Going Car Free

Carol_m._browner ChuA couple of Obama's key appointees do not own cars as reported in this article in the Washington Post, which was also picked up by some blogs, including DemConWatch and Kicking Tires. Carol Browner, President Obama's Energy and Environment Czarina and Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, were reported to not own cars at all. That's two out of the six high level appointees this article reported on. Also, one of the ten aides on the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry also reported not owning a car. That's three out of sixteen. Clearly these individuals are making a conscious choice not to own a car, since I presume they could afford one if they wanted. As we transform our transportation systems and our economy to more sustainable models, we need to move away from the concept of one car/one person. The average car sits idle 22 hours or more a day, which is an extremely inefficient use of capital. Creating a more integrated system that allows people to not have to own their cars and tie up many thousands of dollars of capital will serve us better in the long run--both economically and environmentally.

Carfreediet_2Here in Arlington, VA, we have a promotional effort called Arlington's Car-Free Diet. The article did not go into the reasons why these leaders choose not to own a car, but one might guess that they just find it more convenient and cost effective to not have one, and are able to avail themselves of the options available in the DC area, the kind of options that make the Car-Free Diet a model for other places.

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