Our kids Miguel & Pam have decided to declare war on the car when they finally found the right house in their desired neighbourhood. With the Queen Street streetcar just half a block down the road that would easily take them to & from work, their (& ours too) favourite French baker and brunch place Bonjour Brioche just down the street, butchers, libraries & more pastry shops well within walking distance from their place and not the mention the non-stop increase in the prices of gas, insurance, parking fees, parking tickets, etc. - it was a no brainer for them.
Christopher Hume aptly puts a new perspective to car ownership in a recent article in the Toronto Star:
“Once the great symbol of individual freedom and personal mobility, the car has become a ball and chain. Slow, expensive, and surrounded by endless others, automobiles have taken us as far as they can. At this point, there are so many vehicles on the roads, they exist in a state of perpetual congestion.
For those lucky enough to live in a city, especially one with decent transit, the prospect of life without wheels offers the same promise of liberation that car ownership did decades ago.”
Mind you, they say that transit here in Toronto has fallen 25 years behind the times so there is much work to be done but as Christopher Hume continues to say, “it will be the young who will get us there. They’re also the ones who occupy condo highrises that now define downtown, the whole purpose of which is you don’t have to spend your life paying for insurance and searching for a place to park. Public transit, bicycles and pedestrians are as much part of a 21st century transit system as cars. Each has a place. To privilege one over the others is counterproductive and inefficient.
Yet we persist. If Charlton Heston had been a Torontonian, we would have had to pry those cold dead hands from a steering wheel, not a rifle.”
Car ownership in 2012 – freedom or a ball & chain. What do you think?