So, the price of oil recently dropped a bit, right? I don’t see a bunch of people ready to jump for joy over the current price of gas.
What I have seen and heard is more and more people, from many walks of life, deciding to at least “try” to be less dependent on driving a car everywhere they go. Two very recent examples of this are a man nearing retirement in Phoenix and a really nice couple from Michigan.
Nearing retirement and living “on the west side” of town, a guy comes across a really cool web site talking about some of the fun things to do along the Phoenix light rail line. Before long, he starts thinking of a time when he saw light rail in Utah begin to transform many communities into “cool walk-able neighborhoods”. The amazement of finding a Phoenix condominium, within walking distance of METRO, for under $50k was enough to get him off of the fence and invest in an area he feels will give him a good financial return and a great excuse to hop on a train to see the sights of downtown without having to drive.
From Michigan, a couple is proud of their super-smart daughter who will be attending a masters program at ASU. One of their biggest concerns for finding the perfect home near ASU was public transportation. In meeting with these people, it was easy to see that they were VERY savvy when it comes to their personal finances. Both spouses have great careers and a great vision for their future. Walk-able neighborhoods, being a short distance to campus, and the convenience of public transit were topics discussed many times with these people. They want a feel for what it’s like to live in our community and it was fun to share ideas with them.
It seems that I am often reminded of an article I read last year about “Profiles from the Recession.” A man was quoted as saying:
“It’s not that I’m going to not have a car. It’s that I don’t want always have to get in my car. I want to be able to get on my bicycle sometimes. I want to be able to walk. I want to have transportation choices.”
Yeah, I know people that are loving a car-free lifestyle and I think that is an awesome thing, for them. For many people, living closer into town and living close to public transit begins as an experiment. I often hear that they doubt they can live without a car, but that they are willing to try it out by keeping the car in the driveway as much as possible.
Sounds smart to me…