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

Madison

Send your letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

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