The third Friday of every May is National Transportation Day, created to honor the work of employees in the transportation industry. This year, we are more grateful for our bus drivers and other transportation service providers, as they continue to connect our essential workers, health care providers and patients throughout the city at great personal risk.
Usually we would ask readers to honor National Transportation Week by taking the bus for the first time or encouraging a friend to do so. Taking the bus has a healthy and positive impact on everyone's health, as emissions from road vehicles are the largest contributors to air pollution. Due to efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus, though, this year is different. The focus during this year's National Transportation Week will be on walking and biking, other healthy forms of active transportation.
As the weather grows warmer and the potential to spend more time outside increases, consider using a bicycle for exercise and even to pick up essentials. Now is a great time to perform routine maintenance on your bike, such as adjusting brakes, repairing any flat tires and maintaining bicycle chains.
Riding a bike is good exercise while also getting you where you need to be. Riders should follow the rules of the road and wear a helmet that fits correctly so it protects your head. If you don't own a bike, Heartland Bike Share has stations available on campus and in the Omaha metro area for you to check out a bike and ride. Bike sharing offers a great chance to choose active transportation for short trips, and it provides great health benefits as well.
Biking and walking can help to increase blood flow, release endorphins and reduce overall stress, helping to improve mental health and increase energy. Always remember to be respectful of pedestrians on local trails and maintain social distancing.
LiveGreen will be hosting an online conversation with Miah Sommer, founder and executive director of the Bike Union Mentoring Project, on Tuesday, May 12, from 10:30-11 a.m. He will discuss the history of the project, which helps young people transitioning out of foster care, ongoing programs and some tips for keeping your bike in good shape while shops are closed.
Check out our Facebook page for transportation posts all week.