Dear Decaturish – Drive less in 2020? Great advice if you’re young
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In response to Tonio Andrade’s recent letter, “For 2020, resolve to drive less.”
Great advice for the young and able bodied. I’m 73 and walk with a cane and cannot walk long distances. As it is, I stay home for days at a time not moving my car at all, because many destinations are still not user friendly for those of us who are not yet confined to wheel chairs, but use canes or crutches. When you see a cane remember it rhymes with “pain.”
One of the problems with advancing age is that we become increasingly invisible to the outward eyes of others and correspondingly, if this Decaturish letter is any indication, disappearing from the consciousness of the younger and more able bodied as well. Am I to become even less visible by staying home more than I already do, or become entirely home-bound?
Just so you know, I have contributed to the improvement of the environment by moving out of a five bedroom home into a two bedroom condo, and living twenty minutes closer to most of the activities that I still am able to enjoy. Instead of going to shopping malls, which I can no longer do, I get most things, including groceries, delivered to my door—on the theory that one truck delivering 200 packages impacts less on the environment than 200 individual cars traveling to 200 different destinations to pick up perhaps one not-very-urgent item.
How many elderly/ disabled neighbors or co-workers do you have? Perhaps you could offer to drive them somewhere when you have to be driving, thereby cutting in half the number of cars in use, and doing them the favor of letting them out directly in front of the door at the destination, sparing them a walk. Handicap spaces near curb cuts are often at the ends of the blocks or otherwise at some distances from the door, on the theory that handicapped people are all in wheelchairs and have motorized chairs or attendants to push them, so distance doesn’t matter. How about offering to do an errand for your elderly/disabled neighbor while you are out biking or walking to places that are not accessible to us? In addition to keeping our car off the road, it might even be fun to talk to you for a few minutes and maybe give you some coffee to take with you.
– Julia Ewen, Avondale Estates