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When you drive, why do you do it instead of walking, cycling, or using COTA ?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion When you drive, why do you do it instead of walking, cycling, or using COTA ?

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Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 124 total)
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  • #376283
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Walker wrote >>
    I’ve never really measured how all of this stuff breaks down by total miles traveled, but I’m guessing it’s probably pretty close to 1/3 walk 1/3 bus 1/3 drive. I should measure my miles-traveled for a full week of regular activity and add it all up to see. I think the results would be pretty interesting if other folks might be willing to do the same thing.

    So… following my initial curiosity, I decided to measure out a week’s worth of travel and see if my guess was accurate. I decided to wait until Memorial Day Weekend was over, as we had guests from out of town, and our travel routes were a bit out of the norm. But I think this past week, June 1st through the 7th ended up being a pretty accurate barometer for my average weekly transit requirements. My findings were as follows:

    Tue June 1 – Summary : Went to work, three daytime meetings, went home.
    4.7 Total Miles Traveled
    2.7 by Bus 57%
    2.0 by Foot 43%

    Wed June 2 – Summary : Went to work, two daytime meetings, went home.
    5.0 Total Miles Traveled
    3.9 by Bus 78%
    1.1 by Foot 22%

    Thur June 3 – Summary : Went to work, three daytime meetings, went home.
    5.0 Total Miles Traveled
    3.1 by Bus 62%
    1.9 by Foot 38%

    Fri June 4 – Summary : Went to work, one daytime meeting, went home, walked to downtown Arts Festival, evening grocery store run.
    13.5 Total Miles Traveled
    5.7 by Bus 42%
    2.6 by Foot 19%
    5.2 by Car 39%

    Sat June 5 – Summary : Rainy. Worked at home and hung out with family.
    0.0 Total Miles Traveled

    Sun June 6 – Summary : Went to visit friends on North side of town.
    33.6 Total Miles Traveled
    33.6 by Car 100%

    Mon Jun 7 – Summary : Went to work, two daytime meetings, went home.
    5.0 Total Miles Traveled
    4.0 by Bus 80%
    1.0 by Foot 20%

    TOTAL FOR ONE WEEK

    66.8 Total Miles Traveled
    38.8 by Car 58%
    19.4 by Bus 29%
    8.6 by Foot 13%

    * Note #1 – This information is my personal data only. I did not track my wife who used the car a few times and walked to destinations in the past week.
    * Note #2 – This information is for outdoor travel only. I did not wear a pedometer to track indoor walking at home, work, grocery store, etc.

    I was pretty close in guesstimating the bus-travel portion being 33% of my weekly trips, but the automobile and foot travel ended up being way off. I found this really interesting because I only used the car for two trips throughout the span of a week, one of which was a 5-mile round-trip to the grocery store with 2 passengers and the other was the 33-mile round trip to visit friends with 4 passengers. Hardly wasteful usage of an automobile, but still a significant shift in my measurements as a result of something that few people think twice about. Driving 15-miles to a destination is a pretty commonplace activity for many people in Columbus, and yet it threw a huge curveball into my measurements, as there were many regular workdays in the past week where the car never left the driveway.

    All in all, it was an interesting experiment, and hopefully one not too flawed, as I attempted to not try to alter my behaviors knowing that I was measuring what I was doing. Perhaps a different week might result in an extra driving trip to Target or to a restaurant, and during the winter I know I’m inclined to walk less often to work in the cold and I was able to take advantage of some warm weather this past week. I’d love to see this data tracked over the course of a full year but I don’t think I have the patience (or the OCD) to see that through.

    Anyway, I’d be interested to see anyone else’s results if this inspires anyone else to track their transit for a week. It was fairly easy to do using the “driving/walking directions” function of google maps and just remembering to jot down where I had been at the end of each day.

    Anyone care to try it out and share your results?

    #376284

    10sun
    Member

    I’ll try to remember to turn on My Tracks every time I go out for the next week and get the data together. Side note: My Tracks is an awesome app for Android phones. Records speeds, elevation changes, & maps it all out.

    Estimate for 1 week:
    On Foot: 10 miles
    Bicycle: 50 miles
    Car: 200 miles

    #376285

    foxforcefive
    Participant

    If the COTA would travel each exit on the north outerbelt, I would ride/bike everyday. I live around Cleveland/161, and I work near Tuttle. I’ve thought about biking, but I have experienced rider friends that have been hit on Morse Rd multiple times, and I don’t see 161 as a viable riding option.

    There is a COTA stop at the front of my housing development, and one near work as well. I’ve suggested to COTA to run a route like this, but never received a response. Anybody have any connections?

    I’ve also tried advertising for carpooling, but no takers.

    #376286

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    foxforcefive wrote >>
    If the COTA would travel each exit on the north outerbelt, I would ride/bike everyday. I live around Cleveland/161, and I work near Tuttle. I’ve thought about biking, but I have experienced rider friends that have been hit on Morse Rd multiple times, and I don’t see 161 as a viable riding option.
    There is a COTA stop at the front of my housing development, and one near work as well. I’ve suggested to COTA to run a route like this, but never received a response. Anybody have any connections?
    I’ve also tried advertising for carpooling, but no takers.

    Have you signed up for MORPC’s Ride Solutions? They may be able to find you a carpool.

    #376287

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    TomOver wrote >>
    Feel free to point me in the direction of such studies and/or share your own insights.

    You might like this:
    http://discoveringurbanism.blogspot.com/2010/06/we-now-know-more-about-built.html

    #376288
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    manticore33 wrote >>
    Tom,
    Do not get me started on food! My wife has put together a nice garden and this early in the growing season we’ve been harvesting tons of lettuce and some hot peppers. Soon, soon though we will have our other goodies muhaha!
    And I think you are right about the environment being a key factor in some of the decisions we make. There is a limit to what one individual can do in a large system that promotes one type of decision over another. Given that, being socially aware and sharing that awareness is the starting point of changing the problem at hand. However, I have found at least politically we try to please too many and unfortunately it prevents us from having a real solution to the problem. Then if it all fails, deny, deny, and deny.

    As was the case last year, I seem destined to have better results with planting seedlings than with planting seeds outside. Yeah, Gardening in Ohio 101 perhaps. But it’s a discovery process. Rife’s at Grandview and 5th yesterday had seedling flats for sale, approx. $1.45 for a six plant or four plant flats that will most likely produce food worth multiples of that dollar amount. And they sell lots of local produce.

    #376289
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    foxforcefive wrote >>
    If the COTA would travel each exit on the north outerbelt, I would ride/bike everyday. I live around Cleveland/161, and I work near Tuttle. I’ve thought about biking, but I have experienced rider friends that have been hit on Morse Rd multiple times, and I don’t see 161 as a viable riding option.
    There is a COTA stop at the front of my housing development, and one near work as well. I’ve suggested to COTA to run a route like this, but never received a response. Anybody have any connections?
    I’ve also tried advertising for carpooling, but no takers.

    Blake, that would be an interesting form of activism: getting a bunch of people to agitate so as to get COTA and public officials to expand routes. Perhaps this type of picketing, rallying, and letter-writing would be useful because of its specificity. I’ve been at rallies wondering, “Who’s listening to us? Do any of us know who are target audience might be ?”

    Activists here in Columbus could realistically answer those sorts of introspective questions.

    #376290
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    foxforcefive wrote >>
    If the COTA would travel each exit on the north outerbelt, I would ride/bike everyday. I live around Cleveland/161, and I work near Tuttle. I’ve thought about biking, but I have experienced rider friends that have been hit on Morse Rd multiple times, and I don’t see 161 as a viable riding option.
    There is a COTA stop at the front of my housing development, and one near work as well. I’ve suggested to COTA to run a route like this, but never received a response. Anybody have any connections?
    I’ve also tried advertising for carpooling, but no takers.

    Blake, to my knowledge, there is a relatively small group of people in Columbus who work with MORPC, COTA, and local and state officials.

    My guess is that these folk simply don’t hear enough from concerned citizens about promoting cycling and mass transit. There is a network of various groups in greater Columbus who have all sorts of meetings and write various reports about these issues.

    But as of yet, not much of that work translates into broad public support for better COTA service, and other mass transit. My guess is that the vast majority of people simply don’t care about promoting a non-fossil-fuel-intensive way of life.

    For the life of me, I am not sure about why that is. I don’t dismiss such folk as brain-washed sheep, as I have said before. Many of these folk have otherwise proven themselves to be capable people, professionally, academically, and otherwise.

    Similarly, I’m not sure why it is that I care about these environmental and human rights issues, while many other people seem not to.

    I am a high-school drop out, who got BA from OSU with a 2.6 GPA at the age of 38, and who’s never had a job of much responsibility in my life. I’m not disparaging myself, but I’m not inclined to thinking my ecological brilliance sets me apart from people who don’t seem to care about those things.

    Consequently, most of the time, I am just curious and puzzled and perhaps a little hurt, but not angry or hateful, when many of the people I encounter seem to think that even talking about Climate Change or Peak Oil is somehow preachy, rude, or otherwise unseemly, or perhaps just plain goofy.

    #376291
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>
    I walk when I’m going somewhere within a mile or so, and when the weather conditions are fairly optimal (ie: not raining, not freezing, not super hot when I’m headed to a professional meeting, etc).
    I bus around the inner-city area if I’m headed for a mile or more in a direction, or if the weather is poor, or if I’m in a bigger hurry than walking (or feeling lazy about walking).
    I drive when I need to go further, when the bus schedules aren’t as convenient (late night), when I need to transport cargo (not going to haul recyclables to the drop off point on the bus or by foot) or when I’m going somewhere with additional passengers (family, kids, etc) and the car is either more convenient for them, or makes more financial/ecological sense with multiple passengers.
    I haven’t pogo-sticked (pogo-stuck?) in at least 15 years or so.
    I’ve never really measured how all of this stuff breaks down by total miles traveled, but I’m guessing it’s probably pretty close to 1/3 walk 1/3 bus 1/3 drive. I should measure my miles-traveled for a full week of regular activity and add it all up to see. I think the results would be pretty interesting if other folks might be willing to do the same thing.

    Walker, how about skateboarding as alternative transportation ?

    #376292
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>

    Walker wrote >>
    I’ve never really measured how all of this stuff breaks down by total miles traveled, but I’m guessing it’s probably pretty close to 1/3 walk 1/3 bus 1/3 drive. I should measure my miles-traveled for a full week of regular activity and add it all up to see. I think the results would be pretty interesting if other folks might be willing to do the same thing.

    So… following my initial curiosity, I decided to measure out a week’s worth of travel and see if my guess was accurate. I decided to wait until Memorial Day Weekend was over, as we had guests from out of town, and our travel routes were a bit out of the norm. But I think this past week, June 1st through the 7th ended up being a pretty accurate barometer for my average weekly transit requirements. My findings were as follows:
    Tue June 1 – Summary : Went to work, three daytime meetings, went home.
    4.7 Total Miles Traveled
    2.7 by Bus 57%
    2.0 by Foot 43%
    Wed June 2 – Summary : Went to work, two daytime meetings, went home.
    5.0 Total Miles Traveled
    3.9 by Bus 78%
    1.1 by Foot 22%
    Thur June 3 – Summary : Went to work, three daytime meetings, went home.
    5.0 Total Miles Traveled
    3.1 by Bus 62%
    1.9 by Foot 38%
    Fri June 4 – Summary : Went to work, one daytime meeting, went home, walked to downtown Arts Festival, evening grocery store run.
    13.5 Total Miles Traveled
    5.7 by Bus 42%
    2.6 by Foot 19%
    5.2 by Car 39%
    Sat June 5 – Summary : Rainy. Worked at home and hung out with family.
    0.0 Total Miles Traveled
    Sun June 6 – Summary : Went to visit friends on North side of town.
    33.6 Total Miles Traveled
    33.6 by Car 100%
    Mon Jun 7 – Summary : Went to work, two daytime meetings, went home.
    5.0 Total Miles Traveled
    4.0 by Bus 80%
    1.0 by Foot 20%
    TOTAL FOR ONE WEEK
    66.8 Total Miles Traveled
    38.8 by Car 58%
    19.4 by Bus 29%
    8.6 by Foot 13%
    * Note #1 – This information is my personal data only. I did not track my wife who used the car a few times and walked to destinations in the past week.
    * Note #2 – This information is for outdoor travel only. I did not wear a pedometer to track indoor walking at home, work, grocery store, etc.
    I was pretty close in guesstimating the bus-travel portion being 33% of my weekly trips, but the automobile and foot travel ended up being way off. I found this really interesting because I only used the car for two trips throughout the span of a week, one of which was a 5-mile round-trip to the grocery store with 2 passengers and the other was the 33-mile round trip to visit friends with 4 passengers. Hardly wasteful usage of an automobile, but still a significant shift in my measurements as a result of something that few people think twice about. Driving 15-miles to a destination is a pretty commonplace activity for many people in Columbus, and yet it threw a huge curveball into my measurements, as there were many regular workdays in the past week where the car never left the driveway.
    All in all, it was an interesting experiment, and hopefully one not too flawed, as I attempted to not try to alter my behaviors knowing that I was measuring what I was doing. Perhaps a different week might result in an extra driving trip to Target or to a restaurant, and during the winter I know I’m inclined to walk less often to work in the cold and I was able to take advantage of some warm weather this past week. I’d love to see this data tracked over the course of a full year but I don’t think I have the patience (or the OCD) to see that through.
    Anyway, I’d be interested to see anyone else’s results if this inspires anyone else to track their transit for a week. It was fairly easy to do using the “driving/walking directions” function of google maps and just remembering to jot down where I had been at the end of each day.
    Anyone care to try it out and share your results?

    Walker you wrote “I’d be interested to see anyone else’s results if this inspires anyone else to track their transit for a week.” How about being inspired to transform our transportation ?

    If I may ask, what, if anything do you intend to do with all of this data ? No offense, but you speak as if gathering data is in itself the goal here.

    I would suggest the goal is promoting quality of life for yourself, long-term. As for me, doing that involves bearing in mind the goal of promoting a non-fossil-fuel-intensive way of life. What about the world you plan on leaving for your children and grandchildren ?

    #376293
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    TomOver wrote >>
    Walker, how about skateboarding as alternative transportation?

    Because I don’t own any backwards-facing baseball caps.

    TomOver wrote >>
    If I may ask, what, if anything do you intend to do with all of this data ? No offense, but you speak as if gathering data is in itself the goal here.

    I would suggest the goal is promoting quality of life for yourself, long-term. As for me, doing that involves bearing in mind the goal of promoting a non-fossil-fuel-intensive way of life. What about the world you plan on leaving for your children and grandchildren ?

    Personally, I don’t intend to do anything with that data, because I don’t expect to collect it. If anything, it was a prompt for people to think about transportation in a way that they normally would not and more closely analyze their transportation choices and come to their own conclusions.

    #376294

    lshinn100
    Member

    All of you who talked about how quickly you could get someplace in a car vs. on a bike – was your time really door to door? Did you include the time it took to find a parking place and walk to your final destination? If you work on campus or downtown, this could add significant time. One thing I like about riding a bike, expecially for short trips is that I can almost always find a parking space closer to my destination than if I were in a car. (In a pinch, any sturdy post with something on top will do, though I do avoid trees). On campus, I frequently arrive at meetings ahead of those who drive from the same location, and that includes time to change out of my bike gear!

    #376295
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>

    TomOver wrote >>
    Walker, how about skateboarding as alternative transportation?

    Because I don’t own any backwards-facing baseball caps.

    TomOver wrote >>
    If I may ask, what, if anything do you intend to do with all of this data ? No offense, but you speak as if gathering data is in itself the goal here.
    I would suggest the goal is promoting quality of life for yourself, long-term. As for me, doing that involves bearing in mind the goal of promoting a non-fossil-fuel-intensive way of life. What about the world you plan on leaving for your children and grandchildren ?

    Personally, I don’t intend to do anything with that data, because I don’t expect to collect it. If anything, it was a prompt for people to think about transportation in a way that they normally would not and more closely analyze their transportation choices and come to their own conclusions.

    But why do the analysis in the first place ? Likely, part of the reason is that some of us at least suspect there is something wrong with a transport system based primarily on a sedentary, climate-disrupting, air-polluting, and non-renewable-energy-dependent mode of transport.

    Otherwise, this analysis would seem–to me at least–to be a class-based fetish for gathering data.

    #376296
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    lshinn100 wrote >>
    All of you who talked about how quickly you could get someplace in a car vs. on a bike – was your time really door to door? Did you include the time it took to find a parking place and walk to your final destination? If you work on campus or downtown, this could add significant time. One thing I like about riding a bike, expecially for short trips is that I can almost always find a parking space closer to my destination than if I were in a car. (In a pinch, any sturdy post with something on top will do, though I do avoid trees). On campus, I frequently arrive at meetings ahead of those who drive from the same location, and that includes time to change out of my bike gear!

    Is it really about time ? Or is it, instead, a question of the quality of the experience ? I’m reminded of what may be, if I am not mistaken, a saying common in some parts of Latin America: there is more time than life.

    #376297

    gramarye
    Participant

    TomOver wrote >>

    lshinn100 wrote >>
    All of you who talked about how quickly you could get someplace in a car vs. on a bike – was your time really door to door? Did you include the time it took to find a parking place and walk to your final destination? If you work on campus or downtown, this could add significant time. One thing I like about riding a bike, expecially for short trips is that I can almost always find a parking space closer to my destination than if I were in a car. (In a pinch, any sturdy post with something on top will do, though I do avoid trees). On campus, I frequently arrive at meetings ahead of those who drive from the same location, and that includes time to change out of my bike gear!

    Is it really about time ? Or is it, instead, a question of the quality of the experience ? I’m reminded of what may be, if I am not mistaken, a saying common in some parts of Latin America: there is more time than life.

    TomOver: Quite often, it really is about the time–extra time spent in transit is time lost spending at your various destinations throughout the day. In addition, not everyone finds driving a car to be an unpleasant experience; in fact, many people get quite a thrill out of it, though often more on the open roads than in the middle of stop-and-start city traffic.

    LShinn: That’s a very good point, and I always do budget in time for finding a parking place (more when I’m driving to an unfamiliar location), which quite often is indeed among the less pleasant parts of the trip. That said, campus is one of the more cyclist-friendly areas of Columbus *and* one of the most car-unfriendly parts areas of Columbus (both because some streets are restricted and because parking permits for central campus are hard to come by), so your experience there with both bike commuting and bike parking may be more positive than a representative sample of all potential bike trips within the city limits of comparable distance.

    Many people time their commute to my office as the time it takes to get to the parking garage. They sometimes overlook the fact that the walk from the garage to the actual office is basically the length of a city block and a half.

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