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EDITORIAL: Can you make one less car trip a week?
City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto walked to work on Tuesday.
It’s a fairly short commute — around 12 minutes to city hall — but it gave him a chance to leave his Smart Car parked in the driveway and get some exercise while chatting with some residents along the way.
He’s hoping other North Shore residents will join him in leaving their cars at home — for at least one trip a week, whether that be walking to get groceries or biking to work or taking the SeaBus downtown.
To help residents go car-free once a week, the City of North Vancouver, along with the districts of North and West Vancouver, have teamed with TravelSmart, an organization dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Mussatto of the TravelSmart program.
Of course, it will be easier for some to get out of their cars.
Mussatto has embraced alternate methods of transportation for years, usually walking or biking to work at least three times a week.
He has some advice for first-timers looking to give up their car for one trip a week.
Start slowly with something easy. That could be walking to a friend’s house, carpooling to your kid’s soccer game or biking or taking public transit to a movie. As the momentum builds, try something else.
Mussatto believes that if all North Shore residents make the car-free pledge, it will have a significant results in increasing community health and reducing traffic congestion, a problem that plagues the North Shore.
“People will be healthier. It takes cars off the road [and] reduces our carbon footprint.”
And if more people get out of their vehicles “we don’t have to build more bridges or lanes,” he adds.
To take the pledge and for tips on planning smart trips in your neighbourhood visit travelsmart.ca/northshore.