Time Has Arrived To Travel A Greener Way

Featured in the August 25, 2010 Springfield News-Leader

Have you ever considered leaving your car at home for a day? A week or more?

Then you think, it’s too much of a hassle, or it will take more time. It’s raining, it’s too hot, it’s too cold. You don’t have the right bike. Or it’s too dangerous to ride your bike. the bus schedule does not work to your advantage. You rationalize that the bus system is for people who can’t afford cars. Then you think, maybe I’ll get a hybrid and save on gas. You’ve already talked yourself out of an all-electric car because “that technology is not ready yet – it’s still experimental.” You say to yourself, I’ll do it tomorrow. Or next week. Tomorrow comes and goes. So does the next week.

Tomorrow is here.

Bicycling as a mode of transportation is becoming safer and more accessible every day. Most of the City of Springfield is relatively flat, so no worries with long or steep hills (although there are a few short ones). There are lots of secondary roads that are not as congested as Glenstone, Battlefield, Sunshine, and National. Bicycle routes, lanes, markings ang greenway trails are increasing every year. Bicycle safety classes are being offered more often.

Riding the bus seems to be gaining popularity as well. People are starting to understand that time on the bus can be spent reading the paper, meeting new people, and even dozing off for a nap, especially for those who work downtown or in the government plaza area since reaching those destinations does not require a transfew. Simply get off at the central transfer station and walk, or ride your bike to your final destination.

And the electric car is here to stay (this time). All major manufacturers have models coming out in the next year or two. President Obama has set a goal to have 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015. Charging station companies are knocking on the doors of places like City Utilities, City of Springfield and local architects and planners.

And for you, it simply comes to a choice. Choosing to embrace one of these options, or even simply carpooling in your PGPV (Personal Gasoline Powered Vehicle) with a neighbor or two using www.ozarkscommute.com. We should all have a choice of how to move ourselves around town.

Sign up for the Ozarks New Energy Conference Oct. 7-8 at Missouri State University (www.ozarksnewenergy.org) and hear about “a day in the life” from a panel of individuals who have made those choices and have stuck to them. Ask questions about their challenges and their cherished moments. Then choose for yourself.

Bruce Adib-Yazdi is Ozark Greenways STAR Team Chairman.