Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

Just another weblog

A Friendly Blog

I would like to use this blog to explore how Quakers can make an impact on the social and environmental problems that challenge our world today. I like to think of the Society of Friends as a religious organization that may not have all the answers, but we have a lot of good questions. We call them queries. One of them is “What is God/Spirit calling us to do?” It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the work that needs to be done. How can our skills and experience be used heal the injuries we have caused to the earth and to each other? We can’t do everything, but we can do what we do best.

I see many of these problems as interconnected, particularly the connections between the health of our planet, the health of our cities, the health of our minds, and the health of our bodies. My interest in bicycles started during the first oil crisis in the early 1970s. That is when I bought my first 10-speed and set a goal of being able to live without a car, especially to get to work. I was a janitor at the time and needed a car to transport my cleaning equipment to the various work sites. By 1976, I was working in a factory and commuting by bicycle.

Moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1980, I eventually sold my pickup truck. In addition to my bicycle, I rely on public transportation as much as possible. At times when a car is needed, I have City CarShare to rent one on an hourly basis.

I am not out to rid the world of cars. I am just looking for a more just and balanced transportation system that benefits all. The present monopoly that cars have on transportation discriminates against the poor and the disabled. It has destroyed our cities where most of our poor and disabled people live. That is why I believe access to adequate public transit is a Quaker value. My personal commitment is to use a car only when walking, biking, or riding public transit is not a viable option. That means turning down a carpool if there is a bus that can get me there at on time.

Sometimes, a carpool is the only alternative to driving alone. A number of us just returned from Pacific Yearly Meeting, held this year at Walker Creek Ranch in Marin County. I feel very fortunate to be able to ride a bicycle to the meeting. Unfortunately, there is no bus service to the ranch for those who can’t pedal. Since the 2009 meeting will be in the same location, it is not too early to think of how we can better organize transportation to keep the number of cars traveling to the ranch at a minimum. I would like to offer this blog as a way to dialog on how that can be done.

March 29, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: