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LETTERS: Car ownership still a necessity for many in Metro Vancouver



Re: We live at the mercy of automobile culture, Jan. 19

With all due respect to the writer, let me say I love my automobile. I’m one of those people who needs a car to get around.

As a contract workshop facilitator working all over Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, my car carried the items I needed to do my job.

I tried taking transit and what a draining experience that was. I got up earlier to take a bus and lugged around a heavy, mobile briefcase with another box on top, plus my purse.

After transferring at a station, I took the Canada Line, then walked quite a distance to get to my office. I didn’t enjoy bringing additional clothes and footwear, being fully exposed to uncomfortable weather conditions or feeling the stress caused by unreliable transit. I came home exhausted, cranky and ended up spending $110 bi-weekly on massage therapy due to pain. Hardly a savings there.

Recently, I travelled to Vancouver via SkyTrain. One of our friends refers to it as The Germ Tube which, in these times, is probably true, but I couldn’t believe how loud it was.

Masked up and plugging my ears from the screeching sound along the tracks the only thing that sold me on it was not paying $40-plus on parking in Vancouver.

The writer spoke about building a people-friendly over car-friendly world.

Has he been on a bus, train or even stood at a station? There is not a lot of friendly anything going on there.

For some people being at the mercy of transit means less control over travel time, lack of route options when there is an accident or weather event, safety concerns, and no personal space, which is integral to their well-being.

Now that I’m assisting my aging parents a vehicle is essential 24/7, and waiting for a bus, taxi or even Uber isn’t an option.

As for cycling, the last time I rode a bike I was maybe age 10 and almost got hit by a car, purely my fault.

A week ago, I was almost run over by an electric car that was whizzing along in a parking lot. I did a visual check before walking but I couldn’t hear it coming.

Stay tuned for more people hit by silent cars.

Maybe I do need to get up to speed with the bike and electric car culture.

I’ll consider how much we’ll pay for the infrastructure and maintenance associated with new bike lanes, electric vehicles and their parking lots.

I will learn about the mining, processing, manufacturing and shipping involved in their parts and the increase usage placed on our electrical grid.

I will offer a smile to those able-bodied cyclists who don’t have to carry around a bunch of tools for work or respond to emergency calls and I will wave at the electric car owners while they wait for an available station to plug in.

I’m sure they’ll smile and wave back at me too, right?

Jennifer Chandler, South Surrey