Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CarFree

Tomorrow, September 22, is World CarFree Day and Flagstaff is participating.

A few weeks ago Julie and I took the CarFree pledge which may seem a little strange given that we don't live in the city. We decided to drive to the first bus stop on the east side of the city, park and ride the bus to work. To make this happen we have to leave for work 45 minutes early, park, walk to the bus stop, take the 20 minute ride to the center of town and walk about a mile south to my office and a mile and a half to Julie's office. Julie has a meeting on north campus at 8 AM so her walk will shortened. We could transfer to another bus that stops about 100 yards from my building but walking is more appealing.

I don't enjoy cities. Whenever we see someone wearing a shirt printed with "Allergic to Cities" Julie always comments "there's your shirt". About a year ago I realized why I don't like cities -- traffic, cars, noise, speed, inconsiderate drivers. Limit cities to mass transit, bicycles, skateboards and pedestrians and I think cities would be fine places.

I'm looking forward to this small CarFree adventure.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Alex (not EVEN his real name) said...

Your adventurous spirit sometimes shames my safe one. Shame on.....Me?

9/22/2010 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Grace said...

I am eager to learn how this was for you. It does take a good deal more time to get where we're going without a car, and we have to shop much closer to home for groceries--neighborhood stores that charge higher prices. Still, the money we save by not owning a car makes it possible to afford to live in a city that has good public transportation.

But the noise! I long for silence.The noise is constant, all day long and into the night. Shouting people from the bars finally slam into their cars and roar home between two and three a.m., just in time for the garbage and delivery trucks to show up, frequently with radios blaring. Of course, drunks roaring away in cars inevitably leads to sirens (and who knows how much sadness for how many families). After the delivery trucks make their noisy getaway, the shops begin to open, more cars and people crowd the streets, and it starts all over again.

Would it be worth it to own a car again, just to live where the loudest sounds we might hear at night are the coyotes and crickets, as I heard last weekend in the country? Sometimes, I think so, especially now that affordable all electric cars are on the horizon.

Electric cars still mean coal-fired plants, though. Difficult choices.

10/02/2010 02:22:00 AM  

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