Sunday, December 13, 2009


We hardly even noticed that we passed the one-year mark in our experiment of living without a car. Time for some reflections. Basically, I'd sum it by saying that there are some obvious inconveniences of carlessness but, then again, car ownership is also a pain in the neck. It's been a matter of trade-offs.

Car ownership (cons)
  • parking tickets on street sweeping days
  • always forgetting to renew residential street parking permits
  • keeping up with insurance payments
  • remembering to file car registration
  • oil changes
  • dealing with maintenance issues
  • I hate driving
Carlessness (cons)
  • can't just hop in the car and drive down to the store when it's cold and rainy
  • fewer Target runs
  • having to plan things ahead of time
  • getting to the CityCarShare pod and finding out that your car isn't there or the reservation that you thought you made wasn't made after all
  • relying on others for rides
  • grocery shopping is a bigger production
  • the herky-jerky drivers on AC transit
Car ownership (pros)
  • ability to do things at a moments notice
  • ability to haul a lot of stuff (sometimes I really miss that Passat wagon)
Carlessness (pros)
  • I've learned to love biking and have discovered I can go many places in Berkeley (and beyond) on my bike
  • Target is overrated
  • none of those bureaucratic headaches (see above)
  • walking is great exercise