Eleven Consequences You May Face If You Give Up Your Car
By JOHN O. ANDERSEN
January 21, 2003
Warning: If these sound horrific, by all means don't think another second about parting with your wheels.
1. You'll have to get used to packing less into each day. For instance, most evenings will be family and home-centered. On Saturdays, instead of everyone going in five different directions, you may end up having to go places together, and share the experience.
2. Your kids will be forced to ride their bikes, or walk instead of being chauffeured everywhere. And because of the effort required to get around, they may not be able to fit in two sport teams, after school music lessons, and school clubs all in the same week.
3. You may need to take up old hobbies like cooking, gardening, or reading to fill up the time you formerly spent stuck in traffic while doing errands.
4. With all of the walking you will be doing as a part of your daily routine, you may be too tired to go to the gym anymore, and your membership may lapse.
5. If you go places as a family, you may need to get there by foot, bus, or light rail. While waiting for the bus, or train, you'll be forced to engage in conversation.
6. You may feel compelled to patronize local privately owned stores (where the profits get plowed back into the local community) instead of the big box ones (where the profits go to multinational corporations) you used to reach with a car. And you may even have to equip your bike with a basket on the front and a rack and panniers on the back just so you can do your grocery shopping.
7. You'll lose the feeling of camaraderie, and esprit de corps you had with all the motorists with whom you formerly shared the road during morning, and evening rush hour.
8. You may have to give up the suburbs, for housing closer to the city center. You may be forced to get used to having a local park you can reach by foot, rather than by car.
9. You may have to get your entertainment by listening to the sounds of nature, or noticing trees, flowers, and unique architecture on your daily walks. You may have no choice but to start attending cultural and seasonal events in the city (parades, Christmas tree lightings, picnics, etc.), instead of doing tried and proven fun things like driving down to Blockbuster for a video, pigging out at Taco Bell, or cruising the mall.
10. Your relationships with 100% car dependent friends may weaken a bit. You may need to get to know your immediate neighbors since you'll be spending less time on the road, and more time in your immediate neighborhood.
11. Your life will slow way down. Without the fast pace, you risk the potentially uncomfortable feeling of frequently being left alone with your thoughts.
If you're frightened with these prospects, then do hold on to your car, and keep things stable in your life. On the other hand, if you think you could embrace some upheaval, and even thrive, then go ahead, ditch the car.
But don't ever say I didn't warn you.