15 January 2007

why i'm anti-car

i ride in trains, buses, cabs, and yes, sometimes even cars. (the overly-anal out there will try to point out that cabs are cars, but this is nyc, baby, they're magical! ha!) i understand that for some people (like my darling crista), cars are a necessity in your life. the grocery store is five miles away, there is no easily accessible public transport system where you live, you have a disability and a car allows you to get around, you work 70 miles from where you live (and you are not moving from where you live because your honey cannot move or whatever!) and you need to drive, whatever--i understand you have your reason for driving.

now here's some of my reasons for NOT driving!
  • environmental destruction. cars produce heaps of pollution.
  • oil. oil equals the reason we're in iraq, the reason chevron and others have destroyed huge sections of the rainforest and alaska and too many other places.
  • people drive like morons. the less i drive, the less i have to be around morons.
  • i don't want to drive. i can't picture myself hopping into my ugly little (or big, gas-guzzling car) car every day to drive to work, deal with snarls of traffic. i like walking, running, riding my bike, taking the train, and even the bus, much more. these are also all methods i use for getting around.
  • i hate the way people can't seem to walk five minutes or ten minutes. they complain about being overweight but then won't walk to the deli 3 blocks away. they drive. this seems to be a very american thing, from what i've seen.
  • i like being able to read on my commute. right now, i'm reading we don't need another wave and news of a kidnapping. i recommend both.
  • i don't want to be another driver. i don't want my commute or my transport to be causing excess environmental damage. yes, i know, buses and trains are not super friendly, but it's MUCH better for me to cram on a bus with 50 other people than me to get in my car and drive behind 49 other cars with 1 person in them each.
  • um, i've forgotten how to drive. i haven't driven in over 2.5 years and i honestly forget which is the gas and which is the brake. seriously.

for v and w, who are also carless by choice. i'm sick of defending my decision to never want to own a car. perhaps this will change someday, but i hope not.

1 comment:

V said...

Very sensible reasons, my dear, that I completely agree with. I kind of was car free by default, at first, back in the day; the only person who tried to teach me to drive was my mom, who would freak out every time we went out so that I became fed up and was like, forget this! Then I moved to OH to go to school and couldn't have a car if I wanted to while I lived in the dorms. Then I started becoming more environmentally aware and decided that was the reason I didn't drive: because I shouldn't be driving.

But I'm not so militant that I don't appreciate cars. I was in one the other night. I wouldn't be able to visit my grandparents or my Aunt if someone didn't drive me. I just don't see a reason to drive one all the time. I love the idea of car shares that some cities, such as Portland, OR, have, where you can drive one on occasion when you need one.

And, because I don't have a car, I live in the city. Simple and effective. I walk most of the time. I'll bike when the weather gets better. And if it's really horrendous, I bus. I'm in shape and I love it. I agree that most of society balks at walking a short distance. A lot of my friends in Buffalo do....but I have met some kindred souls who feel the same way as I. There out there, even in cities like the one I live in! (And Buffalo does have a good number of bicyclists, biking museums, and a history of biking.)

One of my friends has another reason why he doesn't drive: he drinks, and he knows he wouldn't have the self restraint not to get behind the wheel of a car if he's been drinking....therefore, he chooses not to drive because he doesn't want to kill anyone.

There's nothing wrong with being car free. I can handle not paying insurance and all the other associated fees that come with owning a car.

And that's very freeing.