What’s Your Solution?
Andy over at Carbon Trace is a big fan of the One Mile Solution. An astonishing proportion of the journeys most people make by car are within less than a mile of where they live, so the solution is to replace a few / some / all of these by walking or riding a bike.
To find those places within your One Mile Solution, you get out a map, find your home, and draw a one-mile radius circle around it. Here’s my One Mile Solution (click to enlarge):
Walking within a mile of home is such a short distance once you get used to it, that it hardly seems worth getting the bike out to ride those trips. Unless you’re in a hurry, that is. My particular favourite is getting to the bank to pay in a big fat cheque from a client, just before they close. It takes me 15 minutes to walk, or about five on the bike - including the time to lock up.
But bikes are convenient for much longer trips than those within a mile of home. For pootling about town trips, a two-mile solution seems eminantly sensible - like this one, which encompasses all of Wife’s errands about town today:
But even that’s no real distance. No sooner have you started to really enjoy the wind on your face, than the trip’s over and you’ve reached your destination. For commuting trips, I have a ten and fifteen mile solution, and I’ve actually written into our environmental policy that all trips within ten miles should be by bike:
This isn’t always practical though (like when carrying a bunch of delicate equipment, or to meet a new client who has an expectation that management consultants wear suits so sharp that you could cut yourself on them), and as roads aren’t arranged radially from my house, the further away my destination, the more the indirectness adds up. That means more time for the journeys (and for me, time really is money some days), which if the weather’s bad, can also mean a really thorough soaking. So my rule is that I should do all trips within the ten mile radius by bike, and that I may do those within fifteen miles, depending on the actual on-road distance.
What do your solutions look like? Or as an engineer, am I just showing my anorak tendencies, and no-one else actually bothers to plot this sort of thing?