Lots of people have left walking behind and do as little of it as possible. As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.”
But there’s a movement across America to make walking part of a healthy and active lifestyle. America Walks wants you! And so will Honolulu rail once it’s up and running.
Walking will be one of many ways to access the stations, along with driving and parking, driving and being dropped off, taking the bus and riding a bicycle.
The Streets Blog Network (linked also at right) is loaded with information from around the country on citizen-driven efforts to integrate walking and transit into their communities' daily routine. In city after city, people write about how using transit improves their lives, reduces their living expenses and makes them healthier.
Some even give up their cars entirely and rely on bus and rail transportation to get around and get closer to their neighborhoods, as San Francisco resident Leo Babaula wrote about in his “lessons from a car-free life” blog.
Anti-railers would have you believe life is virtually impossible without driving a car for each and every need, but Mr. Babaula ticks off all the reasons why he and his family believe their lives are even better than before now that they’ve gone car-free. Here’s a taste:
The Babaula family made conscious choices where to live – close to train and bus stops. It works for them in San Francisco, and the same kinds of choices will be made by families here on Oahu, which already has one of the best bus systems in the country.
Not everyone can go car-free, but the option of relying on public transit is indeed available to most. Once Honolulu rail is operating and providing traffic-free transportation, a sizable number of Oahu residents will have made choices that allow them to walk or take TheBus to the nearest station.
Going car-free in your daily commute would give you many if not all of the advantages Leo Babaula mentions in his post.