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rbnyc

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Gender: Female
Hometown: New York
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 17,043

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Do you know how much a gallon of gas costs now? I don't.

I hear it's pretty high, but I realize that I am am almost never aware of the price of gas. That's just one of the wonderful things about being a committed non-driver.

Here are some more great things:

More opportunities to walk
No car payments
No car insurance payments
Never having to worry about parking
Less isolation - more connection to community through walking, public transportation and sharing a ride
The opportunity to slow things down, not rushing from place to place
The opportunity to become a better planner
The wonderful feeling of contributing less to car culture, which I despise
Leaving a smaller carbon footprint than a driver

I'm sure I could think of more, but I'll stop for now.

I have lived all over the country and have never been a driver and I've always done everything I wanted to do. Sometimes, I do have to take car service (which is not cost prohibitive if you think of what you're saving by not maintaining a car.) But mostly I have been able to walk, ride my bike, take public transportation, or coordinate a ride with someone going that way anyway - or as I like to say, giving someone the opportunity to use their car more efficiently.

I wish that every community had better public transportation so that it would be easier for more people to make this choice. Sometimes it is a hassle. (But I hear driving can be a hassle sometimes too.) But so many people say this choice would be impossible for them - my neighbors, who live, work and shop in the same community as me, say it would be impossible not to drive. It's not. Even without better community planning, more people could make this choice right now. And if they did, might that not contribute to better community planning?

On the bus on the way to work this morning, I was looking at all the cars on the road and every one of them had a single occupant. I was really proud to be on the bus by choice.

On Saturday I had to go to the bank, which is less than a mile from my house. I asked my 7-year-old son, who was playing computer games, to come take a walk with me. He put up a little resistance, but gave in. While we were walking he said, "I wish we could drive. I wish you didn't have all these crazy ideas about cars." I said, "What's crazy is burning fossil fuels to take a trip that's less than a mile from your house if you are able to walk. Plus, it's good exercise and it gives us a chance to be together." It did turn out to be a lovely walk.

Cars are tools and I know they are good for many things, but we overuse them and our ideas about the extent of their necessity are way out of whack.

That's my car rant for the day. Thanks for listening.
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