The best bus ever

The best bus ever
Jason Sievers' awesome Art in Transit bus

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I drive for the first time in a week

Hey, I have a new record: I went from last Thursday night through this morning, nearly a week, without driving. I broke my chain of car-less days only because my daughter woke up late today, missed her bus, and needed a ride to school.

On top of that, I drove only twice the week before: to church, because there's no bus service on Sundays, and last Thursday because my daughter needed something at a shop 3 miles away after the buses stopped. Granted, I was in the Seattle area last weekend, but I relied on transit and friends to get around there.

This week back in Boise, I took a brand-new-to-me route (#4 Roosevelt) to my dentist. That was especially cool: The bus arrived five minutes before my 9 a.m. appointment, and the next one came at 10:25, about 15 minutes after I was done.

I'm learning to consolidate errands very well. For example, after my dentist appointment, I had a noon meeting at the Statehouse, so I filled that hour-and-a-half with errands I'd "collected" for that morning: buying my brother's birthday present and my husband's Valentine's Day gift, picking up some office supplies, and visiting the library.

And this morning, when my kid needed a ride, I combined that with the car-based stuff I'd been "saving" for the next time I needed to drive: taking two bags of glass to the recycling bin at BSU and making a major grocery run. (I do most of my shopping on foot to the Albertsons three blocks away, but once every two weeks or so I make a trip with my car to buy the bulkier stuff.)

I will need to drive again tomorrow, since my daughter and I are attending something that'll keep us downtown into the evening. (Well, I may be able to convince her to walk!) But after that, I'll start gunning for another record and see if I can break my near-weeklong stretch of enjoying the car-free life.


Bikeboy said...

Nice work, Julie!

Those who have resigned themselves to total dependence on a motor vehicle just can't appreciate the satisfaction that you are enjoying.

I probably average 2 car-trips a week, year 'round. It's nice to have the car handy for carrying heavy loads. And when I'm traveling to a destination with my family, unfortunately, it's ALWAYS by car. (They are all equipped with very functional bicycles, and of course we've got the bus line 3 blocks from our house... but it's almost impossible to get out of that Car Mindset, established over years or even generations.)

During the summer, I'll frequently go for weeks at at time without ever being inside an automobile. (The family goes to Cedar City UT every year for Shakespeare... and take the car. It is never missed.)

I'd liks to recommend a book. It's called How To Live Well Without Owning a Car, written by Chris Balish. (When he was writing it, he actually contacted me via email, and included a quote of mine, on Page 44, I believe.) It is available at the Boise Public Library.

My book review and further info can be found on my "Bike Nazi" blog:

Julie in Boise said...

Thanks, bikeboy. I will definitely look for that book. It sounds great, even for people who simply want to drive less, not get rid of their rides altogether. (And congrats on being quoted therein!)

My daughter is already mocking me for driving less. "Get a hybrid," she says (and in fact, when we do buy another vehicle, we probably will - but that's a few years off since we will drive both our 97 Camry and 99 Cavalier into the ground).

She doesn't yet understand that it's not just about using less gas. It's about choosing to order my life a little differently and support public goods that I value: better transit, clean air, and less crowded roads.