I haven’t been commuting to work recently, as I haven’t been working. I’ve been laid off for almost two weeks now. My interest in biking and bussing hasn’t waned, though. I’ve been taking some short rides to the park and the store, and I’m planning to fix up my bike a bit, although I don’t want to spend too much money on my piece of JC Penney junk.
So, for your reading pleasure today, I’ve got two pieces of alternative, car-free transportation news.
First up, the city of San Francisco plans to require businesses with 20 or more employees to provide some sort of transit benefit. Their choices would be:
- Provide employees with transit passes or vanpool reimbursement,
- Provide door to door shuttle service for employees, OR
- Provide pre-tax transit reimbursement accounts for employees (similar to health care or child care reimbursement accounts), so that employees can use pre-tax money to pay for transit passes.
Although this would be a requirement for employers, participation by employees would be optional.
According to SFGate, businesses actually agree that this is a good idea.
Moving north to Seattle, Mayor Greg Nickels has announced Car-Free Sundays for several neighborhoods in August and September. No, not every Sunday — just one Sunday for each street. Reactions are mixed, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “We might as well close for the day,” announced one restaurant owner.
Oh, give me a break. If you want people to come to your street that day, make it an event! Have a street fair, or some special entertainment, and publicize it. People will come. People may be more likely to come!
Mayor Nickels apparently said (not specifically in response to the above), “It’s just for one day, just chill. Get out of the car and walk.” OK, how old is this guy? He sounds like me. “Just chill” comes out of my mouth several times a day. Oh, wait, I forgot, I’m old now, too.
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