I couldn't have even if I wanted to. Even if it was the weather was perfect, I'd have had to amble down a four lane highway with no sidewalk, dodging oncoming traffic and loose gravel spit in my face.
Then I'd have to walk on the freeway overpass.
After that lovely stretch of road, I'd have to navigate a 3-lane exit ramp with no pedestrian pathway to speak of. No, thank you. Especially not in the dead of summer. Or winter. Or in the rain.
Unfortunately, without a car, this is the option for most people. The sad fact is that most areas in the United States are not friendly to people who wish to walk. Sidewalks are scarce, especially the more rural the area. Most towns in this country are car-dependent communities that all but require a vehicle. Often more than one per family.
Cars, often times, are not optional, and they certainly aren't cheap. The cost of gas, insurance, repairs, maintenance, tolls and more add up fast, especially for low-income families, who now more than ever live in increasingly rural regions that require a car.
A large number of Modest Needs applications come from people who are driving cars in dangerous disrepair or who can't get to work due to a break down or who can't afford a new truck after an accident, but they have no choice. They have to get to and from work, and without a car, that can be nearly impossible. Taking the bus can take hours, if it comes at all. Even in big cities like Los Angeles, citizens must sit in grueling traffic due to a lack of public transit options.
We are going to talk more about transportion, poverty, and car-dependency in future post, but first I'd like to take a poll to get an idea of how the Modest Needs community gets around:
Thanks for your participation, friends![Photo by Geof Wilson]