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A weeklong challenge to see mobility from a new perspective

You’ve heard of our “Drive Less, Bike More” but have you heard of our friends’ “Week Without Driving”? The Disability Mobility Initiative at Disability Rights Washington started the weeklong challenge two years ago and now America Walks is partnering with them to take the campaign national. 

Here’s how America Walks describes the goals of the week

People without a car or unable to drive should be able to get to where they need to go safely and effectively. But every day, Americans who can’t drive – approximately 25 percent of the population – face significant barriers to mobility such as inadequate sidewalks, poor transit, lack of connectivity and dangerous roads. The needs of non-drivers are too-often disregarded in transportation infrastructure and policies. Our goal should be a transportation system designed to support all individuals, regardless of ability, age, or income, that will strengthen our communities and enhance our quality of life.

Check out America Walks’ website to take action and challenge yourself

Taking part in the Week Without Driving can be eye-opening even for those of us who consider ourselves “car-lite”. Here’s a peek at how Sara Kiesler at Cascade Bicycle Club described her first few days

So here we are, at the start of the #WeekWithoutDriving. For me, the first two days were no problem. My only significant trip was to walk to drop off a Discovery Pass at the South Tacoma Library, and then visit the Grocery Outlet across 56th St for some coffee beans. Both were easy because they were within a half mile and I don’t rely on a wheelchair or crutches while navigating the non-ADA-compliant sidewalks by my home.

Day 3 was a little more challenging. The biggest barrier for me to take transit more regularly is that I can’t access it door to door without significant planning and time. For example, while it takes about 45 minutes to drive to Seattle University’s campus, it takes more than two hours by transit. That means on Wednesday, I left work at 3 p.m. to ensure I could make it to class by 6 p.m. and get a bite to eat. If I worked in retail or food services, it’s unlikely my job would have given me that kind of flexibility. 

Sara Kiesler, Lessons on Mobility Privilege from a Week Without Driving

Don’t forget to visit America Walks to learn more about how to take part!

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