many options from watercraft to aircraft, bikes to buses, from trolleys to trails!

Let’s take the trolley for example. Your use and support of the trolley has helped to connect our community. You spoke and Pierce Transit listened. This year the trolley will take us to more stops on Peacock Hill to enjoy Gig Harbor North, as well as Uptown and Downtown Gig Harbor, and only for a dollar!

Talk about rhyme and reason, enjoying the sights while saving money and avoiding traffic. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

If you would like to find out more information on local public transportation, check out piercetransit.org