Going Without

Raleigh is a great place to live and work and it’s attractiveness for jobs, education, affordability and amenities keeps the Raleigh area growing. As a near life-long resident of the Triangle I, along with many other North Carolina natives, have seen the tremendous and great changes that have happened over the past few decades to our area.

One issue however has been that growth has drastically outgrown the pace of infrastructure development, especially when it comes to getting around. We now find ourselves in a burgeoning world-class city, one that boasts the highest concentration of PHd’s in the US, yet for all those smarties to get around, most get in their car and sit in traffic.

The Triangle’s traffic problem is worsening and transit options are limited. I hope that this site will help document some of the trial’s and triumphs of trying to go without driving or driving alone for a year in North Carolina’s Capital City.

Ground rules:

Being that I am a father to an 18 month old, life is quite unpredictable. Couple that with a job that requires travel, I’ll have to get creative and have some caveats in my methods.

First – Daily trips to work will be in one of several methods. I hope to primarily get to work by bike, my most favorite mode of transportation. Beyond that I will deploy the uses of the bus system or carpooling.

Second – If work requires that I travel I will explore/exhaust all alternative options to driving alone. First, is there a tele-commuting alternative…web meetings/phone. Then I’ll ask myself Does the train go to my destination? Does its schedule match mine? Is another co-worker going? Can we carpool? If those options: necessity/train/carpool are exhausted then I will drive alone and document the reasons that put me in a car alone.

Third – While this experiment is intended to document giving up a car, there will be times where driving is necessary. I’ll apply my personal travel with the same constraints as work: necessity/train/carpool restrictions in full effect.

Documentation and goals

I plan to document my actions week by week, most likely on Wednesdays. I plan to record travel costs (either costs incurred or saved), weight fluctuation (I have a theory that this may be a great weight loss plan) and miles traveled and mode.

My ultimate goal is to create a lifestyle that shows others around me that driving alone (or driving at all) is not our only option. Many folks, I feel, are aching to break out of their cars. I hope to document how that can happen.

We’ll see!

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4 Responses to Going Without

  1. Katrina V. says:

    Cool, I’m excited about this! Can’t wait to see how it goes.

  2. Leo says:

    Good Luck to you on this. I wish I could shed the box of metal that sits on my street but Raleigh is just not there yet. More and more though people have found these quirky ways to reduce their driving but only if it fits their scenario. Keep it up.

    • mickeyfanney says:

      Yeah, that’s the thing…you have to want it to work. I lived downtown for quite a while (love RalCon by the way) and when we moved to West Raleigh in ’05 it became clear how much I hated driving to and from work; I was spoiled by being able to walk most places (save the grocery…except Jimmy’s, but that place hardly qualified as a grocery). Fortunately, folks living downtown now have access to way more amenities than when I lived off on New Bern Place and at Cityscape.

      I hate that I still can’t whittle down to zero my in town driving alone. It kills me…reduced bus service after dark…long wait times…that’ll change eventually. The General Assembly passing the local option transit sales tax is a step in the right direction. We need to look at Charlotte and study how they’ve fared with increased bus ridership and their Lynx line. I could go on forever about all of this stuff…

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