Be Car-Free! (At Least Sometimes.)

Do you ever wish of living a car-free life? Unfortunately, in many places, it's just not as possible to achieve.

Bigger cities have great alternative transportation options, from commuter trains to subways to buses to pedicabs to bike share programs to decent taxi services. Bonus points for hybrid taxis!

Lafayette...not so much. (Let's not even talk about the taxi service here.)

So even if you can't make a full transition and ditch your car permanently, there are still alternatives to driving that help you go green and use less gas.

  • Walk. Need to make a quick trip or visit a nearby friend? Get your walk on!
  • Ride your bike. It's no surprise that I love riding my bike around town. Especially for local events and festivals, it's the perfect mode of transportation. It can be grueling during the summer months and sunshine though, so always stay hydrated and bring extra water. If you want to commute to work, make sure your route is safe. Biking can be a viable option for longer trips, especially if you have the time. But it also works great for a short trip to the grocery store.
  • Carpool. Especially for work commutes, carpooling works great if you live near coworkers. Share a ride, and share the responsibilities. You'll each cut the amount of fuel and wear-and-tear on your own car.
  • Ride the bus. Lafayette does have a fleet of buses that run on compressed natural gas, making them better for the environment. Plus, the buses are equipped to carry your bicycle, so you can combine two alternate forms of transportation!
  • Rent a car. If you're planning a weekend trip or a vacation, look into a renting a car that is more fuel efficient than yours. You'll still be driving, but it may be better for the environment - and your wallet! Depending on what you normally drive, your fuel savings may end up paying for the car rental.
  • Take fewer trips. During the week, bring your lunch to work and stay in, instead of driving somewhere to eat every day. You'll save money on fuel and food! Outside of work, combine all your errands into one trip and plan out the shortest route to cover it.
Think you can try ditching your car for one trip this week? What trip would it be and what would you do instead of driving?


Amy S. said...

I love Lafayette, but the thing I like the least about this awesome, awesome city is its lack of sidewalks. Before we moved here two years ago, my sons walked or rode their bikes to school. It was so liberating for them. Once we moved to Lafayette, even though one son's school was only a mile and a half away there was no way I would allow him to walk or ride his bike for lack of sidewalks. The best I can do here is consolidate my errands.

It is great to see Lafayette take baby steps in a more pedestrian and bike rider friendly direction. Recently, W. Bayou was restriped so that now each side of the road between Rotary Point and Doucet has shoulders. Yeah!

Caitlin said...

Amy, I completely agree with you. This city was not built for alternative transportation at all, and I'm glad that some steps are being taken to try to fix it. I am loving the bike lane additions, and can't wait for Mickey's loop to be complete (especially on Bertrand!) I wish we had more and better sidewalks as well. I know of some that simply STOP...what's up with that!?

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