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Drive less, live more

For several generations, America has built spread-out suburbs and invested trillions of dollars in a transportation system for motor vehicles to serve all the far-flung destinations. So it’s no surprise that most of us drive cars—and drive them a lot. We have little choice.

But the costs of this car-dependent transportation system are mounting—costs of car ownership, road maintenance, oil dependence, air pollution, climate change, obesity, road rage, etc. As a result, more people are seeking better ways to get around. Trip by trip, they are discovering that a more economical and healthier transportation lifestyle is possible.

Good urban design makes Cleveland's Shaker Square accessible by walking, biking and transit.

Finding alternatives

This section of the website offers a guide to shifting modes of transportation. Most people can’t change all at once. They change gradually, perhaps riding a bike or taking transit to work one day a week, trying things out until they find what works for them. Many find that they like getting out of their cars, and they can go car-free for many of their trips.

The alternatives are:

Walking: Every trip starts and ends as a walking trip. The trick is to find walkable places where the middle of trips can also be made on foot.

Biking: The humble bike is the most efficient form of human transportation, and it might be the most fun. People in cities around the world, including cities colder than Cleveland, are embracing bikes as real transportation.

Transit: Local transit agencies have difficulty serving a dispersed metropolitan area with cost-effective routes, but you might be surprised how many places you can reach on a bus or a train. Transit ridership is growing.

Driving lite: Even the most passionate car-free advocates need a car occasionally. But they drive less—and drive as efficiently as possible to reduce their impacts.

Once people start changing, they quickly realize how much their options are constrained by the current transportation system and the sprawled-out communities of Northeast Ohio. So they begin to think more about where they live in relation to the destinations in their lives. The next step is to become an advocate for a transportation system that offers more choices and regional planning that promotes the development of communities that walkable, bikable and transit friendly.

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