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Making a small change in your habits, such as when you use your car, can add up to less traffic in our neighborhoods, better air quality and even safer streets. Here are a few statistics you may not know about traffic and its impacts, along with a few suggestions for you to help make a difference.
Did you know…
Property values go up when car traffic goes down.
The average household makes 10 car trips each day, and nearly half of those are to destinations less than three miles from home.
Driving motor vehicles causes more than half of our air pollution and is one of the largest contributors to global warming.
Walking consumes 75 calories per mile. By walking instead of driving to the store, you can justify an extra chocolate truffle or two.
For every 10 minutes of commute time people regularly drive, the level of "social capital" and civic participation reduces by 10%.
How to cut down on car trips…
Do your “homework” before leaving the house. Use the Yellow Pages or Internet to locate merchants nearby. Do your comparative shopping and price checking before you get in your car.
Patronize businesses within walking distance whenever possible. Some business can be handled over the phone, on-line, or through mail-order.
Plan trips in advance and consolidate errands. Many insurance companies offer reduced rates if you drive your car less often.
What would you do with three more hours each week? If you organize a carpool for three other kids, that's how much time you'll save.
Walk to the grocery store. Ride a bicycle to a movie or restaurant. The great thing about self-propelled transportation is that it's healthy. Cut down on traffic congestion and work your heart and muscles at the same time.
Try carpooling for a change. If you leave your car at home even once or twice a week it will help reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Find out if your work or church has special parking spots reserved for carpooling.
Ride the bus. With just seven passengers, the average bus exceeds the fuel efficiency of an average commuter driving alone!
Put a basket on your bike…or take a backpack or canvas bag when you ride the bus. That makes it even easier to get errands done.
Pair up with a neighbor and take turns driving the kids to school.
Ride your bike to school or work whenever it isn't raining.
Organize carpools for sports teams and ski groups.
Shop with a friend or family member rather than taking separate cars.
Use the bike racks on Metro buses so you can bus one-way and bike the other.
Make sure the whole family knows how to use the transit system.