Monday, November 27, 2006

A "post"-al century....

This post has been a long time coming, and part of it has been the self imposed pressure of anniversary numbers, this is my 100th post on the blog. I wanted to say something deep and profound, or at least nominally witty. But sometimes in life you have to quit waiting for perfection or the muse to strike and just write it. So here it goes.

In the 100 posts this is what I've learned.

1) going car free easily means that the place you live has to make a sincere effort at supporting alternatives to cars. That means density or at least a commitment to other forms of transportation. For instance my friend lives in a pretty car friendly place, but she can also walk to BART (a subway system) to get into S.F. and be car free. Most places in America are based on the assumption you will have a car, think about the ratio of square footage dedicated to a car (parking, garages, etc) to actually living and working. It's close to one to one.

2) It takes commitment and flexibility. Commitment to try it as much as you can, to not take the easier route, to plan ahead and not rely on your car as locker. It takes flexibility since you have to be able to adapt when plans change. Tonight I had dinner with a friend and associate of a non-profit that I am on the board of, and she missed her train as a result of our spirited conversation. So she went and hung out with a family member in the area. Now not everyone has a relative relatively close to the train stop, but you adapt.

3) There are few better excuses to buy a new iPod or three.

4) You do get in shape, and people do notice! - With the weather changing, I've been driving again because it's also getting dark earlier. But I'm also gaining hibernation fat again.

5) It's a great conversation starter.

6) It's a great blog starter.

7) it's a good way to discover your neighborhood. Paths that you might not take open up to you, things that you might not have noticed at velocity become noticeable (like when an acquaintance is home or not, damn that makes me sound like a stalker, it's not like that at all -- you notice people's life patterns though on foot and on transit that you don't when driving).

In the course of the experiment, I've gotten one person to ride my bike to his work a few times, realized that food really does taste better when you had to lug it a few miles and that yes only a nobody walks in L.A. (ok, the last one I stole as a closer, it's late and I'm off to sleep)

Here's to maybe 100 more.


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