Life in the city can be exciting and moves at a very fast pace. Whether you live in a sprawling metropolis like Los Angeles or New York City or a smaller city like Grand Rapids, MI, there is so much to do in urban settings. Many people are attracted to this lifestyle and love the exposure to different cultures that it can provide, though others prefer the quieter lifestyles of the suburbs or rural areas.
One of the biggest challenges to living in a city is transportation. Most American cities suffer from traffic congestion to some degree. That is what happens when hundreds of thousands or even millions of people are trying to get from point A to point B at the same time. Gridlock is legendary in places like LA, but it is no walk in the park even in smaller cities around the country.
Sometimes, the best way to get around is to stay off of the main roads. The more cars, trucks, taxis, and other vehicles that clog the lanes in urban centers, the longer it takes for everyone to get to their destinations. Plus, all those idling engines can produce a decent amount of harmful gases into the atmosphere. With that being said, here are a few alternative ways to travel when living in a city.
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The simplest form of travel is walking. Since cities are designed to pack a lot of buildings into a small acreage, you can likely get to a lot of places simply by walking. As governments try to move away from vehicle-centered travel in cities, the infrastructure for walking is improving. More crosswalks, sidewalks, and pedestrian traffic signals are making it safer to use your own two feet to get from place to place. However, there can still be incidents between pedestrians and drivers if not everyone obeys the rules of the road. If you are involved in a pedestrian collision, whether you are driving or walking, reach out to a pedestrian accident lawyer to navigate the aftermath of the incident. Walking is a very healthy mode of travel, so it can improve your level of fitness. Just make sure you leave a little earlier so you have time to get to your destination.
Want to move a little bit faster while still protecting the environment from emissions? Then you can look into an electric scooter. The rules of the road may be different for electric scooters, as you may not be allowed on sidewalks. However, they do allow you more freedom of movement through traffic. Electric scooters, sometimes classified as mopeds, are a great mode of travel to save money on gas in a city. They also can travel a decent distance on one charge, and most cities are starting to develop more infrastructure for electric vehicles of all kinds. If you want to skip the cumbersome car as you travel through the city, but don’t have the time to walk, then an e-scooter is a great alternative.
Many cities have lanes that are only available to bikers. This gives you a lot of incentive to invest in an e-bike since you won’t have to navigate through regular traffic but you also can avoid pedestrians. There are many benefits to riding an e-bike. First, they have assisted pedaling so you don’t have to do all of the work yourself. Second, they will save you a ton of money on gas, especially since cars stuck in gridlock use up a lot of fuel without even moving. Third, e-bikes improve your fitness when you propel the bike by pedaling. You also contribute to improved air quality when you ditch the gas-powered vehicle for this electric piece of equipment.
Technically, this mode of travel might still use roads, playing a role in traffic congestion. However, the more people use public transportation, the fewer vehicles on the road. Plus, these services are already in place, so there is no additional environmental harm in your using them. Buses, trains, trams, and subways are great ways to get around. While you may have to pay more than you would with an e-bike or electric scooter, you will be able to travel greater distances. Plus, your taxes help pay for services like public transportation, so you may as well benefit from them. This method of travel is also reliable and constant, so you can feel confident about maintaining your schedule.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Perhaps the best approach to traveling within the city is a mix of all the options. Sometimes it makes more sense to walk or ride an electric scooter. Other times, the e-bike will be the best option. Maybe you have to go across town quickly, so the subway is better suited to your needs. You must weigh the pros and cons of each method to guide your decision-making. Do you care about the total cost or environmental impact? How quickly do you want to travel? Do you prefer to be in control of your traveling or let someone else drive the vehicle? Try out these alternative methods of transportation to make traveling in your city easier.