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Decades of research shows that expanding roads doesn’t provide lasting congestion relief. More lanes means more traffic.

Congratulations to the Active Trans Haiku Contest winner!

In the fall we asked people to send us their best haikus related to cycling, walking and public transportation. Haikus — a traditional form of Japanese poetry — follow a very basic three line format, the requirement being that the first line is five syllables, the second seven syllables and the last line five again./

We feel there is a simplicity and peacefulness to the form that complements active transportation. Though biking, walking or taking transit in urban areas can be hectic at times, those types of transportation offer a chance to enjoy being out in the world and allow time to think and reflect — activities that can be hard to come by in our increasingly fast paced world.

After carefully sifting through many dozens of submissions, we’ve selected the winner and some runners up to highlight.

DePaul biology professor Carolyn Martineau submitted the top entry with a poem based on watching the slow creation of the Elston bike lane during her commutes to work. “When I first saw that green paint I got butterflies in my stomach and a goofy grin on my face,” Martineau said. “That’s pretty much how that haiku was born.”

Congratulations to Martineau, who received a free membership to Active Trans, a free registration for one of Active Trans’ events and a $50 gift card to REI. Thanks to everyone who submitted so many great entries.

Here’s Martineau’s hiaku and those from the runners up.

Winner

As commute routes sprout

Emerald protected lanes

Our bikes dance with glee

—Carolyn Martineau

Runners up

Bike in silhouette

Red sun rising on water

Peaceful beginning

—Lisa Curcio

There to there and back

In the cycle of my life

In between matters

— By Rosa Gaia

Feeling the sun's warmth
Waving hello to neighbors
This is why I walk

 

—Andrea Lee

Pedestrian is

Anything but ordinary

You walk for your soul

—Erika Enk Reuter

 

Photo courtesy of Mark Roschen