Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tip #2: Live in moderate density, places where mixed zoning is supported.

One of the things that has made a car necessity has been the excessively restrictive zoning laws that don't permit mixed zoning. Ironically, the laws designed to make neighborhoods more neighborly have done the exact opposite. If you look at movies, or even the Simpsons, one of the staples of the community contact is the neighborhood bar (Moe's) or the Mini-Mart (Apu's) where people congregate and foster relationships. This is present in the form of grocers that stock the essentials, but also make it possible to actually cook more since the cost of going to the store is vastly reduced. I have friends who do their grocery shopping at Costco, but one item, 10 items or a frat party is at least an hour affair.

So if you live in moderate density you'll be able to function in your day to day. Also, the cost of items at most small shopettes is competitive with the big grocers. Milk for instance on my benchmarks is $2.19 vs. $2.49. I save that in the gas I don't use and I even get a little exercise. For big loads, it still helps to go the big grocer. For those occasions, you can ask a friend or get a taxi.


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