Got No Car – Transportation Alternatives: Walking

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Today I kicked off what I intend to be a six month experiment in living without a car. I decided the most appropriate way to begin was the simplest and cheapest. I walked the mile and half to work and back.

I like walking. It’s the perfect freedom for an introvert. No traffic. (Except stopping for lights to change so you can cross the street.) You’re free to listen to your music or NPR as you walk, or just listen to your own thoughts.

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I also adore the way walking allows you to see and experience the community in ways you can’t when you’re closed up in a car. You can enjoy public art. You can wonder how somebody lost that much of a weave on the sidewalk. You can read the signs in front of theaters. You can fret about what you just stepped in. You can watch the city progress. And you can engage with people. I think one reason I have the small feel I do for the homeless and poor community is because I spend so much time on foot around the city that I just see a lot more of it than most people do.

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Walking is also great exercise. It felt really nice to get a little fresh air and let my mind wander on the way to work. I was wide awake and feeling good by the time I got to the office. And the hour round trip walk burns 200 calories. That’s a Pop Tart or 2/3 of a Snicker’s bar or a can of Coke.

The 30 minutes it took to get to work was the same as my normal commute on the MARTA train. If I drive from home, which I do rarely if I have to go to the dentist or something, takes 10 minutes.

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The only real drawback to walking is the weather. If it’s too cold or rainy, I’d prefer to ride the train. I suppose the other concern would be how far it’s really practical to walk someplace and at what point do you opt for another form of transportation.

All in all, walking gets 4 out of 5 stars!

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Results of Experiment 1 – Walking

Pros: Free, Healthy, Independent, Community Engagement, Relaxing
Cons: Can be hampered by weather and a challenge due to distance.

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