Carless in Seattle

ferry! light rail! bus! feet!

I’m aware that most of the world gets around without a car and it’s not news to anyone that we should be driving way less, but we seem to have gotten around to this realization only recently in any kind of serious way.  I can see how ingrained the car culture is by the fact that I assumed I’d rent a car to get around this weekend when I’m up in Seattle for my brother’s wedding party.

But, really, why do that?  Oil is gushing into the Gulf.  The least I can do is print out some transit schedules and figure out how to get from SeaTac to downtown Seattle, to Vashon Island to see my friend Karen, and then to the airport.  We have everything we need:  a lot of transit schedules, small wheeled suitcases and something to read while we’re waiting for the light rail/ferry/bus.

Oh, and the other things we need we already have:   plenty of time and our own two feet.

Mazel tov!


5 thoughts on “Carless in Seattle

  1. That’s excellent of you. You are a good egg 🙂

    I saved a couple mpg’s the past month by filling my tires to the proper tire pressure. I went from 20 mpg to 22 mpg. Not great, but it’s something.

  2. Mazel tov indeed! When our car died 2 years ago, we didn’t replace it, and we haven’t missed it. We got a membership in autoshare, and have used it once to book a car for a weekend reunion at a town that wasn’t accessible any other way. In the late 19th c, Toronto had a lot of train access and light rail access to other towns and outer suburbs. That stopped in the early 20th c with the advent and popularity of the car. But looking at it gives some insight into how cities might have developed differently. It’s time to look again before there is another gusher.

  3. Mazel tov!
    We don’t own a car for the exact same reason. In Paris, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have one since public transportation is widely available and space is too scarce to have (and pay) for parking. Yet when we want to go to the countryside we have no choice but to rent, especially for celebrations.
    How do you reach the party? Party venues are rarely close to bus stops and bus don’t run late at night when you want to leave the party…

  4. Hi Pauline — We took a cab, because I was wearing impractical party shoes. But we could have walked –my brother lives in downtown Seattle, about six blocks from the hotel. We walked home. Somehow, after the party, the shoes no longer bothered me.

    Lilian — That is so fabulous! Toronto sounds like a magical city. xo

    Hey SW: No one has ever called me a good egg before! It’s such a sweet thing to say. I’d say every little bit counts, don’t you think? Funny thing, just this morning I was thinking that I need to inflate the tires on my bike.

  5. believe it or not, pittsburgh is a great city for getting around without a car. We are down from 2 cars to one and we use it mainly for things like dry-cleaning, groceries and long car trips – that’s it. We take the bus when we go out to eat, or we walk, and most errands we run on foot as well. It’s part of the reason we moved here but with the tragedy in the gulf it certainly feels that while the decision was made selfishly, by two people who hate driving, it is sort of altruistic now, too.

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