Friday, August 9, 2013

Carless in Columbus

Having one car in New York was often one car too many. Especially in the early days there, when Paul often didn't need an auto for work, we sometimes wondered if keeping one was worth the hassle. Alternate-side street sweeping meant the car had to be moved at least once a week, and there was no saying how long it would take to find a parking spot.

Having one car in Ohio is often one car too few. Paul absolutely needs a car both to get to work and to visit businesses around Columbus, so I'm stuck. When we move into our new house, I'll have more options; we'll have a library, trail, park and several stores and coffee shops within walking distance, as well as a grocery store and bus stops. While we're staying with Paul's mom outside of Columbus until we close on the house, I have even fewer options: The only things within walking distance of her house are other houses.

It's possible to go without a car in Columbus, but it's hard. I didn't have a vehicle my first two years at Ohio State, but instead relied on the meager bus system and the few stores within walking distance. It was a relief when I brought a car to campus my junior year.

In New York, few areas aren't accessible by public transportation. In Columbus, few areas are.

We'll be living a few blocks from one of Columbus' main streets, and yet I still wouldn't go without a vehicle. Doctors, dentists, hairdressers: there may be some within walking distance, but I certainly wouldn't have much of a choice, if any. Taxis seem to be available downtown; I'm not sure about the other neighborhoods. It would be all but impossible to visit my in-laws.

We are definitely buying a second car, and I'm looking forward to having options again while Paul's at work. But I sincerely miss the freedom of the subway.

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