Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The inertia ends, the car departs

My wife and I are losing 3,500 pounds of unnecessary weight! Take that Jenny Craig! We're finally--finally--selling our litely used Honda Civic

We've been considering this a long time. The payments stopped ages ago, not much expense beyond insurance, gas, oil changes, and minimal maintenance. But some major repairs loom on the near horizon (timing belt, clutch, etc.), and we use it so rarely that it isn't worth the investment.

In the city, owning a car is really much more of a nuisance than a convenience. Without the car, we will continue to walk and bike for most trips, use transit for other trips, take Amtrak or Caltrain to most near out-of-town destinations, we can rent cars for other weekend excursions, use cabs to get Muki to vet, and maybe join a car sharing organization--there are not one, but three (!) here in San Francisco: Zipcar, Flexcar, and City Car Share.

Mostly we were inspired by the new book, How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, and Get More Mileage Out of Life by Chris Balish. I'm actually quoted in Chapter Five. This was the final straw: How could we really "walk the talk?" So we're going from "car-lite" to "car-free". Balish has been making the talk show rounds and other book promo stuff. Check it out: NPR, KNBC-TV 4 Los Angeles, and KQED-FM "Forum".


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