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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No Impact Transportation Day and Other Random Thoughts

Today (officially yesterday now) was Transportation Day for Yes! Magazine's No Impact Week and I knew this would be my toughest day before the rain even began to fall.  The thought of getting my 4 year old to our preschool (at our district elementary school) without a car is extremely daunting to me and brings to mind images of near-death situations.  I really wish it were not the case, but I don't even feel safe riding my bike or walking alone on most of the streets that I travel, let alone doing it with a child.  Just yesterday I watched in horror as a couple walking their dog was almost mowed down by a speeding car turning a windy corner - good thing for fast reflexes and good brakes!  And then there are my Terracycle would I get all of those boxes to school without my car?  And get home and back to the PTO meeting and do everything else that needed to be done in between on time?

Needless to say, I failed miserably at not using my car today.  I did think about carpooling to the PTO meeting and called 2 friends to see if they'd like to join me, but got no takers.  Something to work on, though, as there are many opportunities to carpool that I don't often take advantage of.  One of the main reasons:  time, or perceived lack thereof.  So what is more important to me?  That's really at the heart of why I'm writing this blog.  What matters?  What is worth giving my time to?  What is worth thinking about and considering?  Sitting behind a truck giving off terrible emissions on my way home from the PTO meeting struck me tonight in a way that it never has before.  Every day, I am part of the problem.  I drive.  I try to drive responsibly, but what does that really mean?  I follow the speed limit.  On a recent trip to visit my brother on the PA turnpike, I drove the speed limit the entire trip and only passed 1 car - this is amazing to me, considering the volume of cars on that road.  The one white-haired gentleman that I passed was driving about 30 mph.  Everyone else seemed to be going at least 70 mph or more.  We are a nation in high gear.  Where are we all racing to?  What are we hoping to gain by rushing through our lives?  So many times if we would allow ourselves to slow down, we would have time to think about the consequences of our actions and that would be a really good thing!

So here's to bike lanes and walking lanes and trails that make it safe for us all to share the road!  And to taking the time to build them, explore them and use them.  Here's to slowing down to consider those around us who are sharing the path on this journey we call life.  We all want clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, don't we?  The things we value are not so different when we take the time to think about it.  So let's think and let's act.  Differently....together....better.


  1. Such a great post. It's one of the things I love about my beach walks. They force me to slow down, really look at the sand around me, hear the waves, smell the salt air. Amazing how much more rich life is when we actually slow down enough to enjoy the ride.

  2. Love your post Kate! I too have been trying to drive no faster than 60 miles an hour and I have been seeing that I am getting more miles to the gallon. I wish is was like 'back in the day' when we walked everywhere (or most everywhere). I know for sur once we move to the shore, my car will have a long rest....but in the meantime, I will try to slow down on the road and maybe give up driving as much.