writerjenn wrote on October 14th, 2007 at 12:25 pm
A writer's look at the environment
Tomorrow is Blog Action Day for the environment, but it's easier for me to post on a Sunday than a Monday, so here's a writer's rhapsody on getting out of our cars and experiencing the joys of public transit, walking, or bicycling.
Where I have ridden public transit: Detroit Atlanta* Philadelphia* and surrounding areas Boston Washington, DC Portland, OR San Francisco Various parts of New Jersey I'm sure there are other cities I have forgotten about. * indicates a city that I lived in without a car.
What people told me about Atlanta's transit system: "I would ride it if it was a good system."
Where I went in Atlanta on public transit: Everywhere!
What happened in Atlanta starting around 3:30 PM every weekday: The worst gridlock I have ever seen in my life.
How long it takes to get from Philadelphia to Washington, DC on the train: About 90 minutes.
How long it took us to drive that route last fall, because of traffic: About 4 hours.
When I will ever drive to Washington again instead of taking the train: Never, unless I am forced against my will.
Reasons for writers to take public transit: It's cheaper, and we writers generally don't make a lot of money. You can write or read while in transit. Some people have written entire books on commuter trains. You can overhear interesting conversations.
Advantages to walking or biking (around your neighborhood, to the local store or library, etc.), if you're physically able: It's meditative and feeds the subconscious. it's good exercise. You get to know your neighborhood.
Where I usually take public transit: To work, to any engagements in the city, to the airport, to the Amtrak station, to my writer's critique group, to my doctor and dentist appointments.
Where I usually walk: To the local library, to the bookstore, to the supermarket if I'm just getting one bagful. Otherwise I just walk randomly and think about what I'm writing.
Reasons (besides environmental reasons) you should support transit funding even if you never ride public transit yourself: Otherwise all those people will be on the road with you, getting in your way.