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When you drive, why do you do it instead of walking, cycling, or using COTA ?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion When you drive, why do you do it instead of walking, cycling, or using COTA ?

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    Tom Over
    Tom Over

    “I’m a Cheerios guy !” said a person in the checkout line who was squaring off against a person who raised like a banner a box of a another brand, saying ” Oh, yeah, well, I’m a Wheaties guy!”

    Less absurd than fighting over loyalties to cereal brands is the idea of rigid and competing identities: being a cyclist or being a motorist. But it’s unrealistic nonetheless.

    Instead of thinking in terms of cyclists-versus-motorists, I am wondering about why person A when in situation X tends to choose to cycle instead of choosing to drive, or vice versa.

    My guess is that MORPC and other organizations have studied this question of why trips made in single-occupancy vehicles far outnumber trips made by walking, cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding, using a wheelchair, a pogo stick, a Segway, or riding COTA.

    Feel free to point me in the direction of such studies and/or share your own insights. I know about my own reasons for driving or not driving in various situations. But what are yours ?

    I’m not yet ready to sell my car, just as I am not yet ready to stop using the refrigerator, the stove, the toilets, or the furnace in my house.

    So I don’t believe any particular environmentalist endeavor in and of itself somehow has magical powers to solve all moral problems.

    But I believe in innovations to how we meet our needs, transportation being one of them. On that front, I have drastically reduced my driving, finding my quality of life to be improved as a result.

    Currently, I drive only to keep my car from getting damaged by lack of use. That situation could change for occupational reasons or if my bike gets stolen or robbed from me, or if I get injured. So, it’s not set in stone, so to speak.



    I drive because:
    1. Even with a relaxed lifestyle, I don’t always manage my time well enough to give me additional time to bicycle.
    2. It fits my schedule. Refer back to #1.
    3. Safety. Some days, I am tired, either physically or mentally. Both of which are dangerous while cycling. Driving helps alleviate that worn down feeling.
    4. Several of my regular non-recreational trips every week are simply not feasible on a bicycle (far outside of 270).



    home to work:

    Cota: best case, 52 minutes, including ~1 mile walk
    Bike: 42 minutes
    Car/motorcycle: 14 minutes



    walking- too slow. it’s 6 miles to work, walking would take forever. and you can forget about lugging groceries and dog supplies the 3 miles home from the store

    cycling- don’t want to end up at work sweaty. too tired in the mornings. I would have to wake earlier if I rode a bike to work. taking a dog or cat to the vet would be difficult on a bike.
    I’ve also had a car plow me over on High St, denting the frame and sending me over his windshield, eventually to end up on my back in the middle of High St – Not the safest method of transport. Not that I’m all about safety, but some ptsd from that might still linger.

    cota- used to take itfor years when I lived on a bus line ( on Summit), but where I live now the nearest bus comes by 2 times and hour during rush hours and i think once an hour the other times. I’ve actually picked up people waiting at the bus stop and given them a ride because I felt bad for how long they would have to wait. and on top of that I would have to transfer to get anwhere I need to be. It quadrupled the time it takes to get to work, not to mention waiting at a bus stop without a canopy in Winter. (I tried taking the bus after I moved away from Summit St, it didn’t work out for me very well)
    I don’t think they allow pets on the bus, but they will allow people on who happen to smell worse and end up sitting by you.

    Essentially driving is a convienience I’m willing to pay for, especially since I can afford it. i do have and ride bikes for pleasure and to get to the ‘Shoe’ on game days.

    I also like cars/motorcycles and enjoy driving.



    I drive when I have to travel more than two miles, when I have to transport heavy objects, or when I know I’ll be getting home very late. Otherwise, I walk – about 90% of my transportation time.



    I drive only when:
    -I’m heading somewhere far away (mostly cleveland)
    -Need to transport something larger than I can carry
    -Am feeling especially lazy or need to wear a suit where I headed
    -To and at a competitive motorsport event

    Now if that train ever happens I can cross number one off. Other than that I bike everywhere. in the last year I took COTA to work one day due to heavy snow. Every other day it’s bike.



    I am a driver but I do walk a lot and I would not mind trying out cycling.
    Unfortunately right now time and lifestyle are a big factor In my decision to drive. I have so many stops during a day involving kid, work, school, and life errands within a 8 hour time frame it can be a tight schedule at times. I use to ride the bus but I found that they can be inconsistent and that’s no good. I hope that some day it will all be more relaxed and maybe their will be a awesome rail system I could take. awesome!:)

    eta: I would not mind a switch to this if I could. Then I could haul my kid I am sure he would love it.



    Why drive? For me, any of a number of factors can get me behind the wheel instead of walking:

    (1) Speed. Even for a trip of only a mile or so, driving saves a lot of time (usually). Sometimes, you’ve got to move.

    (2) Distance. I live in Akron. My girlfriend lives in Kent. I make social trips to Cleveland and Columbus and Canton. Can’t walk or bike all those.

    (3) Weight. I can walk to the Aldi from my apartment; it’s the walking back with a full load of groceries that’s problematic. It’s only about three-quarters of a mile, but that’s a long way with full arms.

    (4) Weather. While I actually brave the elements, even in my suit, more often than some people at the office can believe, there are times when I just want to have a roof over my head as I travel, so I’ll take the car to the office even though it’s only a few blocks.

    (5) Companions. Sometimes I’d be happy walking somewhere but a friend isn’t up for it. This happens a lot in the half-mile range.

    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans

    I usually drive now that I have two kids. If it was just me, I’d do other things depending on where I wanted to go.



    For now I mostly drive. 20+ mile commute depending on where I am going. Doing more on the bike changed my driving habits, though. So I’ll drive to Columbus but minimize my driving when I am in town, like walking to the lunch options around work if I don’t brown bag or taking COTA from the YB! office after I have picked up any material for an info fair.

    When I am back to the city, I’ll be back on the bike. When I was living in CMH and using the bike more, there were a lot of reasons. Giving myself time to get to work and cool off took away the sweat issue. I’m lazy about exercise but cycling was/is always fun. Cycling changed a lot of my eating habits for the better. There was the mental health aspect about it. I’m always happier, more energetic, in a better mood when I’ve put some miles on the bike.



    misskitty wrote >>

    eta: I would not mind a switch to this if I could.

    That would be an awesome grocery getter, and you could take your cats for a ride when they are bad, it’s be like you had your own siren!
    It’s in the plans to one day have a sidecar, but they are cost prohibitive for me right now.



    I pretty much drive anywhere I go unless I’ve been drinking, then I walk. I had a bad bike accident as a kid and havn’t been on the bike much after that. I did some biking in college as a mode of transportation but I don’t feel comfortable doing it now as people are stupid and dangerous. People keep bringing up stories about getting hit by cars and that will lead me further from pedaling.



    My husband and I live in Clintonville, so we do a fair amount of walking for fun and for errands. We often walk to places we can eat, to Pet People, to the Clintonville market, the farmer’s market, even Giant Eagle, if our load is carry-able. (We don’t have kids, so that’s more feasible for us than it is for others.) We have a granny cart that we use sometimes too. I’ll probably use that to take a comforter to the laundromat this weekend. We love walking places, and that’s one of the reasons we live in Clintonville.

    We bike mostly for fun, though husband has ridden to work a few times in the past weeks. He hasn’t more often because sometimes he needs to go from one building to another in the middle of the day for meetings (he’s near Fort Hayes, the other buildings are on Busch Blvd and at Easton), he’s golfing in a league after work and needs to drive to the course, or because it’s raining. I’ve been pondering biking to work but it scares me. (And my husband biking to work scares me too, even though I know it’s good, etc.) Fact is, I have a very short commute to work, and given the speeds on the roads on which I drive, getting into a life-changing accident in a car would be unlikely. Not so with a bicycle. Those odds aren’t too appealing. Also I work at Kenny and Ackerman. Ackerman (especially the 315 part) can be pretty hairy during rush hour, IMO. I walked to work the other day; it’s 2.2 miles from my house, and I’m a fairly brisk walker. With lights and so forth, it took 35 minutes each way. Ackerman isn’t the most fantastic place to walk, BTW, but it wasn’t horrible. I was a sweaty mess when I arrived, though I was able to pull myself together. So it’s nice for a lark, but not exactly the most efficient way to do it, and a bad idea on a day when I need to look decent. By car takes 10-15 minutes. If I worked on OSU’s main campus I’d probably bike, given I could go most of the way on the path, and drivers are more cognizant of bikes and pedestrians in the campus area, because there are so many of them there.

    The bus: We’ve taken it to the Short North, Comfest, etc., a few times. It’s just not practical for most places we go.


    I bike pretty much everywhere and do use COTA occaisonally. I think a good question to ask drivers is: why not drive a small motor vehicle (scooter, motorcycle or microcar) instead of a large motor vehicle?



    I think time, distance and weather are my primary reasons for driving.
    I usually mix up walking and driving for most of my destinations. I do bike occasionally, but the issue of arriving at work sweaty while wearing dress clothes, usually kills bike commuting for me.
    I have been car less in Columbus before and relied primarily on COTA, but after a few years (and some service cuts) I bought another car.

    I live in merion village and my commute takes me to the campus area, when I rode COTA it was a 45 to 60 minute commute each way. driving is about 10 to 15 minutes, when I have walked to work it’s about 90 minutes (but i only do that occasionally). Time is a big factor in the decision to drive now, I would rather be spending my time with family/friends than sitting on cota.

    I’m currently looking at a job closer to home (about 1.5 miles away) and if that happens will prepare switch over to walking.
    I actually have a harder time with weather in the middle of summer (the heat just kills me), and don’t mind walking through most of the fall and winter.

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