Friday, October 23, 2009

Freedom from Car

I've been car-free since 1989. Since then, I've felt such a feeling of freedom that I can't imagine ever owning a car again. Young people are astutely realizing this: look at the leading causes of accidental death among young people. Look at the sunk costs and debt required to serve an automobile-centered life. Look at the lost time spent finding a parking space, parking, sitting in traffic, routine and non-routine maintenance, gassing up the car, and the rate of death for car drivers. Being free of all of this is the best possible feeling you can have.

I urge you to consider being car-free: you can do it by living close to what matters to you in an environment that has an existing infrastructure of walkable urbanism and alternative transportation. See if you can walk and bike to your major destinations. Choose your home close to transit lines. In the odd time you need a vehicle, rent one, use a zip car, or see about community car-sharing services. It is easy to be car free, and the freedom you gain from it is uniquely American. Cars, invented in the 19th century, popularized in the 20th, and worshipped by our grandparents, aren't a smart choice for the 21st century. JohnDecember, commenting on Planetizen