The World Gathers to Demand Climate Change Action Plan

mombabyclimatemarchUN Secretary General Ban K-Moon was there.  So were NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Leonardo DeCaprio.  So was an unnamed baby resting on his Mother’s chest.   My wife and I were there, too.  We were among the 310,000 marchers who gathered in Central Park on Sunday for the People’s Climate March just 2 days before the UN Climate Conference on September 23.

New York City was not alone.  Hundreds of thousands like-minded people came together in cities around the world to support climate change action now.

The purpose of the UN Conference is to catalyze “action by governments, business, finance, industry, and civil society … for new commitments and substantial, scalable and replicable contributions …that will help the world shift toward a low-carbon economy.”  The Secretary General called for UN members to “innovate, scale-up, cooperate and deliver concrete action that will close the emissions gap.”

March organizers said it was time to “demand action not words.”  Yet, it was through the words in chants and on banners that participants got their message across.

“There is no planet B”

“Don’t nuke the climate”

“Don’t frack with us”

Fracking= Climate change

“Treat your mama (Earth) with respect.”

 climatemarchkmmMy wife and I were fascinated that people of all ages, nationalities, religions and political perspectives marched peacefully and energetically united in a common cause.  As concerned citizens who worry about the future of our planet for our grandchildren and yours, we were proud to be part of the Climate March and left NYC feeling hopeful about the “day after tomorrow. “

 

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!

 

Making Connections

morethanonewaytoworkIf you’re thinking about making the switch from solo driving to another mode, mass transit is worth a look.  Middlesex County is transit rich.  NJ TRANSIT’S  Raritan Valley, Northeast Corridor, and North Jersey Coast rail lines provide service to New York.  And 76 bus lines traverse Middlesex County.

The newly updated and bi-lingual Middlesex Transit Guide is a must have resource for those contemplating bus or train commuting.  The Guide describes all of the routes in Middlesex County and provides information about the points each routes served. And, KMM can supply schedules for buses and trains or the links on where to download them.

Need something more local?  Visit KMM’s website and learn about the local buses that traverse the county!

Also, don’t forget to visit NJ TRANSIT .  The site provides a wealth of information that will help you get to where you need to go.

There is always more than one way to get to work.  Let KMM help you learn which one suits your commute best!

Share the Road

share_the_roadOur roads are intended to be shared by cyclists, motorist and pedestrians too!  And yet, we may not be aware of “the rules” of sharing the road.  KMM has put together a helpful list of the most important tips we should all review before we get behind handlebars or a wheel.

Communicate your intentions

Cyclists, use hand signals consistently.  Motorists, use turn signals in advance of turning to let everyone know your intentions.

Everybody Follows the Same Rules

Cyclists are safer when riding in the same direction as motorists and follow all the same rules as motorists.  Motorists come to a full stop when at a stop sign and do not speed through a yellow light to avoid the wait at a red light.

The Road Looks Different

Cyclists, scan the road ahead to have enough time to signal if you need to move out of the way.  Motorists, sewer grates, broken glass, gravel and puddles are all hazards to cyclists.  Always leave a three-foot buffer in the event a cyclist needs to move out of their lane.

Everybody Wins With Courtesy

Cyclists, the more courtesy you are with motorists, the more courtesy drivers will be.  Motorists, giving cyclists extra respect and consideration creates a safer environment for everyone.

Horns

Cyclists, NJ law requires all bikes be equipped with a horn or bell so that your presence is greatly increased.  Motorists, although the horn is used as a safety tool, it can be dangerous if used in extreme proximity to a cyclist.  A light tap on the horn is sufficient.

Managing Electronic Devices

Both cyclists and motorist, leave the cell phones, iPods and blackberry in your bags and not in your hands as you are driving or riding.  By doing so, you are keeping everyone safe.

And don’t forget, pedestrians have rights too!  Both cyclists and motorists are required by law to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks.  While pedestrians have the responsibility to be visible and predictable when using a crosswalk, cyclists and motorists can observe each others actions when approaching a crosswalk to anticipate a pedestrian using a crosswalk.

For more information, visit www.kmm.org for all your transportation needs.

 

Photo credit: www.thinkbicycles.org