Angelenos Find That Freedom From Cars Can Be Liberating

The high cost of driving in Los Angeles has led some residents to swap their cars for bikes, buses, and the subway. This change has inadvertently allowed them to find freedom in their lives and a better connection with the City of Angels.

Constrained by freeway traffic and the rising price of gas, Alissa Walker writes that a growing number of Angelenos are choosing to liberate themselves from the shackles of their automobiles.

The benefits of using bicycles or public transportation range from the financial to the physical and mental. Musician Eddie Solis notes, "There's no car insurance, there's no gas or oil, there are no tickets, no stress." Since his departure from cars, architect Peter Zellner says, "I have lost 15 pounds since I started cycling everywhere, I have more time to read and think when I am on the bus and I am never stressed out by traffic."

"When it all works, the feeling of plotting your bike route on Google Maps, answering emails on your phone while soaring on the 720 bus across town, and walking 20 minutes to the grocery store instead of spending 20 minutes in a Trader Joe's parking lot can produce a true sense of feeling untethered in Los Angeles-maybe something like what those freeway designers originally had in mind. But there's something different about this car-free freedom. It's not convenience, it's community," observes Walker.

Thanks to Akemi Leung

Full Story: Can Ditching Your Car Make You Feel More Free?

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