May 21, 2005

Transportation choices

Of course we didn't just leap from total auto dependence to our current relatively car-free state. Over the years we've made a number of choices that have resulted in a lifestyle that more easily lends itself to this kind of adventure.

  • We live three flat miles from my work place. I have biked to work most days for the past 15 years (both at this job and my previous job in Santa Clara, CA).
  • Becky isn't currently working in a job she has to commute to.
  • Our house is near Issaquah's downtown (three or four blocks to a grocery store, the library, a dozen good restaurants).

The point I want to make is that none of these factors just happened. They were choices we made.

People say to me "oh that's nice that you live close enough to work that you can bike" as if it's some kind of fluke.

I don't mean to sound self-righteous. There are lots of other ways to live. People choose to live where they live for reasons that make sense to them. This is just what makes sense for us.

This is cutting close to one of my pet peeves. People complain about traffic. These complaints drive me crazy. People talk as if "traffic" is some unavoidable force of nature like the weather.

Traffic doesn't bother me at all. I don't even notice it.

If traffic is bothering you, then you are traffic. Traffic is too many people all driving their cars to the same places at the same time. Every single one of those people made a choice that resulted in them being there in each other's way. Complaining about it is a way of saying that you think other people's choices are less valid than yours. You can't change the choices other poeple make, you can only make your own. Choose differently or accept the consequences.

Okay, I'm taking deep breaths. Sorry about that.

I'm sure there's stuff I complain about that you all could throw that "choice" argument right back at me. Like I could choose not to let other people's complaints about traffic bother me. I'll have to work on that...

Posted by jeffy at May 21, 2005 05:37 PM

This totally makes sense to me. I'm with you on this - we don't like a long commute, so we have chosen homes close to work, too. Ten minutes' drive is good. My husband used to walk to work and we had one car, for about 2 years. Another state we lived in he walked to a train station and rode to work that way (again, only one car). We do have two cars now, but it's still only a ten-minute drive. No highways. For the moment...but moving to France soon. I think we'll have about a 12 minute commute there.

Posted by: Katherine at May 24, 2005 12:08 AM