Mark your calendars! Here are some one-time and ongoing events we invite you to attend/participate in. We have had few opportunities for in-person events, so we're excited to share these.
Please join us on Thursday, August 31 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Weigent Park for Walk & Roll - Mobility to GO! a Meet & Greet with La Crosse Area Transit Advocates and the MTU. There will be an MTU bus with the new Quantum system, some refreshments, door prizes, and the chance to talk transit with advocates and MTU staff. We may also have some elected leaders there. Please plan to attend if you can. Knowing that people appreciate and support transit and transit advocates makes a big difference! Take the #2 bus! Please COME TO THE EVENT! and share and post the flyer (click here for a .pdf version for printing).
Our annual Ride SMRT 2 Viroqua will be on Thursday, October 5 this year. As usual we will leave the La Crosse area mid-morning and land in Viroqua at about 11. There are several options for return trips (on your own). The SMRT bus costs $3 each way (exact change, pay the driver). There's lots to do in Viroqua and good food to eat. We will invite some elected officials, too. The flyer will be ready soon, but you can sign up now at https://tinyurl.com/SMRT2Viroqua. Registration is not required, but it helps. This event will occur during National Week Without Driving.
La Crosse is gearing up to recognize the first annual National Week Without Driving, October 2-8. We are still 8n planning stages, but we would love to do a Week Without Driving challenge along with other individual events. If your organization, faith group, non-profit, at business would like to get involved, please email us! More details available next month.
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.
In 2020, Disability Mobility Initiative began documenting the experiences of non-drivers in the State of Washington. In 2021 and 2022, they challenged elected officials and other decision-makers to a Week Without Driving – with profound effects on those who participated. For 2023, Disability Mobility Initiative is partnering with America Walks to take Week Without Driving national.
We are still hoping people will take note of audible stop announcements (or their absence) so we can know if there are particular routes that need to improve ADA compliance. If you remember, please report your experience at https://tinyurl.com/latastoptest
Some other transit-related dates this fall:
* September 15 is PARK(ing) DAY - On this day, activists around the country "park" parks in parking spaces to illustrate the amount of space given to relatively free or low-cost storage for cars. How does this relate to transit? An overabundance of parking is not only costly for communities, including non-drivers, who subsidize car storage and prioritize car storage over higher-value potential development where cars are stored, it also gives people little reason to switch to transit which is cheaper, cleaner, safer, and more climate-friendly.
* September 22 is WORLD CAR-FREE DAY - This United Nations sponsored event reminds people that there are other ways to travel, including low-cost, zero or low-carbon ways, and offers the opportunity to look at the air pollution, traffic deaths, public space use, and community costs our car-centric culture has brought us. UWL will recognize World Car-Free Day
* October is PEDESTRIAN SAFETY MONTH - "NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is strengthening its efforts to improve safety for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users by suggesting activities and providing sample social media posts and messages, free infographics and other resources. The personal, physical, and environmental benefits of walking can lead to healthier, quieter, cleaner, and safer streets. Walking can also improve local economies and enhance social and community engagement, which can lead to more vibrant, resilient, and livable spaces."
* October 4 is WALK AND ROLL TO SCHOOL DAY - This day highlights the need for communities to ensure safe spaces for school children (and everyone) to walk and roll to school, work, shopping, entertainment, social activities, appointments, and more. While it focuses on the human-powered modes of active transportation, transit is part of the infrastructure that allows people to use active transportation for everything. Transit extends a walker’s and biker's range and is part of the public transportation system that can make private car ownership a luxury rather than a necessity.