Bicycles in China
Photo courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (NOAA)
The side effects of our current transportation dilemma are very apparent; urban as well as rural air quality is worsening, human health issues have become epidemic and our roadways simply cannot and will not sustain current or future traffic levels. The ultimate sustainable transportation solution seeks the root of our transportation problems. In a sustainable world, people will be able to decrease their reliance on automobiles, and sustainable urban and community planning will produce new symptoms: healthy people living in walkable, bikeable communities. Community design that allows people to walk, bike or utilize public transportation to arrive at their local grocery store, bank or workplace is the ultimate goal from which a sustainable transportation system will emerge.
Even though the United States is largely car dependent, there are many fun alternative transportation methods available like biking, rollerblading and walking. These are great ways to get some exercise, meet your neighbors, and improve your personal and community's health and well being. Taking advantage of public transportation infrastructure in your area or arranging to carpool with co-workers are other options that will not only lessen your ecological foot print and contribute to community building, but these methods will generally save you money!
Cruise Car is an “alternate transportation-solution company," providing quality low speed vehicles that are gas free and easy to maintain. The models available are either electric powered or solar powered. The site also provides information on how to earn solar tax credits.
Extraordinary Road Trip is a website that illustrates how individuals can make small changes in the way they drive and maintain their vehicle that can save time, money, and reduce emissions. The key features of this website include extensive information on vehicle use and maintenance. Games are also available to illustrate how people can get to and from places in their community without producing as much air pollution.
This is a great store in Grand Rapids, Michigan to find new and used bicycles! The prices are reasonable and it's one of the only places in the West Michigan region with a large selection of used bikes that still have lots of miles left in them and some character. Check it out!
Greenmuze is website featuring a compilation of the latest ‘green’ ideas, news, and innovations. Many of the selections introduce developing technologies, including innovative ideas on transportation.
“Making sustainable transportation Hip and Attractive.” SMART is interested in the social and cultural foundations of transportation with a view to new system design and innovative approaches to promoting and marketing sustainable urban transportation adoption.” SMART explains and depicts the systematic changes required to achieve a new approach to sustainable urban transportation.
"The Rapid" is the ever-improving City of Grand Rapids bus system. The prices are very reasonable, the buses always run on time or within a few minutes of scheduled time, and bus stops are numerous. Plus, we have that great new bus station along US 131 to utilize! Give it a try and "walk the talk".
Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
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