Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Brain Change

Walking around my urban hellhole today I'm reminded of how not owning a car really changes the way you think about the world. Obviously cars are useful things in that they let you basically go "anywhere" at relatively low perceived marginal cost (one problem with the way we pay for cars is that a lot of things which are really marginal costs are perceived as fixed costs by people). I think I've been car free for about 6 years now, and where I can go reasonably is dictated by where I can walk, where there's decent public transportation access, where is accessible by a cab ride I'm willing to pay for, or what's accessible by a carshare car that I'm willing to pay for. While there isn't a perfect mapping, carshare costs make perceived fixed costs (insurance, maintenance, car payments) into marginal costs to some degree. All that makes the accessible world quite a bit smaller. Not saying that's good or bad, just that it is.