We all use it, every day – some form of transportation. Whether it’s our car, bike, golf cart or our own two feet, it’s an integral part of human existence. Yet, we pay so little attention to it, like it’s an afterthought. Brevard County is truly a multi-modal community with our trails, waterways, roads, railroad network, the Port of Canaveral, the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport and, of course, who can forget our beloved Kennedy Space Center. The whole world watches what we are doing here with regard to transportation.
I have always been a passionate observer of transportation networks and transportation planning. As my role of Director of Community Management for The Viera Company, I am the President of the Viera Transportation Management Association and I am also the Chairman of Transit One, which is a non-profit coalition of people who are interested in expanding and strengthening the mobility options here in Brevard County (www.transitone.org). We also advocate on behalf of public transportation in our community. The benefits of public transportation to a community and impact on the quality of life of its residents have been widely published so I don’t really need to repeat it here. But, I do have to share one little graphic representation of the most obvious benefits of public transportation – getting cars of the road, which helps with congestion, longevity of road infrastructure and less air pollution.
Each year at the end of October, the agencies involved in planning, funding, building and supporting our transportation system celebrate a “Mobility Week” in an effort to provide some education and advocacy for exploring the various forms of transportation available. Mobility Week started in 2016 by FDOT and Brevard has led the way in education and community activities during Mobility Week (October 27th through November 3rd). Here are just a few events happening around Brevard. Most of these event require you to register in advance so that they know how many people to expect.
- Trunk or Treat at Travis Park on Friday, October 26th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. A free, fun event for the whole family. Join the Space Coast TPO at a safe Halloween alternative for kids, with plenty of candy and Trick or Treat bicyclist/pedestrian safety information.
- Adventures in Safe Bicycling on Saturday, October 27th at Adventure HQ from 10:30am to 12:00pm. Join the Space Coast TPO and Adventure HQ in celebrating Mobility Week with a fun-filled morning full of bicycle safety courses during an on-site rodeo. Participants will receive a certificate of completion, which will also grant them a discounted entrance fee to Adventure HQ for the day.
- Ride with Jim on Monday, October 29th from 8:45am – 10:15am. This Ride with Jim is on Merritt Island/Cocoa Beach and is the perfect time to take your first public bus ride in Brevard County. You will hear from Assistant County Manager Jim Liesenfelt talk about transit during your ride and you also get free coffee and bagels at Bagel 13!
- Try Transit Thursday on November 1st. Ride the bus for free by showing the 321 Transit app on your mobile device.
- City of Cape Canaveral Friday Fest on November 2nd from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.
- And, even if you don’t go to a formally organized event, there are always neat places to explore around Brevard County. I just saw a presentation on the trail system being developed here and I was shocked. I had no idea some of these trails existed. Here is some great information on our current (and future) trails: http://spacecoasttpo.com/implement/showcase-trails/
So, do something different for Mobility Week this year. Take a trip, a walk, a bike ride, a bus ride or, if you have to, even a car ride to a place you haven’t been before. At the very least, pause for a bit of awareness of all of the various ways to get around our community and appreciate each and every one. And, if you find an alternative way to get around that you haven’t tried before, then, kudos to you!! You win Mobility Week!
So, until next time, please remember … “You can’t understand a city without using its public transportation system.” (Erol Ozan)
Eva M. Rey, President
Central Viera Community Association, Inc.