Power from the People

When we talk about clean transportation and alternative fuels we rarely talk about people power. How about if we simply walk or ride a bike? It really doesn’t get much cleaner than that. If cities and corporations would have more focus on promoting people powered transportation we might solve multiple problems. Not only are we struggling with global warming, poor air quality, and a diminishing supply of energy, but we are also dealing with an epidemic of obesity in our country which would only be helped if we used some of our super sized calories as fuel for transportation.

I see it way too often; someone who could truly use a good walk refuses to do so. I get frustrated driving through the parking lot at the supermarket when someone has to pull over and block traffic to let a passenger out right at the front door, god forbid this person might walk like the rest of us. As smoke rises from my ears I see an obese person emerge from their SUV, come’on man! I know your doctor is telling you to get some exercise; you should be parking in the back of the parking lot, not getting dropped off at the front door. This whole mindset also transfers to the business environment. At my work I see people routinely get in a car to travel less than a 16th of a mile. I recently had an employee complain to me when I dropped him off at a vendor’s shop because I didn’t get close enough to the front door, and yes this person is obese and I know for a fact that his doctor tells him to exercise.

By doing simple things our governments and our corporations could promote people powered transportation. Cities could include bike paths in construction plans when designing and re-developing communities, public transportation could be improved to promote walking to and from commuter stops. Corporations could routinely add three wheeled bicycles with baskets into the mix to allow employees to move around facilities safely and efficiently. If we were to take measures to promote people powered transportation, we would not only clean up our environment and reduce energy consumption, but we could be a healthier society, potentially saving millions/billions of dollars a year on healthcare costs.

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