The Final Report
On the final day of my 30-day NO CAR Experiment, do you think I rested my newfound leg muscles on the desk and enjoyed a bottle of champagne, fended off a barrage of reporters or cranked up the jalopy and burned rubber out of the driveway? Guess you know me well if you selected champagne in my office as the correct answer – only because drinking with reporters or driving cars while drinking is a bad idea.
Back in August when I thought of testing how hard it would be to live and work without a car, honestly, it never occurred to me that a prisspot like me would be able to do it. Like most Austin, Texas citizens the idea of relying on your own two feet, Capitol Metro, Yellow Cab or a bike seems impossible, impractical and nonsensical. Truly, I rehearsed the scathing tirade I would direct at the mayor and all the other loudmouths who spout the “get out of the car” message as I explained that Austin is not a city where one can LiveWorkPlay with no car. It’s just too freaking hot in Texas to submit oneself to the elements.
In my preconceived report I planned to document the ridiculousness that I was certain would coincide with hodgepodge suburban/urban transportation. I imagined Lucille Ball missing her stop and the adventures that would ensue at the wrong stops. My mind was filled with visions of Ally McBeal (How dated is that reference? Is my lack of television
showing?) explaining to clients that her bus was late. Then there were the fantasies of Latka from Taxi becoming my new friend.
While I searched for a riotous subject to exploit in Value wIT, I found myself. LOL, that might be a dramatic overstatement. What about, I found peace? True, I stopped yelling at fellow drivers, but still a bit over-the-top. I found hope for the future? Nah. Honestly and simply, I discovered that life without a car is possible and enjoyable.
Austin is too spread out to navigate without a car
My shopping habits were severely altered: new dentist, grocery store, coffee shop, cleaners, postal store and much more Internet shopping.
Capitol Metro is inconvenient
The main stop I use is one and half blocks from my house. There were certainly places I could not access without investing a big chunk of time. However, most of those places had solutions (pharmacy delivers!), got cut from my chore list (Sam’s Club) or waited until “car day”.
Capitol Metro is unreliable (someone pay attention to this)