Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Soon To Be Carless!!

I have a great new friend online named Mike Doyle. He's the author and/or writer of the blog "Chicago Carless" www.chicagocarless.com and he is fantastic and funny -- not to mention he actually lives the way I can't wait to live! WITHOUT A CAR!

I love the fact that I can drive, don't get me wrong. Now, if everyone else in the auto-owner world would also take a minute to learn the rules and laws from behind the wheel we'd all be THAT much better off right? Last year my best friend STEVE (a 2005 Focus) was completely smashed, destroyed, and murdered when a 74-year old woman without insurance decided to pull out into oncoming traffic - - by oncoming I mean ME. I was driving, I was the oncoming traffic. I was in the right, she was in the wrong and the fact that her eyes had been dilated the day before is the ONLY reason I used the word MURDER. It may have been negligent carslaughter, OK, but it was death to the STEVEster and that meant I was walking....until my adorable Dad saved me and gave me his car to drive. (There's another related story about Steve being fixed and then I lost him again, but we won't go there, it's boring and makes me cry when I think about it). Thank you Dad for your loving and kind gesture. I promise just as soon as I put the car in my name - - wait, I'll just give to Caity and she can do that. Good plan.

Losing STEVE made me realize that I am far too dependent on the car. Living in Oklahoma City one is 100% dependent on a car. Living just about anywhere except a larger city like Chicago or New York makes one completely too dependent on cars because most cities don't have the set up to handle those of us who would use the alternative if it were made available. I'm not moving to Chicago JUST for the theatres, jazz, great shopping, and free outdoor concerts - - well, the good food is a pull, but there is another reason...I will be CARLESS IN CHICAGO. (Remember, this Carless in Chicago is NOT to be confused with Mike Doyle's blog Chicago Carless www.chicagocarless.com - - follow Mike) LOL

When I'm carless I won't: Pay for gas, pay for insurance, have a car payment, buy a new bumper, get my tires changed, have a blow out on the highway forcing me to call the Highway patrol in 100 degree dry heat and wait 2 hours for it to be fixed. I won't run out of gas because the fuel sensor lied. I won't experience the waiting at the stoplights - - I WILL WALK THROUGH THEM. I won't forget to pay for my tag and get a ticket. I won't speed. Wait, I don't speed now. I won't be passed up for not speeding. I won't have to worry about my neighbors kid keying my car. I won't have to keep my car inside to avoid weather. I won't have to pay for parking. I won't have to look for a spot to park and go shopping. I won't have exhaust smells in my house from the car warming up. I won't have anyone smoking in my car. I won't worry about who sits in front - - there won't be a front!

In my new life, in my new condo, in my new city - - soon - - I will walk where I can. If I can't walk I'll take the bus. If I can't do that I'll take a taxi, and if I really really have to have it, can't do without it - - I will use a ZipCar (www.zipcar.com) and I will NEVER pay for gas or insurance again! $10 an hour and really - - that's all I'll need it for. Groceries can be delivered in Chicago, and I can literally walk to the Mag-Mile from my backdoor - EVEN when it's 5 degrees outside. I probably won't, but I could, and having that knowledge of I COULD, makes me happy.

There just aren't words to describe the loss I felt when I lost my little STEVE. We had been together from coast to coast to coast and back to the other side, top and bottom of our great country. We had been together 3 years and 85,000 miles...that's a lot of miles for 3 years people....I loved that little car. (Rumor has it that STEVE opted as a hotel now and then for the kids when they drove him too. He was that versatile....that beloved....and he is missed. There will simply never be another STEVE. R.I.P. my friend)

YEP, looking forward to being in the big city soon - - Jan/Feb maybe. No more payments, gasoline, insurance, traffic...oh I'm repeating myself. I'm sorry. It's just so....so...amazing. sigh.


Miss Minty said...

Don't box yourself in... Zipcar isn't your only option in Chi-town. Check out the local, non-profit car share in town: I-GO! igocars.org.

Best of luck; hope the move goes great.

Oops said...

Also check out http://www.carfreechicago.com for more resources for car-free living.