Energy Diet

From Point A to Point B

Transportation in Mexico is a cultural thing. Most everybody that I know who owns a car uses it and not public transportation. The reason? Well that’s a good question, I guess it’s a matter of comfort and a matter of education. Strangely enough, public buses are used by the ‘the working class’ (whatever that means, because we all work right?).

There is no subway in Queretaro. Queretaro is beginning to show heavy traffic areas at peak hours, but nothing as serious as Mexico City… yet.

It is a city that’s growing at an enormous speed because many young families from all over the country are seeking what we did six years ago: a safe environment, a slow-paced life, the short distance to Mexico City and the beautiful weather. So now is the time to plan accordingly to make sure that we don’t end up with little clogged-up suburban islands.

Since the Challenge started, I’d been wondering how we were going to approach this subject, how we would reduce our gas consumption. We were already carpooling for school, we just added a different schedule for our kids in kindergarten and three or four more trips were saved.

So, as of two weeks ago, I started dumping the car altogether during the morning time and started bicycling to the bank, the supermarket, cleaners — everywhere that was possible, and not just to my normal route to yoga class.

Everything strangely comes together… I had contacted the local neighborhood association with some questions regarding a new project for the bicycle pathway that is just being built in Jurica, and after having met with them, a friend and myself now represent that committee. That, apart from being nuts, is overwhelming and exciting at the same time, as we are just bike enthusiasts.

We now are faced with a great opportunity to be involved in a wonderful project that can influence the way our neighbors live and communicate with each other, through the beautiful cobblestone streets, meeting face-to-face instead of all alone just for a brief second in their cars. We have the idea of making the bike path not only a recreational activity for families who already stroll around the neighborhood, but as a means of commuting and transportation for anybody.

As I said before, we are no specialists on the matter, so I would like to take the opportunity and ask all of you greenies for tips, links, books, projects, anything that can help us out in this challenging project!

Comments

  1. Christina
    March 9, 2011, 10:24 am

    Michelle, that’s really cool about your bike path project! I’m sure that no matter how you end up making it happen, it will be a greatly appreciated resource in your community.

  2. Alonso
    Mexico City
    March 9, 2011, 1:56 pm

    Michele!
    I love the idea, and I envy the opportunity. Here is a book that talks about urbanism. Specifically about “walking” urbanism, which is creating a link between every-day activities, avoiding long distances, and forcing the use of the car…but I strongly believe that it could apply to your project.
    Good Luck!
    http://www.optionofurbanism.com/

  3. clipton
    March 9, 2011, 4:42 pm

    That’s great. As long as you are contacting your neighborhood association, read up on success stories from other cities. I already shared this URL in another blog response. It is a summary of Bogota, Colombia’s urban planning efforts. Watch the video toward the bottom of this page: http://shareable.net/blog/can-we-design-cities-for-happiness

  4. Josh
    Mexico
    March 13, 2011, 1:10 am

    We don’t use the bus cause we don’t want to get robbed at gunpoint. it’s Mexico. There are horrible crimes that happen here all the time.

  5. Josh
    Mexico
    March 13, 2011, 1:18 am

    You say ‘the working class’ (whatever that means, because we all work right?). ” Well yeah we all work but working class means POOR people. People who work for a lot LESS than probably you do.

    And you comment “I guess it’s a matter of comfort and a matter of education” do you mean to say the majority of mexicans are not educated as to the environmental perils we face today? It has nothing to do with education, yeah maybe comfort, but most people would rather be in control of where their going. Its like that everywhere.