Midnight Pub

Being A Confident Pedestrian


I am glad, as of late, that I've never owned a car, or even had the faintest desire to own one. I have walked virtually everywhere for the last few years and it's fantastic exercise. I honestly don't know who would pay $10 a month for a gym membership when walking everywhere keeps the muscles limber, the respiratory system clean, and the bones flexible. In addition, it carries with it a veritable utility- that is, transportation.

Add onto this the obscene gas prices caused by the recent Ukraine conflict, and it's any wonder that more and more Americans are dumping their lemons and opting for either public transportation or walking. This is an intriguing development to watch play out in real time, every gas station's little number counter rising as a result of an intricate web of economic conditions- trade negotiations overseas, the OPEC alliance, and certain shipping routes being delayed or cut off. I can see why the average driver would feel a bit irate currently, and do sympathize with them.

Nonetheless I do take a confrontational approach to cars, whenever I'm out in heavy traffic, and I'd argue it is the thing to do as a responsible pedestrian, to recognize that cars are in many ways an inconvenient headache, for drivers and pedestrians alike, and that their use is highest in economically disadvantaged areas where public transit isn't really an option. They are used out of necessity rather than convenience, and while walking one should keep in mind that if they are hit, they won't be held legally responsible for any liabilities incurred.

Drivers are, it seems, somewhat on edge. The mere possibility of an insurance hike or a head-on collision is enough to give the average car owner a conniption fit. I can't even begin to imagine how stressful it must be, to own a 2 ton hunk of metal and steel. There's also the constant breakdowns. Those can be obscenely expensive. Cars these days, particularly the newer models, rely on unnecessarily intricate designs where the wifi is connected to the brake pads and the cable radio is, for whatever reason, hooked up with the gas tank. This excessive intricacy runs against utilitarian philosophy, it serves no real purpose in getting someone from one place to another. Something like a bike, by contrast, is very simple to understand and operate, and repairs can be performed in a snap by the owner without taking it into the shop. Not only is the underlying technology behind the bicycle brilliant, every element of a bike is necessary. Nothing is extravagant, and every part, of which there are surprisingly few, serves its own unique purpose.

I do think transportative affairs are legitimately worth reading up on- the patterns of behavior of the average commuter, the history of design, the question of public vs. private transit, and the mentality of individualism which has caused America's car culture to persist into the 21st century. As a pedestrian, of course, I cross every street with the utmost confidence, stare down every driver and make sure they don't pass the crosswalk, and I always carry water so as to remain hydrated. It's certainly not the lifestyle for everyone, yet in walking everywhere I've been able to perceive the world in a much more detailed and intricate way, with more direct observation of the small things. And that is convenient considering my line of work.


As someone who doesn't live in a city, my car is my lifeblood.

Car's offer freedom to visit friends, family, go to the doctors, do the shopping, and is critical to my work.

I wouldn't have been able to meet a customer to assist with their issues 130 miles away. The trains are God awful, expensive, and presently partly shut down due to pay strikes.

While I like the idea of walking, it's just not a feasible solution for someone in a tiny town in the countryside.

I have the gym next door, and walk an hour or two sometimes to get to the smaller shops in town.

Petrol prices are expensive, but my freedom is more valuable.



An automobile-less hero is something to be!



There is definitely something to owning a car for the purposes of long distance travel. Should be illegal in urban environments.



Counter boast: Cars bring you a new degree of freedom in hilly terrains, and also mean you don't fall into the "dead weight" category when holidaying with friends.

I cannot drive either, which meant that in the last holiday I took, people were driving for me. As if in a fugue, I regressed automatically into my normal childhood holiday state of "sheep mode" wherein I no longer have any say on where we are going, nor any semblance of the geography of the place I am in.

The world becomes a blur of beautiful scenery that fades quickly into recesses of my switched off passive mind, as destination A and destination B become merely disconnected symbols. You could tell me that we'd travelled 10km or 1000km and I'd just nod and believe it.

I'm not really someone who enjoys going on holiday, and I think the reason might be because I'm very much used to being in control in my tiny slice of life lifestyle back home where I can cycle or take the train at my own behest.

Unless you're city slicking, paying for extortionate cab prices, or you have no desire to travel outside of the bounds of the hotel, there is very little you can do without a car. There is something depressing about being the "I'll pay for the gas" guy.

Moral: Don't be like me. Learn to drive, but don't buy a car. That way you can rent whenever you want, or tap in for exhausted friends on long stretches