Environmental Defense, Post Labor Day Traffic, and Re-Examining The Way We Commute
Posted by telecommatt on September 8, 2007
I’m a bit late posting this, but the September ED newsletter focuses on transportation. I encourage you to check it out. If you’ve read my past posts, you may have picked up on my support of public transportation and my frustration with the number of SUV’s and Hummers on the roads. (As an aside, I feel that it was environmentally irresponsible for Porshe and Cadillac to come out with SUV’s)
I’ve also noticed that this year the increase in traffic since the start of school has been particularly noticeable. For example, the bus I take to get to the train station on the way to work always got me there just in time for me to catch the early train in to work. Since Labor Day, I have not made the early train once, because my bus is caught in traffic on the way in. As I look at the cars lined up on the freeway next to me, nearly every single on has just a single person in it.
We would have to make a lot of changes, but since most traffic is on freeways, and most freeway traffic is converging on a single point during rush hour, I’m sure we could eliminate 50% or more of the freeway traffic during commute time. Changes would have to come from all directions. Employers would have to re-examine traditional work schedules. Cities would have to re-examine bus routes and park & ride locations. And we each would have to re-examine just how we perceive public transportation. Even though it would be challenging, imagine difference it would make getting 50% of traffic off the freeways during rush hour! Fewer accidents, fewer traffic jams, fewer closures due to road maintenance. Here is Minneapolis, the collapse of the 35W bridge has brought road safety to the forefront of many people’s minds. What if we could cut bridge traffic in half by changing the way we commute? Would it be worth it?