Care-free for 3 years …

I have been car-free for 3 years. I still own and operate a vehicle but it is seldom used and, when it is, it is to transport bikes for a holiday or to a favourite cycling route.

This happened accidentally.  I didn’t set out to go car-free.  I began a job downtown.  Parking was exceptional expensive and the commute by car, although only 8 km, long and frustrating.  I live near the Canada Line, an underground train built for the 2010 Winter Olympics, that gets me to the downtown core in just 7 minutes.  I began taking the train in the morning and walking home in the evening.  It is a 90 minute walk through a variety of ethnic and shopping areas of the city.  At first, the walk was an effort and I would be exhausted afterward.  But as time progressed,  I began looking forward to it, exploring new routes and shopping along the way.  The 90 minutes grew to 120 or more depending on the route.

When Spring came, I began to cycle.  There is a traffic calmed bikeway right to the office and my colleagues are very supportive, many of whom commute by bike  as well.

That was 3 years ago now.  During the wet, winter months, I ride the train in the morning and walk home in the evenings.  Spring, summer and fall, I commute by bike and progressively extend the route home with laps around Stanley Park.

I don’t miss driving.  I like the convenience of having a vehicle but much prefer to walk and cycle around town.  The next step is to actually sell the SUV or downsize to a more economical vehicle given the amount it is used.

That’s my resolution for 2014.

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