Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Transportation by Human Power
I talk about walking a lot, so I thought I would write a little manifesto/blog post about the benefits of walking--what I call transportation by human power. Buses and cars get power from fossil fuels--I get power from my own two legs (and food, of course).
I thought about writing this when reflecting on how one of my housemates has been ordering from Safeway--not just now since the Safeway is closed--but always; I don't think he has ever walked there. To me, the walk to Safeway is ridiculously short.
I encourage you, whoever is reading this (hopefully more than just Kristin!), to think twice before hopping into a car or a bus when you're in DC. I started walking the city last summer, and I think it has been a very valuable experience.
For all too many of us at Georgetown, DC ends at M & Wisconsin, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Last summer, I started walking, ironically, because of the heat. The idea of walking to Yates in the heat and humidity just to work out and then walk back didn't seem like a great idea, so I thought that, instead, I would just walk to any interviews I had downtown and throughout the city. It is truly amazing how much more you learn about the city from just taking a few steps outside of Georgetown. I think one of the best examples of this is the walk to Columbia Heights. In just 3 miles, you pass by a variety of vibrant and very different neighborhoods: Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia Heights. By the end, you feel as though you are in a different world almost.
I am not going to say that everyone should walk 3 miles (although, in my mind, up to 4 is fully walkable); however, what I recommend is thinking twice before hopping a bus, a car, or a metro rail to go somewhere only about a mile or so away.
Walking has the following unparalleled freedoms:
1) Freedom from fossil fuels and emissions: It is the most eco-friendly form of transportation because all it requires is yourself.
2) Freedom from expense: It's free!
3) Freedom from lack of exercise: This is awkwardly phrased, but walking can be good exercise if you make it! It also has numerous other health benefits.
So, the next time you are bored and it's nice weather, start walking--you'll find something new.
Photo link: http://www.hvrsd.k12.nj.us/stonybrook/home/Walking.html