Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some Friendly Advice to our Allies at the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club website supports better bicycling and walking as evidenced in one of their three transportation goals:

Expanded transportation choices and increased reliance on transportation alternatives: Reducing vehicle miles traveled per person by increasing public transit use, fostering compact communities with transportation choices (rail, bus, walking, biking), and by cutting the number of car trips taken.

But when you go to the newly added Green Tips Transportation section, walking and bicycling are treated as afterthoughts. After six specific tasks are listed on how you can drive greener there is this general statement at the bottom of the list:

Think different. Could some of your short trips be made on public transportation or by walking or riding a bike? Combining trips helps, as does carpooling with friends.

If I were editing this page I would expand on those options.
  • Pointing people to available resources on the internet such as Google Transit, Walkscore and the Livable Streets Network.
  • Offering options for biking such as using a bike trailer that can carry several bags of groceries or how taking your bike on transit can expand your car free travel options.
  • Champion the health benefits of bicycling and walking.
  • Talk about the cost savings of joining a car sharing organization.
With the Climate and Transportation Bills on the horizon it is essential that we as livable streets advocates are talking the walk with the larger environmental movement. We need to be conveying the same message to Congress and the general public. The future of this country and our planet depend on it.