Leave This Car Behind
See this beauty? It’s a 1998 Plymouth Neon. I restored it myself. Not really, I just got a new paint job. It took me all over Atlanta three years ago and I was proud to rid myself of it when it failed to conquer Mt. Wilkinson in Cobb County and shot its radiator.
So I got a request from a reader to comment on the recent AJC article that asks is young adults are dumping their vehicles for good. Do I believe this trend is happening?
I have never been one to believe an article without visual statistics, but I honestly don’t even see it. Prime example: I’ve been to almost every transportation forum and planning meeting concerning new transit plans and how Atlanta plans to conquer its traffic issues and I see a sea of energized young people in the audience. Afterwards, they all jump in their 4-door Subarus and drive off into the night. Did I miss something??? I am the only one waiting at the bus stop feeling like Gandhi waiting for my messiah to follow me to the promised land. But all I could expect was a sheepish, “Do you need a ride?”
Yes, Millennials do wish for a world where transit was the mainstream and biking and walking around is “the thing” to do, but sadly when we live in a city your time is precious and where your transportation network is managed by the Dukes of Hazzard, a car seems smartest, right? Millennials are just as stingy as their older counterparts when it comes to their vehicles. Take it away or give them restrictions, and they wet their pants, cry and get into a tizzy. Look at the first week the HOT lanes started charging people to cruise down the HOV lane.
And no it is CERTAINLY NOT an economic thing, either. I absolutely despise when someone uses the so-called “recession” or “the economy” as an excuse for not doing something, which the second moderator tried to pull out as a statistic for the decrease in vehicle miles traveled by Millennials. No. Just…no. People in general will ALWAYS complain about how high gas will be. But, you know what? They will keep pumping the tank with the petrol and drive along as if the world will never come to a stop. Young people think that way as well. Case in point: I know only one person, other than me, who lives life car-less, but has professed his vision to take MARTA, bike, walk, and influence others to do the same. One. Not ten, but a mere soul. I need to hang out with Jessica and we can all take over this town.
Now, there’s a lot more reasons to why I do not believe that Millennials are getting rid of vehicles, but that’s for a video blog (coming soon on TheATLPlanner’s blogsite! Yay!). Until I can see younger people instinctively ridding themselves of vehicles altogether, I would call that assumption that they are rubbish. I love living without a car even though the world thinks I’m insane, but in the end, they’ll see I’m doing the world a favor. To those who doesn’t think this is possible, just try it. Don’t drive to the movies and maybe take a walk to the pub. Baby steps are the key. This world is not going to alleviate traffic through policy or by force, but it depends on us. We have to change ourselves.