I always wanted to live in a big city where I wouldn’t need a car. And now’s my chance to put that ideal into practice.
My goal is to not use my car on weekdays, with an understanding that some evenings and on the weekends I might need it to get out of town for activities and to do major shopping. (The local co-op only carries so much.)
It’s about 3 miles from my apartment in Takoma Park to work in Silver Spring. That’s a very hilly 45-minute walk, or a 15-minute bus ride (with a five-minute walk at either end). So far this week, I’ve walked to work twice (mostly uphill), walked home once (mostly downhill), taken the bus to work twice and taken it home twice. One day I went into DC after work and so took the Metro subway back to Takoma Park, with a 20-minute walk home at the end.
I just ordered a $30 monthly pass for unlimited bus rides, which will increase my options in all types of weather, if I want to stop at any interesting places along the way, and what kind of exercise I want to get in. Considering that I like to walk every morning before work anyway, I might as well just incorporate that into my daily commute, right?
I discovered a little cafe on the walk to work that has great, giant chocolate chip cookies. The city library, which is its own entity without any links to other libraries and without a video collection, is a good stop on the way home from work. Then there’s the county library, which would be halfway home on the bus and then a 20-minute walk the rest of the way, and a nearby Salvadoran restaurant that’s been recommended. There’s a pizza joint on the walk home from the Metro that has yummy slices; and there’s the video store, food co-op and cheesecake bakery along that route, also.
I’m sure I’ll find lots of other interesting things to explore en route to break up the walk or bus ride some days when I have time and feel adventurous. Once we have more daylight again in the late afternoons, I’ll add to the list of options bicycling to work and expanding the ride home by checking out the network of bike trails.