Monday, September 17, 2007

“Car-less in San Diego” Conclusion

It’s more than appropriate that I write the conclusion to my “car-less in San Diego” blog from the spacious seat of an Amtrak Surfliner train. It’s a Friday afternoon and I am heading out of San Diego my way to Los Angeles Union Station and then Hollywood to visit my friend Mark. I have had a summer full of mass transit experiences that have changed my perception of transit in San Diego and encouraged me to lessen my carbon footprint.

The main practice that has stayed with me is the ongoing carpool that my co-worker Greg and I began early in the summer. We simply take turns driving each other to work every other week. I also find myself looking for reasons to take the bus or trolley as opposed to driving. For instance if I am going out on a Friday afternoon I will take the bus into Uptown or if Greg drives us to work and I need to get somewhere during the day I will take the bus. On future trips to LA I will always lean toward taking the train as this experience has been wonderful. The seats are huge and comfortable, the windows are enormous and the scenery unparalleled. There is even an electrical outlet next to my seat. Alternative transit has officially become of a hobby for me.

Ideals of efficient and convenient transit have been a growing segment of my day to day thoughts and my transit wish list has become extensive. I want the UTC transit center to be completed and the Blue line extension to UTC to be complete. I want the California High Speed Rail to be fully funded, under construction and included in the UTC redevelopment plans. I want to have the trolley connected to the airport terminals. I want to see Flexcars all over the city especially in the SDSU area and at UTC. I want to see general attitudes toward transit and private car ownership altered. I want to see the billions of dollars that are spent annually on freeway expansions be re-directed to mass transit projects that create real solutions for mobility.

Opportunities to positively influence pro-transit legislation will be a priority for me. I also look forward to being involved in some level on future transit projects. Being a landscape architect it would be rewarding to be part of a design team creating transit plazas and other spaces for the public to enjoy while embracing the future of mobility and an ever-decreasing carbon footprint.

This has truly been an eye opening experience and I hope that I have inspired at least a few people to make positive changes in the way they think about transit and more importantly how they use it. I hope that people also become more aware of their carbon footprints and that we collectively make progressive changes to protect our resources.

Though our transit system is far from perfect I believe that I can truly go car-less in San Diego without giving up too much. With some careful planning it will happen eventually.

Thanks for reading

Michael.brennan@sbcglobal.net

1 comment:

Colin Leath said...

Michael,
I'm happy to find this!
I just announced your blog to the "Carfree San Diego" group.