Atlanta Forward readers responded to last week’s columns about young adults eschewing the car culture that has dominated American life for more than 50 years. Here are some selected comments:
Laurie: Telecommuting has decreased my need to be on the road, and it’s amazing how the savings add up: less gas, less car maintenance and lower insurance costs. I became a young adult when most people my age thought of buying a new car every five years. That’s just silly stupid, and a huge waste of money. It’s nice to see people are turning to alternative means of transportation, as it will mean more money in their pockets and less money in the hands of big oil.
Commoncents: Personally, I love driving with the top/windows down and my music blaring. Living in the city is awful. It’s hotter, more congested, and too many hipsters who think living in a studio apartment with noisy neighbors, thugs bumping their bass at 3 in the morning, and a horrible cafe on the first floor of an overpriced condo is awesome. I’ll take my 30-minute air-conditioned commute through beautiful Sandy Springs/Smyrna neighborhoods any day.
Arch nemesis: These hipster people live in areas not much larger than prison cells. They do not have any type of life outside the Perimeter, nor do they desire one. They cannot travel any considerable distance without it being a planned event.
ATL Born & Raised: Plenty of families in big cities like New York manage just fine with their kids and aging parents with no cars. The trick is, cities like that are extremely walkable with phenomenal public transit. Because Atlanta suffered a great “white flight” over the past 20 years with everyone moving into the suburbs, the incentive to make our city walkable and improve our transit wasn’t there. Now that these young people are realizing life in the burbs isn’t for them after spending their childhoods there, hopefully Atlanta can move in the direction of NYC, Boston and Chicago.
Bernie: Now if we could only get the drunk, texting, phone chatting, speeding young drivers off the road, we will all be safer too!
Flash: I love the city. I live here because I want to, and yes, I walk to do my marketing, dining, movie-going, nightclubbing, visiting the High Museum, strolling the Botanical Garden and just about anything else I want to do. I, too, look forward to the day when cars are even less relevant in our great city. Thank goodness the young are seeing alternatives to an outdated lifestyle.
Atlmom: Hey, now, I live in town and actually took the 110 bus from Lenox with my six-year-old last week. I can walk to restaurants and the farmers’ market, so I am not claiming the city is only tiny apartments — only that I would not enjoy giving up my car. I love the freedom it gives me (grab my kids, mom, husband, luggage and head to the mountains, run all my errands without waiting on the bus) and happily accept the responsibility it entails. Different strokes.
Don’t Tread: By all means, plan yourself a car-free existence. Please. The less traffic I have to fight (on those days I actually commute), the better.
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