Leave the car in the garage, walk to downtown Hinsdale

COVID brought, along with many things, an increased habit of driving to stay protected. As we settle back into post-COVID life, we still under-utilize the many walkable amenities. The Village of Hinsdale is a unique walking community with many restaurants, stores and conveniently placed train stations. I believe swapping driving for walking may have unrecognized benefits. With spring upon us and summer around the corner, it’s a great opportunity to renew habits.

Illinois averages 2.2 cars per household. Hinsdale’s nearly 6,000 households means we are in the range of 11,000-14,000 vehicles. Based on average emissions, Hinsdale vehicles emit 50,000-65,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. It is understandable why some must drive: time, ability, or convenience. However, roughly 10,000 residents live a mile from the downtown. The summer provides many opportunities to walk; if walking to summer errands and the train reduced our carbon footprint by 5 percent, we’d prevent over 1,500 metric tons of carbon pollution. This means cleaner air, more in-town parking, better visibility of July Fourth celebrations, and less smog shortening would-be 300 yard drives. Instead of the quick wave when driving by friends, we would actually catch up, check in and make plans with those we don’t often see. And if we’re being honest, half of this town (not you, of course) cannot properly maneuver the Hinsdale main crossings.

The Hinsdale I know is an amazing town with great people. We have an opportunity to create a happier, healthier, and safer community. — Gavin Bailey, Hinsdale, sophomore, College of the Holy Cross