Three pit stops slated for Bike and Walk to Work Day in Burbank
Burbank resident Mary Dickson had never been someone who would commute to work by bicycle or public transportation. However, after she attended a Bike and Walk to Work Day event in 2010, she has been an intermodal commuter ever since.
Dickson, an attorney whose office is in downtown Los Angeles, now bikes 2 miles to the Metrolink station on Front Street and takes the train to Union Station. Her experience during the Bike and Walk to Work Day six years ago left a major impression on her, and she hopes others will be inspired the same way during this year’s event on Thursday.
“I wasn’t sure how well it would work out,” she said, thinking that she would only take her bike for a few weeks. “But once I started doing it, I realized how much I liked it and how much better it is to be on transit than it is to be in a car. I can check my email, read books or the newspaper. So I never stopped.”
From 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., the Burbank Transportation Management Organization will host its annual gathering, setting up three pit stops —one at the downtown Burbank Metrolink station, one at the corner of Orange Grove Avenue and Third Street and another at the corner of Alameda Avenue and Bob Hope Drive — to pass out free giveaways and motivate people to bike or take public transportation to work more often, said Kyle Maetani, executive director of the organization.
“We try to get people interested and encourage them to ride their bike and walk to work that day,” he said. “It also helps to reduce traffic congestion, and it gets people to do healthier things.”
Dickson, who founded the nonprofit Walk Bike Burbank, said she has saved money by switching to biking and taking the train. She and her husband sold their second vehicle, which saved them money on fuel, maintenance, insurance and parking costs.
“The cost of my train ticket is way less than the cost of parking in downtown [Los Angeles],” she said. “The financial benefits have been great.”
Dickson said she recognizes that most people would rather drive to their destination out of habit and because of convenience, especially for short commutes.
“But it’s important for us to remind ourselves that these short trips are things that can be easily done with different modes of transportation,” she said. “That’s going to reduce emissions, improve our health and make it easier to get back and forth to places because you don’t have to worry about parking.”
Anthony Clark Carpio, firstname.lastname@example.org