I’m a twentysomething who just moved to the Twin Cities (well, Minneapolis to be precise) for a new job. I didn’t have a car in college, and I didn’t feel like spending my first few paychecks on a car, gas, insurance, parking, etc. So I made a strategic decision to spend more money on an apartment downtown and continue to live my carfree lifestyle (pun intended).
But, I’ve been somewhat surprised at the response from other Minnesotans. I came here knowing that Minneapolis gets high-marks as a bike friendly city (http://www.bicycling.com/news/featured-stories/1-bike-city-minneapolis), so I figured people would be on-board with not having a car. But in spite of the big biking community, it seems that going carless isn’t really normal. From the acquaintance in the bar who after shaking my hand asked in horror if I had (gasp) walked there to the co-worker who matter-of-factly told me that I needed a car (it isn’t Chicago, you know?), the reactions have been a mix of surprise and skepticism.
So I decided I should attempt to chronicle my experiences living without a car in the Twin Cities. I don’t want to preach to anyone about the virtues of going car-free (obesity epidemic, the destruction of the planet from greenhouse gases, blah blah blah), but I do want a space to think about the tools that are available to make the attempt, the challenges that get in the way, and the experiences that result.
I also wanted a place to try to write about something that isn’t job-related. I had a revelation recently that I hadn’t written anything (excluding grocery lists, facebook posts, and ransom notes) that wasn’t work or school related in a very, very long time.
So I’m off - armed with shoes, a go-to card (http://metrotransit.org/go-to-card.aspx), and a car-sharing membership. We’ll see what happens.