Thursday, July 24, 2008

Life without a car?

Alternet has a first-person account today about a man who, for the first time in two decades, is no longer a driver.

Andrew Lam says that owning a car has always been intrinsically American, but now giving up your car is the new American responsibility.

(I don't think I'd go that far ... and I certainly couldn't without my car. Ba-dah-dum!)

Lam confesses that he misses the convenience of his car:

"What was once a matter of expediency is now an effortful navigation.

'I'll be there in 15 minutes!' I used to tell a good friend who once lived nearby but who now resides, without a car, at an inconvenient distance. Going to my favorite Asian food market suddenly has turned into another arduous chore: Once a 30 minute event, it has become a two-hour ordeal, with bags in hands, and bus transfers."

What is interesting is that Lam is writing from San Francisco, one of the most walkable American cities. If it's hard for someone in San Fran, how doable is it for someone in Boise? Or, to use the American test city, Peoria?

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