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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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  • #376208

    EmZeeGee
    Member

    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?

    We priced Smart cars a couple years ago. Their MPG didn’t seem that great considering how small they are, and they only use premium gas, which blows any savings from it being a super-small car. I will not buy a car that must use premium gas.

    Motorcycles & scooters: I’m a worry-wart, sorry. I feel unsafe enough in front of some hulking Escalade bohemouth in our wee Honda Civic, without being on a scooter. I like the idea, but I don’t think I could actually do it. That, and I don’t like getting wet.

    #376209
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    I walk when I’m going somewhere within a mile or so, and when the weather conditions are fairly optimal (ie: not raining, not freezing, not super hot when I’m headed to a professional meeting, etc).

    I bus around the inner-city area if I’m headed for a mile or more in a direction, or if the weather is poor, or if I’m in a bigger hurry than walking (or feeling lazy about walking).

    I drive when I need to go further, when the bus schedules aren’t as convenient (late night), when I need to transport cargo (not going to haul recyclables to the drop off point on the bus or by foot) or when I’m going somewhere with additional passengers (family, kids, etc) and the car is either more convenient for them, or makes more financial/ecological sense with multiple passengers.

    I haven’t pogo-sticked (pogo-stuck?) in at least 15 years or so.

    I’ve never really measured how all of this stuff breaks down by total miles traveled, but I’m guessing it’s probably pretty close to 1/3 walk 1/3 bus 1/3 drive. I should measure my miles-traveled for a full week of regular activity and add it all up to see. I think the results would be pretty interesting if other folks might be willing to do the same thing.

    #376210

    joev
    Participant

    thepiece wrote >>
    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.

    I totally agree with this. Once you get walking on a cold day, even 0 degrees doesn’t feel to bad. Now an 93 degree day with 90 percent humidity? That’s when I sometimes need relief from the air-conditioned coccoon of COTA.

    #376211

    groundrules
    Participant

    Columbusite wrote >>
    why not drive a small motor vehicle (scooter, motorcycle or microcar) instead of a large motor vehicle?

    i do both. sometimes a two-wheeled vehicle just isn’t practical (snow & ice on the highway).

    #376212

    lifeliberty
    Participant

    Columbusite wrote >>
    why not drive a small motor vehicle (scooter, motorcycle or microcar) instead of a large motor vehicle?

    motorcycle is more dangerous, so I wear gear which takes time to put on and makes it hard to grab the parking pass, can be really hot in traffic with a helmet and jacket on. it’s not too bad, you do get used to it, but I find it difficult to look nice and keep a pressed shirt for work in summer, sweat with jacket ruins it.

    it is easier/faster to just sit in a car and go, plus you have climate control,music

    motorcycling for me ends when it snows, and this year I haven’t gotten it out yet. I’ve been lazy with it and occupied doing other stuff so far. Hopefully this weekend it will get out of the garage.

    I couldn’t imagine trying to get Life in a SmartCar, that would be funny. it would be interesting to try it, but at his age I couldn’t torture him like that.

    #376213

    EmZeeGee
    Member

    One more thing (and then I’ll finally shut up); I’m clearly conflicted on this. My work is so close, yet I don’t bike to it. I think it comes down to perceived risk. I perceive a lot of risk there; a hardcore cyclist would not. I wish our city was more amenable to bike transportation; I’d do it if I felt reasonably safe. I’m young, I’m fit, there’s no other reason *not* to do it.

    I love this video; this would be ideal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-AbPav5E5M

    #376214

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    lifeliberty wrote >>

    Columbusite wrote >>
    why not drive a small motor vehicle (scooter, motorcycle or microcar) instead of a large motor vehicle?

    motorcycle is more dangerous, so I wear gear which takes time to put on and makes it hard to grab the parking pass, can be really hot in traffic with a helmet and jacket on. it’s not too bad, you do get used to it, but I find it difficult to look nice and keep a pressed shirt for work in summer, sweat with jacket ruins it.
    it is easier/faster to just sit in a car and go, plus you have climate control,music
    motorcycling for me ends when it snows, and this year I haven’t gotten it out yet. I’ve been lazy with it and occupied doing other stuff so far. Hopefully this weekend it will get out of the garage.
    I couldn’t imagine trying to get Life in a SmartCar, that would be funny. it would be interesting to try it, but at his age I couldn’t torture him like that.

    Me? :) I am looking for a mini-bike. Trying to find a vintage Raleigh Twenty I can turn into a fun project. Might have to look a home built, BMX mini-velo though.

    I’ll say in general that as much as you hear the anecdotes about cycling being so dangerous, it really isn’t. Taking some of the courses available locally can do a lot to help, in terms of confidence and negotiating traffic and learning emergency maneuvers like quick turns or emergency stopping.

    But I don’t pretend to know what’s best for each individual. I know from my own experiences that cycling isn’t always practical. Just depends on the situation. I would encourage people to seek out those opportunities to get better and more confident and even just incorporate it for the little trips. It’s a great way to get around. I wish I had a mini-bike to stash in the trunk for days like this when I want a break in between shifts to grab some coffee. Would have been better than being in the hot car.

    #376215

    mrsgeedeck
    Participant

    Columbusite wrote >>
    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?

    IMO my car is fairly small. Yes, its a four door, but its not an SUV or luxury car, its a Subaru Impreza that fits in the small car spots quite easily and has the added benefit of all wheel drive which is amazing in the winter considering I don’t have a garage.
    I’m pretty conflicted about biking or riding COTA to work, technically I should be in the office by 7 a.m. meaning to bike I’d need to be out of the house by 6:30 at the latest or at the bus stop by 6:15 to account for transferring at Broad Street, seeing as how I’m not a morning person and barely make it in by 7 as is, I enjoy the luxury my car provides in getting me to work in under 10 minutes.
    Having said that, I can normally build by travel around my trip home from work, stopping at the grocery or whatever other errands are needed between work and home and walk for anything else once I’m home.

    #376216
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    I have lived within 2 miles of my office since March of 2008 and I have walked or ridden my bike every day since moving in close (taking the bus twice in all that time). When I lived further out, I was still on Broad Street and took the bus every day.

    Right now, our house is 1.8 miles from my job. It takes me 30 min to walk it and 15 min to bike (adding the time to get the bike out of the house and lock it up at work). When I lived down Broad Street, COTA would take 35 min on average (including the wait time on the bus).

    I like walking or biking because I can go when I want; I don’t have to wait for the bus. Also, I am cheap. I don’t want to pay the bus fare or pay to park.

    I have taken my car to the office in order to drop something off or pick something up, but I have never driven and parked for the day.

    #376217
    Lauren Wilson
    Lauren Wilson
    Participant

    I work 4 days/week in Chillicothe and 1 in Piketon. Biking to work would be nonsense. My scooter is not terribly practical for that commute either although it could be done I suppose. It would just be a terrible idea.

    #376218

    subverita
    Member

    My commute is 21 miles roundtrip. I ride because it’s good for me. It’s good for others. It occassionally poses incovenience to motorists, but they need to slow down and relax anyway. I take one less parking spot in a city that caters to cars. I infuse a little less carbon into the atmosphere.

    I ride because doing so is quiet. I like what bicycling does for me and the world I live in.

    Columbus is on the MORPC air quality alert list with increasing frequency.

    According to Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2008, tables 3, 4, 7 million children are diagnosed with Asthma. I ride because I don’t contribute to that.

    We’ve turned the Gulf of Mexico into a modern tar pit.
    We send young men and women overseas to kill for oil.

    These are behaviors of the profoundly insane. Drill baby drill.

    #376219
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    hugh59 wrote >>
    Also, I am cheap. I don’t want to pay the bus fare or pay to park.

    I buy the monthly bus pass for $55/mo which is a steal compared to what I’d have to pay to drive & park for a job on Gay Street. I use it to and from work regularly (which is around a 10-15 minute trip to go 1.1 miles through the city) as well as an easy way to hop to meetings that are in the Short North, Arena District, German Village, OSU, Franklinton or anywhere else relatively close by. I figure that if I’m averaging around 4 rides per day, 20 days per week, I’m only paying the equivalent of 68 cents to board the bus each time. Nice and cheap. ;)

    #376220

    dsigner
    Participant

    I tended to this about this with regard to getting to work, but it applies generally I think:
    > Walking (no): takes too long, can make me sweaty which isn’t appropriate for work
    > Biking (no): can make me sweaty which isn’t appropriate for work, has to involve a different outfit
    > Bus (no): takes too long, I have to travel on their schedule
    > Car: easy, just 8 minutes, parking is easy, gives me more flexibility – like to go anywhere I want after work (e.g., Target) that I couldn’t get to other ways

    #376221

    dsigner
    Participant

    #376222

    I think that this is not as much of a question of who is a cyclist or who is a motorist, but more of a matter of choosing whether or not you wish to rely on oil to get around. Personally, I wanted to rely less heavily on cars for transportation, so I had to actively centralize my life in order to facilitate that. I’m not a badass that can bike 10 miles to work and march in the office wrinkle-free and flawless, but I can handle a few miles. So, I make sure I live, work, and play in the same area. I’ve had to give up a high-paying job and perhaps pay a bit more in rent, but that is important to me. Also, some smaller changes were necessary: combining errands that you need a vehicle for, more frequent grocery shopping to facilitate carrying your goodies on a bike, etc.

    I own a car that barely works, but it gets me around when the weather is bad or I have to haul things/other people around. It usually sits idle 6 days of the week. My boyfriend also drives us around a bit, so to say that I live auto-free is a misnomer, but I would not classify myself as a motorist. I bike, walk, and ride the COTA for 85% of my trips. If Columbus took greater strides in the public transit and urban living arenas, I bet that percentage would increase for many, including myself. I am thankful for the provisions that ARE there that allow me to live my life fairly close to my ideal.

    I grew up in a fairly rural area where a 20 minute drive was “close”, and a 40 minute drive wasn’t that bad. Now, having lived this way, I can’t even fathom 30 minute commutes or having to drive to get a pack of cigarettes.

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