I know I’m not alone when I refer to “multiple personalities” when it comes to how I navigate my city. Certain modes of transportation suit different situations. But even when I feel I can justify taking the car, it still makes me feel badly. My driver’s guilt feels reciprocated by pedestrians and cyclists – are they judging me? And then there’s outright anti-car rage! Somehow, everyone feels resentment when we all have the same basic mission – to get from A to B. Pedestrians feel unsafe, cyclists think they’re second-class citizens and drivers declare a raging “war on cars.”
We need to find a happy middle ground and part of that means more people swapping their car for a walk whenever possible. It doesn’t mean never driving – it simply means taking the time to think if there is another way to get where you want to go.
If VOOMcart is about anything it is the belief that the health benefits of walking far outweigh the logistical challenges of choosing not to drive. I think Antonia Malkchik in her book A Walking Life has a made a fabulous suggestion: “think of this intention as akin to the ‘Meatless Mondays’ movement that took off years ago – a ‘Walking Wednesday’, say. As with changing our diets, the true goal is awareness of what’s possible and how it feels to live differently.”
So today, I am going to do my best to walk everywhere I can and consciously leave the car at home. It’s a kind of “pay-it-forward” for when it’s my turn for hockey carpool duty. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just take a moment to consider something different.
Walking Wednesday….it’s catchy, right?