Time Travel

by Jinryu

It is 2009.  As far as I’m concerned, there’s 1 more year before industry heads make me my affordably flying car.

In the meantime, I’ll use my bicycle.

Here’s a bit of irony for you.  Most people at work who complain about how long it takes over an hour and a half to get to work blame it on traffic.  By work, I mean the hospital downtown.

Now, why do you suppose that traffic exists?  I’ve heard all sorts of reasoning– because the government is too cheap to build extra highway lanes, because there’s construction, because the bridge is closed, because people don’t carpool, yadda yadda.

Traffic exists because people get too used to cars, that’s why.  Need I even mention parking.

Building larger highways or more roadways doesn’t solve anything– if anything, it exacerbates sprawl because the temporary relief of traffic congestion will make people think they can live even further from their jobs and still drive there in X amount of time.  It’s only when Y more people start thinking the same time that X starts to become a larger and larger value.


Live closer to your job, or get a job closer to where you live.

If you have a family, that’s one thing– but people who haven’t yet settled down who complain about driving?  Come on– that’s because you’ve based so much of your life on the ‘convenience’ of driving, don’t blame the system.  Just because you’re free to live and work wherever you want and you pay taxes doesn’t mean that the government owes you highways.

It turns out that the apartment that I’m moving to in NDG is about a 15 minute bike ride away from my job.  After a barbecue last week with the friends I’ll be moving in with, I rode from the apartment to work and was surprised to find that not only was there a paved bike path the entire way, but that the bike path also goes through Westmount park so it’s the proverbial scenic route.

When the hospital relocates to the Glen Yards campus somewhere in the next decade, it’ll be about 5 minutes away by bike.  I’ll be about 20 minutes away by metro from just about anything downtown where I do everything I usually do (up to Berri), half an hour away at most by bike.

I don’t intend to get a car any time soon in the future for my own purposes.  If I do get a liscense, it’d mostly be because my grandparents and parents are getting older and it would come in handy to help them out from time to time.

Budgetwise, I intend to save the 70$ per month that I’d normally spend on bus passes.  Those 70$ could go supergenerously towards bicycle maintenance I suppose, but more likely it offsets the 340$ monthly rent.  Living downtown will save me about an hour and a half of commute per day on average, and relying on human power for my transportation will save me the cost of a gym membership.  Nevermind the buspass money– I’d pay 350$ to get back an hour and a half of my life per day.

My apartment has a smallish backyard, which we’ll begin terraforming as a hobby once I move in.  But if I wanted more greespace, well, the average suburban backyard doesn’t really compare to the average downtown park.

People have been asking me why I’m moving, jokingly poking that it’s probably because of my parents.

Why make it a joke?  It’s true. At the same time, that’s not the only reason– there’re a lot of reasons.  Financially, it’s not unsound.  Time-wise, it saves me a lot of time per day.  Social-wise, it puts me a lot closer to the people I hang out with and the places I go to do things.  Foodwise, there’s a lot more eating than where I currently live.  Professionally, it makes it easier to handle my strange hospital hours, making it more likely that I’ll get enough sleep.

etc etc etc

Well, I could rationalize all I want, but deep down, it all just comes down to a feeling.  A feeling that it’s time to move out.

Until I move out in a month and a half though, I must admit that living at home for six months after living away for over a year has made me quite lazy.  So, at the moment, while my parents are outside working on the garden, I’m going to spend my sunday afternoon sleeping.

Have a good weekend!