Building an Inclusive Community

Week 2 – Day 3 – January 13, 2016

Weather: -10°C (-18°C with wind chill) snow.  Roads were snow covered.  Bike lanes in the morning were snow covered with slushy sections especially around bus stop locations.

Consistent Attire: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) rain resistant, breathable knee length jacket, motorcycle cold weather leather gloves with high gauntlets, MEC thermal barrier tights and winter boots.

Variable Attire based on the temperature: MEC thermal arm coverings, 3/4 length cycling pants and a dress with full-length sleeves.

I am not alone!  Over the past week and a half of my commitment to winter cycling I have learned that I am not the only one seeking active transportation as a tool by which to commute around the City of Waterloo.  I have seen bike tracks on roads, and on trails.  I have passed other intrepid cyclists making their way clearly geared up for the ride. I have passed pedestrians and runners.

In addition to observing bike tracks I also observed wheelchair tracks.  This observation really stayed with me. It reminds me why it is we build communities for all people.  It reminds me that each and every one of us is only temporarily able bodied.  It reminds me that when we build active transportation corridors we build an inclusive community. It reminds me of my responsibility as a City Councillor to continue to ensure our community supports all transportation modes including: cars, buses, trucks, motorbikes, bicycles, pedestrians, runners, wheelchairs, scooters and more!

I am thankful for what I am learning.  My observations will make me a better Councillor.  Pushing myself to continue my health filled commute and to write this blog is giving added purpose to my daily routine.  I am learning that I will not freeze in our beautiful Canadian winter and I am building personal resiliency to change.  The cold, fresh air and exercise is also helping me sleep like a rock! 😀

I am not alone! If you are an active commuter and you are willing to share some experiences please email them to me and let me know if I can include them in a blog post.  You can email me through my personal website: www.dianefreeman.ca.

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