Dreading driving

The AP reports on a new study showing that Americans are falling out of love with their cars. Let the break ups begin! And go on the rebound with “economy and efficiency.” I travel a lot, speaking about my book, blogging, and consulting and I’ll go out of my way to not get a car, bring my bike, and use mass transit. My Volvo is a great car and a pleasure to drive on the open road, but there’s no joy in a commute or drive to the grocery store.

Last week when I met a commuter who had given up his car, I wondered how many more drivers had done that recently. Have any of you? Know anyone that’s dropped their car like a bad habit?



12 Comments

I stopped driving in 1997 when I emigrated to Canada from the UK. Insurance was too expensive, and public transport and cycling served my needs just fine.

The worrying point for me in the article linked was the statement that 6 percent admitted falling asleep driving in the past year - and I’m sure there were more that just didn’t admit to it!

no love loss here.
took a new job last year on a bus line, and have limited the use of my car extensively, thru my fixie commute and mass transit.
my car rarely moves all week, and i avoid taking it just about anywhere it is not needed.
what a relief-

My wife and I have decided to get along with one vehicle and have parked our truck for the month of July, now we’re selling it. The next step is building a bike trailer to haul stuff. We’ll only use the car as absolutely necessary.

I took up riding a bike four years back and since then I am a weekend driver , that too not by choice , can’t convince my wife to ride all over as I do . I am however skeptical that even though people are enjoying driving lesser there will be very many people who will make a switchover .

We moved to one car over a year ago, and while it seemed like such a big step at the time, we hardly even notice.

My husband commutes downtown by bus (and bike when it’s nice out and he’s inspired) while I compete with myself to see how many days in a row I can go without starting the car.  Most nice days, I tow my son around in the bike trailer or walk around the neighborhood for errands.  When that’s not possible, he loves to ride the bus!

These days I’ve got my heart set on an Xtracycle cruiser…maybe a no-car family isn’t so far off for us.

I’ve been down a car for about a year now. I commute to work by bike most days and get a carpool on others. With a family of four in Northern Virginia it is not very practical to be carless. However, I am slowly making headway toward riding a bike to places that are close to us…e.g. community pool, ice cream store, etc. Ironically just before I read your post I suggested to my wife that the family ride out to the ice cream shop after dinner tonight…she said “what! are you crazy! in this heat!” Oh well, I’ll keep working on it.

Graham, we moved from NoVA to Seattle in 2004 and it’s so much easier to commute by bike now.  The compromise I made in DC was to Metro in with my bike really early (before the rush hour cut-off) and then ride back to Vienna to pick up my car.

Though I miss VA/DC more than I ever imagined, I definitely do not miss trying to navigate downtown DC on two wheels.  I’ve been nearly taken out on Nebraska Ave one too many times.

Stay cool!!

Great to see all these posts. We’re going to build the Bike Hugger Commuter this fall with an extracycle and Pam is going to give it a go with no car.

My family went car-free for about a year, using the bus, bikes, grocery delivery, and the occasional FlexCar (relatives at the airport and whatnot). The first time our daughter got very sick and had to be taken to the hospital, and the nearby FlexCar was out, we realized that we needed to have a reliable car available. We again have a car, and while it’s rarely driven it’s good to have at hand.

Sold the car two years ago.  Commute from ballard to pioneer square via myrtle edwards every day, or use the metro. Girlfriend has a car which I use when I need to. Only problem is bike theft which happened to me this year. Be sure to use a U-Lock!

It’s been 3 years without owning a car! I started commuting by bike 5 years ago. Then I realized I was not using my car enough to pay for the parking lot, so I sold it and joined a car-sharing club in my city
greetings!

SUBJECT: ENDING THE WORLD’S ADDICTION TO OIL—EMPOWERING THE PEOPLE TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING—WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY

Please be advised that there is an important new book available on subject. 

The book is: “HOW TO LIVE WELL WITHOUT OWNING A CAR” by Chris Balish.

This book provides a voluntary, step-by-step, plan to empower all people in the fight to reduce the number of cars on the road, to break the world’s addiction to oil, and to stop global warming.  Car sharing is an important part of this plan.

This is a good plan that could be a great plan if governments would offer a few incentives to further encourage its adoption.

Sincerely,

Tom Balish
Ledyard, CT

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