Broken system

Saturday dawned freezing (as in 0° F, minus some degrees for windchill), with plenty of snow and slick spots still on our smaller streets (i.e., not so great for biking).  Question of the morning: How will we get to the farmer’s market?

With the bike option off of the table, that left a bus/walk combination . . . or driving.  I really hated the idea of driving the relatively short distance (2 1/4 miles) to the farmer’s market.  In fact, I had a bit of an outburst:

“Just drive there?  That’s the typical response.  We insist on having transportation exactly when we want it, with as little effort or inconvenience as possible.  [Walking and public transit] take too long, are inconvenient, don’t go exactly where we want to travel, and require some effort.  Plenty of excuses and lots of laziness!  So we just end up getting in our car and driving, just like everybody else, and nothing changes!”

Of course, my husband was on the receiving end of my little tirade, for suggesting that it might make more sense, in this case, to go ahead and drive.

My frustration was not really with him, but with the systems and structures that have made, and continue to make, driving the easy choice in almost all communities in the U.S.  That, combined with the fact that, unlike us (want to place bets on how few households have discussions about how they’re getting somewhere?  0.00001%?), so many people are completely unaware that there ARE alternatives to driving everywhere, frustrates me to no end (thank you, Captain Obvious).

In the end, we drove to the farmer’s market, and made the trip worthwhile by combining it with a trip to the local hardware store.  Later in the day, I walked/bussed to the library and grocery store, very much enjoying the car-free trip.

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