Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« More from those Depressed 1970... | Breaking Up Is Hard to Do »

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

CNN Covers Carless Local Family

Posted by on June 21 at 12:25 PM

My TV boyfriend, Anderson Cooper, just ran a segment on Alan Durning, the Sightline Institute blogger whose five-person family gave up their car earlier this year. (Go to the link that says “Save the Planet, Ditch Your Car” on the left side of the page.) It’s nice to see carless living getting some positive press for once, instead of the trite, faux-contrarian bike-bashing that has been the local media’s only response.

CommentsRSS icon

Well, the thing is, when others go carless, it makes those using cars feel bad about their own actions.

If we were in a more transit/rail connected society like Europe, they wouldn't have as many problems.

Go see the Al Gore movie. It explains everything. I drive a hybrid car, shop at Whole Foods, and only drink sustainable organic coffee. I'm doing my part. If we all sacrifice, we can stop global warming.

Hey! He's my TV boyfriend too! Dirty two-timing...ok, I forgive him. He's dreamy...

Knute Berger is a snore but he's right about one thing there: if you have a car and lots of friends on Capitol Hill also, you end up driving around an awful lot running errands from your friends too globally-aware or whatever to own a car.

My family is doing it too, though only half way. The guilt finally got to us, and we are finally getting rid one of our cars and are going to survive with one car and bikes for everyone. Maybe a year from now I'll make the announcement that we are down to NO cars.

God forbid we're not allowed to feel entitled to drive a giant super tanker SUV that gets 8 miles per gallon.

Cars turn people into assholes.

"if you have a car and lots of friends on Capitol Hill also, you end up driving around an awful lot running errands from your friends too globally-aware or whatever to own a car"

Well there's always flex car, and they have pickups for moves too. I own a car but never drive it except for the occasional road trip to bike in OR or east of the mnts.

"I drive a hybrid car, shop at Whole Foods" - this is meant sarcastically right?

Whole Foods and to a lesser extent places like Madison Market sells produce mostly sourced from large factory farms that are only slightly more eco-friendly than non-organic factory farms. (Cal-Organic is a HUGE factory operation. Anyplace that stocks it is suspect in terms of its commitment - or that of its customers - to sustainable farming practices.)
Whole Foods started out patronizing local growers, but they've gotten too big for that and now source predominantly (in fact almost exclusively) from huge factory farming operations that can deliver the volume they need. What small farm produce they do source is for show.

Anyone trying to raise kids needs to make some hard choices that might indeed involve going for cheap vs. sustainable, or convenient vs. sustainable. No one else has a good excuse though. If you are childless and living in the city and drive any car everywhere and eat factory farmed food, foodlot stuffed beef, etc., you are simply part of the problem.

One of the fun things about walking kids to and from school/daycare is you get to actually talk with them, find out what's going on, and so on.

It builds families.

The car, on the other hand, builds frustrations. That's why I hate days when we run late or there's a big downpour, cause we drive then.

Unfortunately, a bike won't get me to work in Bellevue (a bus will, hours later) or to Ellensburg and back twice one weekend or so a month (and neither will buses or trains).

Of course, Seattle is an island; you never need to visit or even imagine anything off its shores.

In the city, I ride my bike. When I leave Seattle—and I'm out of town a lot—I take the train or fly. You can walk to the train station and the bus goes to the airport. See how that works?

I'd be interested in knowing the gender breakdown of those who bike to work. (as well as the type of work a person does).

Men's clothing and shoe options are generally less complicated than a woman's and most men don't wear make-up and most have short hair (or no hair) that's easy to deal with. The planning and implementation it would take for a professional businesswoman to ride a bike to work every day would add about an hour of time a day. (For example, making sure the undergarments that go with a certain outfit that you have to plan out in advance and somehow deliver to your place of business ahead of time and the jewelry that matches and making sure you have a bag that's big enough to hold an extra pair of nice shoes that probably have a heel on them, and then if you have a skirt and nylons, blah blah, the list is endless. People in creative fields can well, get creative, but many workplaces have a regular, business-clothes standard.

Segway on the other hand...:)

oh, to the Bellevue poster - according to the online maps, parts of Bellevue are very walkable (think it was Times or PI), so just move closer to where you work and STFU about driving.

The hardest part about not owning a car is getting over yourself and your reliance on a vehicle. Flexcar makes things so fucking easy and you NEVER have to worry about gas, maintenance, or insurance.

This afternoon I was driving my girlfriend's car to take a bike to the shop(no handlebars means no ride) and it was the most annoying thing knowing that I had to wait to turn right because I couldn't squeeze past the truck ahead of me. Then I had to park.... Biking makes things extremely easy, but I will admit that I also get pretty sweaty. But then again I never have to work out in a gym.

I may live in the city but I rarely need a car. People who are dependent on their cars can't see past the fear of being unprepared. Once they do, they're sold.....usually.

bridal shoe

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).