Well, our household of three drivers is now down to two vehicles. With that, I am attempting to be car free in Colorado Springs. For some background, for those who do not know me, we have a household of five. My wife and I, both gainfully employed, have three kids… well, technically two kids and an adult child of 18 years. We live in the Gold Hill Mesa neighborhood, where conveniently, my office is also situated. This helps to take some burden off of the day-to-day driving.
My oldest daughter has now had two used vehicles. Both of which, proved to be very costly in terms of maintenance. In mid-December, she took a loss on the sale of her latest vehicle, leaving her without an automobile. This is not an easy feat in a City lacking in good transit options – Colorado Springs. My wife and I decided that we would help our daughter out by providing my vehicle for lease. It is a very dependable Subaru Crosstrek. She’s our daughter, so we of course gave her incredibly favorable terms.
Now that I have provided background for you, I will get to the point of this post. I am in the midst of an experiment of going without a car in an auto-trensic city, in the middle of the Winter. I don’t know fully how it is going to work out, which is why I thought it would be interesting for myself and perhaps others, to document it with this underutilized blog.
This is week 1, and so far, I have not needed to drive anywhere. In part, because school has not been in session, but also because businesses are not out of their Holiday hangovers yet. I have a couple of meetings today, both via Zoom/Teams, so no big deal. As mentioned, my office is four blocks from my house, also ideal.
As a part of the lease agreement with my daughter, she is to take my 15-year old daughter to school for the duration of her lease. This helps a ton – as this tended to be a big part of my driving requirements. One other favorable element, is that we have an incredible base of friends in the neighborhood. This makes carpooling work very efficiently and of course play-dates are less of play dates and more of “hey, I’m going to my friend’s house to play.” Perhaps I’ll share more on that at another time – bottom line in that respect, we LOVE our community and friends within it.
Now for the times that I do need to get places in the City. Our neighborhood is conveniently located nearby downtown and Old Colorado City, where most of my my meetings take place (that are not at Gold Hill Mesa or via online sites). In the summer months, it will be a simple bike ride, downhill to meetings and a sweaty uphill ride back. But it’s winter now. Therefore, I will be relying on carpool downtown, or the bus. The bus route that abuts Gold Hill Mesa (Route 16) can get me to Ivywild, or the Grocery Store at 19th and Uintah without a transfer. It also only runs once per hour. So the direct route, nor the timing are ideal, nor helpful. Here is a link to the Bus Map for reference.
I have a few meetings in the coming week that will require some sort of transportation. This is the adventure that I asked for, so wish me luck, and stay tuned. I believe that there will be benefits of being car free in Colorado Springs, I’m just not fully aware of what they are yet.
Updates to being Car Free:
Week 2: https://urbanlandscapes.design/carfree-journey-in-colorado-springs-week-2/
Best of luck! I live on Cheyenne Rd and commuted to my downtown office starting in 2015. For the winter, get a cheap old bike and put Schwalbe studded tires on it. I tell people that i invested more in winter gear/clothing than in my bike I can honestly say that I enjoy the ride whatever the weather.
Thank you for the input and advise, much appreciated! I haven’t yet braved the bike as a part of the experiment yet. The ice has deterred me so far.