Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Why I Love Walkable Cities and You Should Too

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

This spring, I had the opportunity to study abroad in France. Not only would this be the first time I’d ever been on a plane, but also the first time I’d traveled alone. Previously, I’ve taken road trips from Michigan to Illinois, Ohio, Louisiana, and Florida, but never anything outside the United States. The process was always the same: sit in the car for hours on end and look out the window, just to realize we were in the middle of nowhere. While road-tripping is fun, it shouldn’t have to be so lengthy. A trip from Detroit to Baltimore is around 400 miles and takes roughly 8 hours, while a train would take 13-14 hours. Compare this to Europe, where trains travel throughout the entire European Union. While in France, I travelled from Paris, France to Grenoble, France, which is around a 400 miles by train, in 4 hours.

Additionally, there were stark differences in architecture. While in Grenoble, France, I wasn’t able to drive a car, so everything I did was up to public transportation, biking, or walking. Shockingly, even when I left out the house late, I was still on time for all of my classes.

In the United, it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere without a car. Our public transit systems are often dirty, too spread apart, or inaccessible. Some people may prefer to walk, but the roads cover 90% of the street with only a small portion left to pedestrians.

Being able to rely on public transportation should not be a privilege, but a right.

Kailah is a student at the University of Michigan majoring in Public Health and minoring in French. She enjoys reading and listening to music in her spare time.