Giving Up Your Car. Is It Worth It in the Long Run?

It’s no surprise to anyone that Baltimore’s traffic has been found to be amongst the worst in the whole country. According to a new study, Baltimore ranks 19th in the country for worst traffic. Any of us who have wasted a decent chunk of our lives in that traffic could have probably guessed it was that bad. If anything, we would have ranked it higher. How bad is it elsewhere in the country if Baltimore is only 19th?

It’s got me thinking that I need to reexamine my transportation options. I’m not often in Baltimore anymore, but I get sick of the traffic in Providence as well. But what am I to do? I’ve narrowed my options down to these:

  1. Walk everywhere – I could just buy a good pair of kicks and start walking. The public transportation isn’t so bad around where I live. I could probably get by with a bus pass. On the plus side, I’d get healthier. Less time sitting, more time walking. And I like walking around the city. On the negative side, though, the bus and walking takes longer, and I’d still have the traffic to deal with. Plus, the bus pass cost and the cost for tickets anytime I do want to go to Baltimore or elsewhere. It just seems like a pain.
  1. Get a bike – A little faster than option number 1, and another great way to get in shape, but the negatives are obvious. First, it’s more dangerous. Not every driver is very bike aware of bike friendly. I’d also have to deal with all the smog coming out of the buses and cars I’m not driving. And then there’s winter. How much biking would I actually do in the winter? I can’t see myself bundling up in five layers to make the trip to work every day. Really, I think this is the worst option, but I’m including it for completeness’ sake.
  1. Get a REAL bike – I like this idea. A motorcycle would allow me to move through traffic quickly. It’d be faster than a bike or walking/busses, and it’d be cool. Besides, I’d be able to go to Baltimore or anywhere really without needing to get tickets. I’ve always dreamed of having a motorcycle and taking trips during the summer. But that’s the summer. We’d still have the winter to deal with. And even if I could somehow get through that season, motorcycles pretty dangerous. I’m not the bravest person, and when I look at the statistics and the list of potential injuries that I found on the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini LTD. website, I just don’t know if I have it in me to actually sell the car and make such a drastic change.

So, I probably won’t do anything. I’ll keep the car, and I’ll survive the traffic. Maybe I ought to consider something a little less drastic to stop stressing about the slow commute. I could start listening to audiobooks, say, or look for some other kind of handsfree activity to make the time pass more easily. Still, when I think about that dream Harley…Maybe next year.