My Subway Experience

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

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

Dreaming of a Mall Holiday?

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

Ah the holidays, “the most wonderful time of the year.”  You’ve made your list.  You’ve checked it twice.  Sure, you’ve ordered some gifts online but it just not the same as shopping at a brick and mortar store.  You love the carols and decorated windows.  You enjoy sharing smiles and warm greetings with other shoppers, indulging in a hot cocoa and cookie, and carrying festive bags to your car.  So, you’re off to the mall.

That’s when the dream begins to unravel.  Before you can hear the jingle bells, see the glittery displays, and drink your hot cocoa, you have to park your car.  Can there be a worse place than a retail parking lot in December?

It’s mayhem from the moment you enter the lot until the moment you leave.  AAA Mid-Atlantic offers some great tips for navigating the mall parking lot:

Play the outfield.  Everyone wants a space near the door and many will fight for the right to park upfront.  Head to the back of the lot.  Usually, the outlying area has more open spaces, lighter traffic, and a lower risk of collision.  But, remote spaces may be less secure, so be mindful of the risks particularly returning to your car at night.  If you’re shopping alone and have a number of packages, ask a mall security guard to accompany you to your car.

See and be seen.  Use your headlights when searching for a space in a parking garage. Avoid parking between a pair of SUVs or minivans as it might be hard to back out of the space.

Remember where you’ve parked.   Choose a well-lit area to park during early morning hours and at night.  Pay attention to where you’ve parked, noting signs and markers.  Take a picture with your smartphone.  When returning to your car, have your keys in hand and check the car’s interior before entering the vehicle.  Use a penlight at night.

Stay on track and be alert.  When behind the wheel always watch for pedestrians, especially small children.  Pedestrians should use walkways and crosswalks, if available.  If pedestrians must walk in traffic lanes, they should watch for exhaust or reverse lights – a sure sign that the vehicle is about to pull out.

Put it down.  Mobile devices distract pedestrians and can lead to unfortunate encounters with vehicles, other pedestrians, or even thieves.  Drivers, too, should stow the mobile device and pay attention to the activity around them.

Use the trunk.  It takes a thief only a few seconds to smash a car window.  Lock you purchases in the trunk, away from prying eyes.

Take transit.  Check out the bus schedules on njtransit.com.  NJ Transit is offering extended service on many popular bus routes to major malls until December 27.

If your holiday experience includes a trip to the mall, be bright, be merry, and be safe.

Take the Car Free Challenge!

Join hundreds of Middlesex County commuters and millions of commuters everywhere in going Car Free or Car Lite on September 22, 2014. KMM will host a week-long event from September 21st to September 26th where we challenge you to try going Car Free or Car Lite just once during the week-long celebration.

Register and pledge to take the challenge. Everyone who registers is entered to win a host of prizes, such as:

  • Travel Mug + $10 Dunkin Donuts Gift Cardcar_v6
  • Travel Ear buds and $20 iTunes gift card
  • Travel Water Bottle and $20 Amazon Gift Card
  • Amazon Kindle reader

 

What is Car Free? 

Car Free Week is a worldwide movement to raise awareness about the negative impacts motor vehicles have on our environment. Car Free Week encourages people to reduce dependence on automobiles by Going Car Free or Car Lite for one day.

 

When did the Car Free Movement Begin?

The first official Car Free Day occurred in Europe on September 22, 1999. By 2005, over 112 million people worldwide participated in Car Free Day.

 

Why go Car Free?

Our dependence on the automobile harms our planet, our communities, and our lives. Noise and air pollution, traffic congestion, safety concerns make our cities and towns less attractive and less desirable. Going Car Free or Car Lite saves on gas and reduces wear and tear on your car. Walking or bicycling promotes fitness and health. Car Free Month can reconnect neighbors and neighborhoods.

 

Can you live without your car for one day?

Not sure you can do it?  Here are some easy ways to start!

  • Take a train or bus
  • Ride a bike
  • Walk to lunch
  • Bring a brown bag lunch
  • Work from home
  • Carpool or Vanpool

Are you ready to take the Car Free Challenge?

 Register today and make a change!