We at Carectomy are always pleased to come across news of people making the car-free plunge. But when the news comes from Los Angeles, the quintessential car-centric, freeway-laden American city, there’s an extra degree of joy.
As we reported last week, the Cave family recently went Car-Free in the O.C.
after a series of car breakdowns pushed them over the edge. The Caves, not exactly the poster children for environmentalism or fitness, outfitted themselves with practical bikes and trailers and pedaled their way to financial solvency.
“L.A. girl” Kathryn Pope was similarly pushed to go car-free by the demise of her aging vehicle.
As the car went in and out of the mechanic’s garage, I started resenting other things the car made annoying in life, like parking. I didn’t like paying for parking, circling blocks for parking spots, trying to remember where I parked, or walking around in those deserted, creepy parking structures at night.
Then once this October, while the car was in the shop, I decided not to let my car interfere with my life anymore, and I took the bus. I read while I traveled. I watched people around me. I looked out the window. And when I got where I was going, I was downright zenned out. That’s when I decided to start phasing out the car and phasing in public transit.
Pope’s surgical tools for her carectomy: public transportation, car-sharing for “special occasions” via Flexcar
, and a motorboard
for local scurries. Motorboards, for those not in the know (as I wasn’t), basically look like kids’ push-powered Razor scooters
with the addition of electric motor power. They’re super-light (about 16 pounds), easily fold up, go 15mph, and the extended models can go up to 20 miles per charge. Sounds like a great commute-solution, especially in a mild-weather place like California.
Every person that limits his/her car usage is making a difference. But the real story here is the news itself – these endeavors are getting some major press. In Pope’s case, the L.A. Times is devoting a series of articles
to her “de-car-ing adventures.” If mainstream media outlets like the Times and the O.C. Register
continue to cover these stories in huge media markets like So. Cal, perhaps folks will start to rethink their transportation choices. More carectomies are likely to follow.
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