The pains of (not) owning a car in Vancouver

The true reason why I’m making this post is to make a guest appearance on Duane’s blog for Blogathon 2008. In fact, he tells me that the only way he’ll give me a ride home so I can go to bed is to make said post. But in a moment of “behold the power of blogging”, it made me recall a thought I had today about owning a car in general.

Rainy morning on Georgia St. Plain and simple, Rebecca and I don’t own a car. Part of it is by choice, the other is the simplicity of keeping cost of living down. We haven’t had a vehicle to be called our own for a few years now, relying heavily on transit. That means getting from point A to B is sometimes good and sometimes spotty. It really depends on the day, but for the most party, I can’t complain.

However, today I had the extreme pleasure of being able to borrow my mother-in-law’s car for the day in anticipation of Beck returning from an unexpected trip.

So, I decided to take it to work, and you would think that this is the point where I start complaining about traffic. This is not the case. It was the parking that was the most stressful thing.

Where I work, the underground parking is all reserved, and the other, optional lot is as well. That means you are subjected to the song and dance of finding various parking spots around the building, most of them being only good for one hour. Then you park here or there, stay for maybe two or three hours, and hope that this is the day that is not that once a month occurrence when they go around to pass out $40 parking tickets.

It was so stressful. All day I felt like I was constantly forgetting something when actually I couldn’t stop thinking about the car getting a ticket or having a tow truck pull it away.

We’ve been talking about getting a car for the better part of the year now, and the decision is just a matter of when. We have a good idea of what we want, but I now know, completely and fully, that this car will not be commuting me to and from work. It’s not that far to go, and that stress of finding parking is something I can certainly live without.

Give me the bus and ear buds shoved into my ears. I’ll take that over running outside everything hour and a half to move the car in a half-block to two block radius or work. It’s just not worth it.

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6 Replies to “The pains of (not) owning a car in Vancouver”

  1. I drove JT’s car today all day. It was SO stressful! Poor guy. I feel so sorry for him because every Sunday night he drives me anywhere I want. It’s a bit unfair. But I totally hear you on this one. It’s like – @#$% where is the damn parking!

  2. Now you know why it’s a pain for me to make it down for stuff sometimes….parking is always a bitch…especially late night/overnight stuff.

    If it’s not the parking, it’s also the break-in potential…having had my car(s) broken into a couple of times over the years, I know that few places are immune from having it happen.

    I can’t wait until there is a decent skytrain route from out here in the burbs directly downtown….will make things much easier.

  3. Heh. I own a car, and I agree. Commuting into or around the city by car for work is impractical, so I too commute by bus. I can’t WAIT until the Canada Line is complete; my commute time will be cut it half and my neighborhood will be less congested by the construction, too.

  4. I hear you loud and clear! My workplace is in Richmond and they have parking but I don’t own a car and am looking into buying one. However I am in ethical limbo because I think a car for a single individual is somewhat environmentally irresponsible. So I’m confused where to go with this and wondering if there is any viable option. BTW how did you guys get to Langley for the WordCamp then?

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