I felt like thumping my chest last week after reading an article in the Portland Press Herald about the decline in the number of cars registered here in Portland and the increasing number of people who are getting to and from work by bus, bike or foot. Ours is a small office (4 full time employees and this summer 4 student interns) and it was not unusual to see 5 or 6 bikes in the office, representing commuters from Deering Oaks, the West End, South Portland and Falmouth. Last Spring, one of our interns, a 3rd year law student commuted from Biddeford by bus. As our intern Brian Lessels wrote on this blog, he, like others at CLF, are biking devotees.
As the article points out, the move away from relying on cars has been born both of necessity due to their high costs and of choice. Certainly, no one wants Maine’s or the country’s economic challenges to persist but to the extent those challenges create the opportunity for more people to choose to both save money and reduce their environmental footprint by driving less, CLF will continue to encourage those choices by supporting commuting alternatives and incentives, public transportation opportunities, and livable and compact developments in our existing cities.
Getting out of our cars more and getting to work by bus, bike or sidewalk is a win-win proposition for our health, our communities and our environment. For more on CLF’s transportation work in Maine, see this fact sheet.