From today's Chapel Hill Herald-Sun, a story of one man who is trying to make the world a more friendly place for transit. UNC Employee Ernie Patterson is the UNC Employee Forum Chairman and he is trying to get people out of their cars. Patterson chose the hot and muggy month of July to make his point, as he walks, bikes, and buses back and forth to campus.
I applaud his efforts, especially walking most days in the midst of the Carolina heat. But, I was taken aback at the end of the article when I read this:
The walk or the bus ride has added 10 to 20 minutes to Patterson's commute each way. The added time is no big deal, he said. Plus, he has enjoyed learning the bus system, which he said runs on time or a couple minutes early and is driven by friendly people.
Patterson has liked the car-free commute so much that he is "seriously considering" giving up his UNC parking pass, which is expected to cost more than $600 next year.
C'mon Ernie. Considering giving it up? This is exactly the attitude that lead Chapel Hill/Carrboro to scorn the 17,000 potential parking spaces at Carolina North. If people can park they will, even those who try to make a point of how easy alternative transit actually works. Also, I would challenge Ernie to see how long it takes him on average to get into his car, drive to the parking deck, get out of his car, walk down the parking deck and over to his office. It is about 1.5 miles from Wilson Hall to his home in Carrboro, which is a really quick bike ride and I'm betting faster than the walk to and from the parking decks.
Anyhow, I appreciate the idea and hope that more UNC faculty and employees will make the switch to alternative transit.