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Author: goDCgo Created: 8/12/2010 RssIcon
A blog for goDCgo.
By goDCgo . on 5/23/2011
Friday was Bike to Work Day, but since it was my compressed work day off and I had some appointments scheduled, I had to make do and turn it into Bike to Wherever Day. I’ve been practicing my cycling skills for two weeks, gradually trying to turn myself into a bike commuter. Some might say that a suburban mom-type becoming a bicycle commuter is as likely as a unicorn! I hope this is not the case. I hope I’m one of many and that BTWD, which saw a record number of over 10,000 registrants, will be a catalyst for a whole new crop of bicycle commuters.

I’m not naturally talented on a bike. I hadn’t been on one for about 20 years, and I tend to be a little accident-prone in general. Stairs, for example, can be challenging. Or jogging in place while waiting for the light to change. A situation like that might end with me falling off a curb. So by all means, let’s definitely put a bicycle in the mix and see...
By goDCgo . on 5/16/2011
In order to gather public input on ways to balance their FY2012 budget, Metro launched an online survey last week. The survey, accessible in English and Spanish, is available until noon on Friday, May 20th. Metro is asking for your opinion on various options to close their deficit while maintaining safety and supporting a growing ridership. Some of their possible actions include eliminating the E6, K1 and N8 but routes, shortening routes 70 and 71, eliminating the Anacostia special fare and increasing wait times for trains on the weekends. Let Metro hear your voice or suggest other ways they can close the budget gap by clicking here to take the survey. Metro states that all personal information will be kept confidential.


Metro has also scheduled a series of six public meetings this week from May 16 to 19 in Maryland, Virginia and the District. These town hall style meetings will occur before official public...
By goDCgo . on 5/12/2011
I am a product of the 70’s. It was a glorious time for children on bicycles—ahhh, the naked-headed, corduroy-clad freedom of racing your friends down the steepest hill in the neighborhood. Perhaps we could be found “catching some air” on sketchy, dirt-trail hills flanked on either side by trees or on homemade, badly constructed ramps.  Maybe it was just my neighborhood, but really, it seemed like having at least one child per family fly over the handlebars was pretty much par for the course. My brother did that and got hit by a car, suffering a traumatic brain injury that required hospitalization. I got clotheslined by a mailbox. Go ahead. Mock.

But things have changed. Children wear helmets now, right? Parents teach kids about bicycle safety, right? Or have they? (Cue alarming sensationalist media music). So, what I present to you now is compelling, albeit completely anecdotal evidence, that we still need more public awareness of bicycle safety for children.

So here’s the scenario. I was back at...
By goDCgo . on 5/10/2011
District residents, employees and visitors are fortunate to have a variety of options for traveling in the region without a car. The District offers Metrorail or Metrobus, the DC Circulator, Capital Bikeshare and more. Perhaps that’s why DC has seen a sharp decline in car ownership in recent years. According to a recent article in Fortworthology, car registrations in DC have declined by approximately 15,000, even while the city added more than 15,000 to its population.  So we asked our readers to let us know if they had ditched their cars. We wanted to know their reasons for living car-free and how they typically got around. Here are some of the answers we received.

Sean B.: “I am a 97% car-free-by-choice DC Resident! Am considering getting rid of it all together as it just sits there and is never used. I started using a bicycle to get around everywhere in September, 2010, and I supplement my rides with Metro, walking and the bus.”

By goDCgo . on 5/10/2011
Right now, many of you are probably concerned about the rising cost of gas. Perhaps you are pausing more often to consider your options each time you need to make a trip and opting out of driving alone. Well, in addition to the financial savings you gain each time you make that choice, as well as the positive impact you have on conserving our fuel resources, you can also add improved health to the list of benefits associated with car-free or car-light travel.

Four significant health problems prevalent in the US have been extensively studied and indicate a direct relationship between illness or injury and increased car-dependency:

Obesity: The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically over the past 20 years— nearly 65% of Americans are overweight and 30% are obese. The diseases associated with obesity, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, are responsible for approximately 300,000 deaths per year. According to The Journal of Health Policy, using public transit is positively correlated...
By goDCgo . on 5/4/2011
Amtrak recently celebrated its 40th anniversary as America’s Railroad, and you can join in on the festivities this Saturday, May 7, at Union Station from 11 am to 4 pm. National Train Day commemorates the day on May 10, 1869, when the “golden spike” was driven into the ground to join 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways. This special occasion in Promontory Summit, Utah, transformed America and has connected travelers from coast to coast for 142 years! Train travel certainly hasn’t lost any steam, and in FY2010 Amtrak transported a record 28.7 million passengers on more than 300 daily trains.


Some of the events planned for Saturday at Union Station include the launch of the nationwide tour of the 40th anniversary “exhibit train,” which features historic advertising, uniforms and photos. Visitors will also get a chance to get a close-up look at Amtrak equipment, sample meals offered in Amtrak’s dining cars and learn about the important role the B&O Railroad played in the...
By goDCgo . on 5/2/2011
I recently witnessed a woman running to catch a Metro train I was on with her young daughter in tow. Expecting, I’m sure, that her daughter was directly behind her (personally, I always assume the opposite), the woman catapulted herself onto the already crowded train while the “doors closing” signal was going off. When she looked behind her and saw that her daughter was still on the platform, she started screaming, “my daughter, my daughter!” and summarily jammed her suitcase in the door while some kindly folks helped her wrench them open. The trick worked and all was well, but not before the Metro driver announced that any more suitcase-jamming antics would result in unloading the whole train. They’re always watching…

I like to think that such poorly conceived parental choices while traveling on public transit with children don’t happen every day. But I have my doubts, especially during the robust tourist season. The fact of the matter is, children require extra-special care and supervision from the minute...
By goDCgo . on 4/14/2011

An employer-sponsored Bike to Work Day event is an excellent way to encourage bicycle commuting and travel at your organization. Commuter Connections, a regional network of transportation organizations, recently published some tips on organizing your own Bike to Work event for Bike to Work day if one of the official pit stops isn't located near your office. Here are some of their suggestions, mixed in with a few of our own!

Appoint a Bike to Work day coordinator. Budget for food and small prizes (t-shirts, water bottles, bike accessories). Publicize, publicize, publicize! Use your Intranet, email company newsletter, fliers or social marketing to get the word out. Inform employees about bicycle parking and shower facilities available at your office. Educate employees about their route -- you can contact goDCgo for free DC Bike Maps. Host a Confident...
By goDCgo . on 4/7/2011

As a program focused on promoting sustainable transportation in and around the District, goDCgo is definitely pro-alternative modes of transit. That doesn’t mean, however, that we are anti-car. After all, ridesharing is a great way to get around, especially if you have limited options. Here are some smart tips to help you save money and fuel and reduce your emissions while driving, courtesy of EcoDriving USA:

Avoid rapid starts and stops. Gentle acceleration and braking habits can save you more than $1 per gallon according to the EPA. Maintain a constant speed as much as possible. Not only does this help to reduce traffic congestion, you are reducing the energy required to get your vehicle moving again. Save your air conditioning for higher speeds. When driving less than 40 mph, rolling down your windows is more economical...
By goDCgo . on 4/1/2011
Here at goDCgo, we love the freedom that Zipcar and Connect by Hertz offer District residents who choose to live car-free. Now, new companies are putting an interesting spin on the car sharing concept with what’s being called “neighbor to neighbor” or “peer to peer” car sharing. The idea is to allow individual car owners to rent out their vehicles when they are not using them to non-car owners. The arrangement benefits both owner and renter: the owner is able to offset the cost of car ownership and maintenance—potentially earning up to $7,400 a year depending on the type of car and number of rental hours; and the renter may find lower rates and more convenient locations of vehicles. And as an added bonus, every shared car replaces approximately 14 cars on the road, leading to less road congestion and pollution.

To date, three businesses using the “neighborhood” car sharing concept have taken off in several U.S. cities. For the most part, all three companies have similar technologies for installing...