My Subway Experience

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http://www.empiricalstyle.com/products-page/c-subway-signs/downtown-and-brooklyn-n-q-r/

Besides being cram packed with people, New York is also known for it’s many Broadway theatres, cinemas and shops. All of which makes New York a city that never sleeps. Literally.

So far throughout my first semester of college, I have experienced A LOT being in the city. Attending school in the middle of Brooklyn is pretty much the equivalent of being in lower Manhattan. It’s packed, noisy and there’s never a dull moment. I take one step off of campus and there are crowds of people. As you can imagine, getting around the city isn’t always easy. Since I go to school in Brooklyn, we aren’t allowed to have a car on campus… that’s including all four years, leaving me with limited transportation options such as taking a taxi, a bus, the subway or walking. Although my roommate and I tend to walk everywhere we go, it doesn’t always get us where we need to be. With that being said, the subway is the next best thing. I can honestly say that the subway isn’t as bad as people make it seem. Besides it being crowed, hot and smelly, it’s really very simple to use once you get used to it.

When I go home from school I always take a train from Penn Station, it’s only 45 minutes tops. However, Penn Station isn’t walking distance from my school so I always take the subway to get me there. There are multiple subway stops near my school which gives me several train options to use. I have gotten used to the trains by now so I know what lines will be crowded during what times of the day. I also determine what subway I will use based on the weather. If the weather is bad outside I can either take the 2 express or the 3 local, each bringing me right into Penn Station. From there I just walk up a few flights of steps and I’m right smack in the middle of Penn Station. If the weather is nice and I feel like walking some, then I can take the express Q train which drops me off at 34th Street Harold Square. It only a few blocks from Penn I am able to get some fresh air and walk around the little shops in that area. If I’m ever in a rush,  the express trains can get me to Penn a little faster than the locals, but in the end they all get me to where I need to be which is the main reason why I love using the subway as my way of transportation.

The first few times taking the subway by myself I was a ball of nerves, but as time went on I learned and I now love taking the subway everywhere I go. I thought long and hard about my decision of where I would like to attend school, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change anything about it. Learning how to get around the city by walking and taking the subway has definitely benefitted me. Without learning on my own how to use the subway I would probably get lost and never be able to make it home.

Now that I will be going back to school for my second semester, I  think my next mission is to learn how to use the buses!

 

Guest post by KMM Intern 2017

Winter is Here!

Car tires on winter road covered with snow

The winter is upon us and sooner or later, New Jersey will see itself covered in a freezing blanket of billowy snow. But as New Jersians, life doesn’t just stop because of a few flakes (or feet) of the white stuff. Getting your car “winter ready” before the first snow will ensure you’re ready to face the road ahead. Ensure vehicle fluids are changed, tires are checked or replaced, and ensure all exterior lights are in proper working order. Then follow these driving tips if you need to travel in the cold and snow:

  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Most vehicles keep the tire pressure information on the driver side door panel.
  • Check and replace (if necessary) windshield wipers.
  • Top off wiper fluid.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Do not use cruise control in wet, wintery, icy weather.
  • Avoid hard breaking in wet weather as this can make your vehicle spin out of control.
  • Look and steer in the direction you want to go.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
  • Keep non-clumping kitty litter or wood chips in the trunk of your vehicle. This will help your tires gain traction if you become stuck in snow.
  • When traveling long distances, make sure to keep a blanket, flash light, water, and snacks in your vehicle in case you become stranded.
  • When in doubt, stay home. If driving conditions make it extremely difficult to travel, please do not attempt to go out.

For more information on winter driving visit http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/roadway-safety/winter-driving-tips/#.WG0-FxsrJPY

Riding in the Road: 8 Tips for Safe Cycling

Andrew_Peter_May07-001As a bike rider, it can be challenging to feel comfortable riding in the road with motor vehicles, but roads are often the best way to get from A to B whether for shopping, commuting or enjoying a ride. Learning to ride defensively can increase your comfort and safety, and expand the number of roads where you can ride. Here are some tips for defensive bicycling.

  • Choose your route 
    • Before your ride, select a route with the lightest or slowest traffic or the widest shoulder that gets you where you want to go. Select a route where you’re comfortable riding.
  • Ride predictably
    • Ride in a straight line, in the direction of traffic on the right side of the road. However, don’t hug the curb. Leave room to safely navigate issues such as pot holes, debris, sewer grates and other obstacles.
    • Obey traffic signs and signals, they’re for both bicyclists and motor vehicles.
    • Use extra caution around turning vehicles and at intersections. Avoid passing stopped vehicles on the right.
    • Use extra caution around large vehicle like trucks and buses, which have a larger blind spot and make wider turns.
    • When there is a short gap between parked cars, ride in a straight line rather than weaving in and out. This way, drivers see where you want to go and you can avoid merging back into the travel lane when you have to pass the next parked car.
    • Don’t swerve at the last second to avoid potholes or debris. Instead, move over early when you notice an obstacle up ahead.
  •  Be visible
    • When a travel lane is too narrow for both a bike and motor vehicle to share, move towards the center of the lane to make yourself more visible to motorists.
    • Use a front white light and red rear light in low-light conditions and at night. It’s New Jersey law.
    • Wear bright, highly visible clothing, preferably with reflective tape or patches.
  • Avoid distractions and hazards
    • Keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
    • Ride four feet from parked cars to stay out of the “door zone,” where you could collide with an opening car door.
    • Avoid drinking, eating, using your phone, or anything that requires your hands while bicycling.
    • At large, complicated or busy intersections, consider getting off your bike and walking across.
  • Communicate
    • Look behind you and scan for oncoming vehicles before making all turns.
    • Signal your turns, especially in mixed traffic and around other cyclists.
    • Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians.
  • On the trail or sidewalk
    • When riding near pedestrians, let them know you’re there using a bell or your voice.
    • Reduce speed when passing pedestrians and other cyclists.
    • Slow down and use extra care at intersections and blind corners.
  • Have the right equipment
    • Wear a helmet every time you ride.
    • Ride a bike that’s the right size for you.
    • Keep your bike in good working order. Check tire pressure, brakes, and chain regularly.
  • Ride more and learn more!
    • When driving look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes and opening doors next to moving traffic. Respect the right of way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you.
    • Consider taking a Smart Cycling class from the League of American Bicyclists.