Taking the Car-Free Challenge

4 Jun

This month, TransForm is hosting the Car-Free Challenge, and yesterday I signed up to participate. What is the car-free challenge?

During the month of June the average Bay Area resident will drive 540 miles (that’s 135 miles/week) and the average American driver more than 1,000 miles. Think you can do better?

Join a huge community of people from California and around the country in setting and reaching a personal low mileage goal in the month of June – plus win great prizes and share your stories of taking transit, walking, and bicycling.

Whether driving less (or not at all) is stretch for you or already a way of life, we want you to take the Challenge!

Together we will send a powerful message to our leaders that a critical mass of people want to drive less and live more.

I gave up my car more than a year ago, so I mostly get around by the bus or walking (in case you didn’t know, I’m terrified of riding my bike in Oakland). Still, I sometimes drive my girlfriend’s car or get a ride, and I’m guessing those short trips add up. So this month I’ll be tracking my miles and aiming to drive 20 miles or less. I’ll also be writing, both here and at my car-free challenge blog, about my experiences with this challenge and about my mostly car-free life.

You should get involved too. Here are two ways you can help out:

1. Support me in my challenge by donating to TransForm. My initial goal is to raise $100, but I hope to surpass that and set a new goal. TransForm is an incredible group that does political advocacy and education on transportation and land use issues (they used to be called the Transportation and Land Use Coalition). They have taken the lead in fighting for an alternative to the Oakland Airport Connector and have also been instrumental in advocating for AC Transit’s bus rapid transit project. Whether you can donate $5 or $500, everything makes a difference.

2. Sign up for the Car-Free Challenge. It’s simple to create a page, track your miles, and tell the world about your experience. Besides being a great cause, there’s fun involved. At the end of the challenge, TransForm will be hosting not one, or two, but three parties for challenge participants. They’ll also be giving out many prizes. So sign up today!

7 Responses to “Taking the Car-Free Challenge”

  1. Tony June 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    I’m so glad I found your site and the information about the carfree challenge month…which is now!! The good news, I’m a huge carfree advocate here in Phoenix, Arizona and I’ve been experimenting with living carfree since our new light rail system made its debut back in December.
    Originally the plan was to go cafree that first month of light rail service. Here we are, six months later, and I’m still carfree.
    Making the lifestyle switch took some getting used to, as well as made for some interesting blog posts on my site. I maybe take my car out once a month, I think it’s interesting how you measure your trip in miles. I should do the same.
    I’m going to join you in the challenge, my friend!

    • Becks June 9, 2009 at 9:27 pm #

      Great Tony – good luck!

  2. Jackie June 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    Whoa, girlfriend’s car? Does that mean you’re gay?

    If so, it’d be great if one of my favorite blogs was written by a queer woman. Not that I’m that choosy – I think this blog about the city I live in is excellent, and I’m glad you spend the effort writing it!

    • Becks June 9, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

      Yes Jackie, that is what it means. Though I don’t hide it (I’ve talked about how I can’t marry my girlfriend several times here), blog readers often seem confused about my gender and sexuality. Oh well, now you know.

    • Becks June 9, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

      Oh, and thanks for your kind words.

  3. Jackie June 9, 2009 at 9:27 pm #

    Excellent! I’m a young queer woman myself, and I really like to support others in the community.

    I’m new to your blog, so I’ll have to go back and read your older posts about not being able to marry your girlfriend. You’re already in my Google Reader, so I’ll catch any new ones on the subject at least!

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