By Micheline Maynard
Our reader Anne in Ann Arbor has asked for advice on whether to keep her 1998 Honda Civic or go car free. Frederick Ollinger in San Diego says she can pull the plug, and tells her how.
You access to a car will impact your life decisions and make you more or less car dependent.
For example, you say that your suburb is car dependent. How did this happen? This could only occur if the developers and residents all decided that they were going to have access to a car.
If, on the other hand, at the beginning of this decision making process, you did not have a car, you would have made different decisions.
For example, when my wife and I moved from pedestrian Philly to “car dependent” San Diego, every one “knew” that we needed a car. Five years later we live not only without a car, but without a Zipcar.
How?1) If the place is too far to ride my bike to, I don’t do it. Period.
2) We would not apply to jobs in Kansas then buy a jet later to commute. Likewise, I don’t apply to jobs which are outside of my cycling radius. Nothing exists that I can’t get to.
I don’t feel any sense of loss at all because I don’t know any alternative.
I suggest to move to an area where you are not dependent upon your car–where you can get to work without a car as well as food and ditch the car.
If I had any access to a car what so ever, I would NOT be car light no matter how hard I tried. Driving is just too easy that when ever there’s any doubt at all, people will drive no matter how short the distance is.
Thus, all the “car light” crowd that I know lives a lifestyle more more in tune with the “car heavy” crowd than the no car crowd.
I have seen it happen. Once someone gets a car, all their life and recreation activities get centered around that car no matter their intentions.
We’re wrapping up Advice for Anne this weekend. If you have suggestions for her, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.