So to me, Wednesday’s Car Free Day is about raising consciousness concerning choice, not about pushing people out of their cars. So I hope people who usually drive will consider options that could save them money and stress. You don’t have to take a sudden and lasting plunge into a completely different commuting style. But do think through the alternatives of transit, biking, walking or telecommuting — even once in a while. As Nicholas Ramfos of the Commuter Connections program says, “Just try it.”
I am so grateful I get to work from home. I’m more productive in my quiet apartment than I am in our bright, electrifying newsroom. I can run down the street when Go-go legends are hanging out at Ben’s. I can read without being disturbed and make phone calls without disturbing others.
I can use a bathroom which does not require a key. I don’t have to worry about expensive cab rides, quarter-guzzling meters or delays on the green or red line. I’m much happier because like all bloggers, I get to work in my pajamas. I kid. I work in my gym clothes, because that way I feel less guilty about all of that technology and lycra going unused as I ignore the two gyms I live within a quarter-mile from.
Having typed all of that, I am well-aware that I am very lucky, and not just because I have an enlightened boss. I deliberately chose to live above a subway station and within a block of a grocery store, restaurants and a drug store. Later today, when I go to work for an afternoon staff meeting (posting may be light!), my office will be a block from a metro stop. But that’s a new development for me; previous work and home addresses weren’t so easy to travel between.
A lot of us drive when we don’t need to (I’m totally guilty of this; I blame my California roots.) but some of us drive because we have to, I know. Here’s to more car-free options, for all of us.