Sprawling From Grace – Documentary

Spraling From Grace - Documentary

I watched this documentary tonight, Sprawling From Grace, and it’s kind of scary. It amazes me how dependent we are on oil and cars. City planning is designed around the assumption that families have at least one car, and maybe more. Public transit is often little better than rudimentary, and not always reliable (at least it isn’t in the city I live).  There’s literally an expectation that people will prefer to use a car for transportation.

I do not own a car. I do not have a license. I have never had a license to drive a car. I did, however, have a “Learner’s License” at one time (15 years ago, and I could only drive with someone who had a valid permit). I drove from Sweetgrass, MT, to the city limits of Calgary, AB, once. I promptly pulled-over at the first chance I got to let my friend take the wheel for city driving. I didn’t want to do it, and it freaked me out so bad I can recall the anxiety I felt then as I write this now. I have never been in an automobile accident.

I know that driving has never been something I ever wanted. Ever. Even when I was a teen, chomping at the bit for independence, I did not imagine myself having a car. I use the crappy bus when I have to, and a friend of mine takes me (via car) for my once-per-month mega-grocery trip, but I truly prefer to walk when I need to go somewhere. I like it this way.


12 thoughts on “Sprawling From Grace – Documentary

  1. It's a Wiccan Life says:

    I feel your pain lol. I don’t and can’t drive unless I have a fully licensed driver with me. So I depend on the bus, which sucks. I also go to school in another town and it’s 6$ there and 6$ back for a bus ride,(plus a few mins of walking, and that makes you late for class), in the days that our bus to campus doesn’t run. Thank goodness my granny is awesome and drives me on those days.


  2. texasdruids says:

    I rode the bus to work years ago, waiting at the bus stop in below zero weather, freezing my legs off in mini skirt days. Now I couldn’t tolerate that. Too old and decrepit. Husband and I have one car (I gave up mine 10 years ago) so I am stuck at home when he’s at work, but I don’t mind. It gives me alone time for writing. Mass transit also stinks here in Fort Worth. If you live in outlying areas, there’s little choice but to travel by car.


    • Veggiewitch says:

      I think the documentary is really good, because it brings light to the topic of car versus public transport. Most cities are designed for cars, and not public transport, which actually forces people to rely on or opt for a car. That kind of city planning doesn’t account for lower income families who simply cannot afford to have a car, or those people who simply don’t want one. It’s more of an arrogant and assumptive form of planning out a city, because it isolates whole groups and puts things out of balance. ♥


  3. Fred says:

    I don’t drive, either. I had a car before I moved to Ottawa but since then have used the bus or cabs to get around. Living downtown means I can walk almost everywhere I need to go, so that’s even better.


    • Veggiewitch says:

      Centralized-living is huge, too. It’s a return to a Main Street/High Street kind of living, where everything is within walking distance, and you can recognize your surroundings no matter which angle you turn. I don’t live downtown proper, but not in the ‘burbs either. I can walk to most places, except the Stupidstore for big groceries. But, I don’t mind taking a cab, either… when I can get one. lol ♥


  4. Sword-chinned bitch says:

    Yay! I don’t own a car or have a license either. My dad always had one and my brother and sister got one as soon as they could — I’m with you. Funny, I was just thinking about how driving is a rite of passage for so many and that it’s just something people assume you’ll do.


    • Veggiewitch says:

      There are more an more people who do not drive, my friend. For some, it’s just not something they ever wanted to do, and others it’s not something they could ever afford to do. I totally agree with you! I think the concept of not driving can be such a foreign thing, because the idea of driving and independence have become almost synonymous. ♥


  5. Resa McConaghy says:

    I have to drive when I work. Production supplies my car. However, one of the reasons I moved to Queen’s end is that I don’t need to drive for every day life. I have unparalleled village shopping on Roncesvailles. It’s so organic walking from shop to shop. There’s tons of greens grocers (incl organic) small banks, bakeries, coffee shops where people hang with kids and dogs, delis, heath food stores, restaurants, pharmacies, hair salons, and on. Corporate entities are squeezing us from all sides, but we’re resisting big-time.


    • Veggiewitch says:

      People need to push back, because too many corporations are trying to squeeze living out of the central-city equation. It’s hard not to rely on the convenience of a car when things are so far away, and many destinations can be pretty far a part. ♥


  6. Steve says:

    Yes times are a-changing and as people move away from auto-centered lifestyles (as I read they are), things will get better. I hope… !


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