|The first picture I could find on the computer that had people walking.|
Friday, March 30, 2012
First off let me start by saying that I have already driven a car today.
But while I was driving, I was daydreaming a daydream I often have, about how I would love it if cars weren't "necessary." Now of course I got a taste of this living in Europe, where we didn't own or really even drive a car for 2 years. Yes, sometimes it would have been more convenient, but mostly, we didn't miss it. I liked having the grocery store and work and church, etc, all within walking distance. And with sidewalks that led to these places. And for a reliable bus system that had bus stops within walking distance for those days when your destination seemed to be too far away. For longer trips, we were within easy walking distance to the train station and bus station. There were always shuttles to and from the airport. There was always a way to get to where you needed to go without having to worry about taking care of a silly car.
Here in the US (or, at least where I live), we don't have good sidewalks. We don't have reliable bus systems. I can't just walk to the grocery store, or to church. I can't walk somewhere that will shuttle me to Pittsburgh, or to the airport, or to a bus station. People complain about gas prices all the time, but really it falls on deaf ears* when you're talking to me. I don't think the "solution" is for someone else to lower gas prices. I think the solution is for us to drive less...but unfortunately we're not set up for it.
But I wonder how my life would be different if I insisted on not driving for most of the time? Would I be able to survive on the few groceries I could scrounge up? Would I be willing to walk all the way downtown to buy a few groceries (uphill on the way back...and 1.1 miles away). What sort of things would I have to give up? In what ways would we benefit?
Maybe a project for this summer. If it isn't 1000 degrees fahrenheit out every day.
*Pun recognized. I know I am hard-of-hearing.