Friday, April 18, 2008

Could you go carless, for 1 year, forever?

I was reading about Sweetpea Bicycles 1 year anniversary of going car-less. I think that is very impressive! Lately I've been trying to ride or walk to more places where I would ordinarily drive but I have a long way to go before I could go car-less. Besides the fact that my wife's business is at least 50% craft show sales which require us to load up her Explorer and drive her tent, tables and display around the country. I personally haven't made the commitment to truly lower my driving as much as I possibly can. It is so easy to decide to just drive and make (good sounding) excuses. I could do more and plan to start.

Excuse one for my wife and for me would be there is no real safe avenue of travel, walking or biking, from our condominiums to the shopping centers in Green Hills. We are lucky to be so close to many of our essentials, but there is still about a quarter mile stretch where you have to walk in the grass of business's lawns to avoid the shoulder-less road. This is very discouraging to my wife. I've grown accustomed to riding this stretch on the road and hoping to not get plastered by a non-attentive driver. I hope that helping organizations such as Walk/Bike Nashville, will bring about city which plans for the needs to the non-drivers of the community.

Sweetpea mentioned their use of Zipcars to help with the errands and trips they can't accomplish by non-motorized means. I checked out the website and this is a great idea! Instead of renting bikes when you travel somewhere, bring your bike and rent a car for the infrequent trips you require. Wanna drive for an afternoon to get all your shopping complete and large presents taken to the Post Office? Rent a Zipcar for a few hours, gas and insurance included (and even parking sometimes).

Gas prices are on the rise so everything is on the rise. When you start calculating how much you spend on each car trip, the Zipcar may make more and more sense. Wanna know what your commute costs you? Gas Commute Calculator The Zipcar is about $8-9 an hour or $50 to $65 per day...INCLUDING gas, insurance, oil changes, tune-ups, tires, windshield wipers etc etc. Currently Zipcar is only available in select cities, Atlanta being the closest.

Here are some links for other cities working towards less cars on the roads.

Seattle One Less Car Program
One Less Car.Org in Maryland
One Less Car News in Baltimore

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