Dear Editor: The snow came early this year, and so did the test I was most worried about: a car-free winter.

I sold my ’04 PT Cruiser in April. That car made long-distance relationships happen, facilitated a cross-country move and brought on jokes about its hearse-like appearance.

I also endured more than one dead battery at the airport. I wiped off snow as penance for being unwilling to pay more than $120 for covered parking. Worst of all, I became an irritated driver during beltline traffic or when I couldn’t find free parking close to my home.

I now live in an apartment with access to my job via multiple, frequent buses. I walk most places, and bike when I’m not feeling lazy. A few times a month I take a rideshare or get rides from friends.

Living without owning a car is difficult or impossible for many. Sometimes, it can be inconvenient. Most times, I think about how I’m free of the stress of driving, of being afraid of accidents. These days, I waste less food (I grab a few things on my way home), I save for my future instead of car repairs, and I even met my neighbor as we crossed the street. Can’t make the switch? Tell your alders you support alternative forms of transportation. Fewer cars on the road means a better ride for those who need to drive.

And when the same friends who mocked my PT Cruiser complain about alternate side parking, I have the last laugh.

Marybeth McGinnis


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