I don’t usually think about the choice to walk, bike and take transit in LA as a way to save money. But when I got tapped by Los Angeles Magazine to write a story on car-free living for this month’s “Affording LA” issue, I crunched the numbers and was pleasantly surprised by the results: It appears that I’m managing to save at least $10,000 a year (!!!) by not owning a car. In the April issue you can read my article as well as some tips for living a car-free or car-lite lifestyle in LA: “Foot Soldier Alissa Walker Explains Why She’s Better Off Ped.”
But that’s not all! Thanks to my awesome editor Nancy Miller (who penned that awesome headline) and LA Mag’s online editor Shayna Rose Arnold, they’ve turned part of my article into a challenge for readers. Using my “two-mile rule” I talk about in my piece, they’re asking people to pledge they’ll walk, bike or take transit to any destination within two miles of their homes. It’s a fun way to ease in to the idea of driving less, and it will also help you start thinking about living more locally in general. You can read more about my experience drawing my two-mile circle when I lived in Hollywood, and check out Heather Parlato’s experience doing the same thing in her neighborhood after hearing me talk about it back in March. (Update: Thanks to @LimitedStop and @jeshizaemon for showing me this cool mapping tool that lets you easily draw a two-mile circle around your house.)
And tomorrow, for National Walking Day (no joke!), I’m appearing on a panel at the Screen Actors Guild (no joke!) to talk about the benefits of car-free living. I’ll be joined by panelists Enci Box, Cindy Marie Jenkins, Cathy Reinking, plus the great Ed Begley, Jr. (when I visited his ultragreen house to write about it for Dwell, we talked plenty about public transit). The panel is Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm (all details and RSVP here), or, if not in LA, you can watch it livestreamed online.
For the panel, and also for an ongoing project this month with Los Angeles Magazine, I want to hear your tips for living car-free. Leave ‘em in the comments and I’ll choose a few to include in a blog post later this month. Happy walking!
Update: Here’s a video of the panel in its entirety. What a great night! Loved what Ed said about how not having a car and living in transit-accessible neighborhood keeps your costs down as a creative so you can take projects not for money but for art. Priorities!
Update #2: This weekend, Ed was on NBC 4 talking about how LA is becoming a more walkable city! Check out the video, which includes footage from our SAG panel! The clip from LA Story at the beginning really makes it…