Sunday, November 12, 2006

Best is the Enemy of Better....

There is an increasing dissatistfaction toward a car only lifestyle that our society forces up on us. Recently in the Yahoo Group CarFree (subscription available at: the rhetoric can be sometimes intimidating. Though I really do appreciate the great passion that exists to try to live a car free existence. There was a post on the list that reminded me that progress often happens in little steps, and it's the direction that matters.

Often the rhetoric of being absolutely car free can be intimidating as an all or nothing proposition, which scares people away. Often it's our internal desire to be car free that drives us and that is good. The fact that you are struggling with such things means you care, and that's the first thing. Car Free is an ideal, but the architecture of our communities does not make that realistic, nor safe. (There is one way to be absolutely car free after being hit by a car, but I don't think that's the goal). Be proud that you are incrementally making things better.

On a more personal note, on Saturday I had to run some errands close to home, so I rode my bike. Covered probably 6 - 8 miles in total. Unfortunately, the post office was closed and the machine was out of stamps. Later in the day, I had to meet up with some friends in a town two over, but I drove and then we walked everywhere to get things done. Had coffee, did a little shopping. I went grocery shopping, carried what I needed in my messenger bag (saving resources there), had more coffee. Had dinner, listened to the Author Richard Ford speak. You alternate when you can and drive when you can't. Conceivably I could have taken the train if I didn't have to hunt down stamps along the way.

You win some you lose some. It's important to remember that "Best is the enemy of better" I too have had to make choices, compromises. Sometimes "Carless" is not realistic, but we should work for as much "less car" as possible. And that's better than where we're at.


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