Bellingham retirees doing only excellent but a car

May 4, 2016 - garden totes

Three years ago, Bellingham retirees Terry and Jane Brooks donated their automobile to a open radio hire and launched their car-free lifestyle.

Their new life, they say, is simpler, healthier, and available as ever.

It takes them 12 mins to travel from their home to a grocery store during Barkley Village. Trader Joe’s, on James Street, is even closer. Their two-wheeled, pull-behind ride creates it easy to receptacle groceries.

Getting from home to Fred Meyer on a bike is amazingly easy. Exercise is now built into a lifestyle.Terry Brooks

They can travel to their doctor’s bureau in 15 minutes. The YMCA, library, post office, Pickford Film Center, Mount Baker Theatre, and any other downtown business is 40 mins divided on foot, quicker on a bicycle.

“Getting from home to Fred Meyer on a bike is amazingly easy,” Terry says. “Exercise is now built into a lifestyle.”

The integrate owns 3 bicycles, and one tandem bike and dual bike trailers.

Terry bought one trailer secondhand for $20 and repurposed it to lift supplies. An artist, he uses a bike and trailer to ride art reserve to his outside portrayal sites.

If it’s raining in a morning, I’m only as happy to put on boots and a shawl and travel to a Y, instead of drive.Jane Brooks

He once used his bike trailer to ride petrify garden pavers from Lowe’s Home Improvement to his front yard.

They park their bikes in their trustworthy two-car garage. The tiled-floor garage, reduction a car, adds 600 block feet of space to their house.

“Walking is good for you, and feels good,” Jane says. “If it’s raining in a morning, I’m only as happy to put on boots and a shawl and travel to a Y, instead of drive.”

Jane, 65, goes to a YMCA for gymnastics and swimming. Terry, 70, goes for yoga.

Critical to vital car-free is clever care of where to live. Terry and Jane were vital in Seattle in 2012 when he late after 26 years of training library scholarship during University of Washington.

They were informed with Bellingham since their dual children attended Western Washington University. When they found a residence for sale in Bellingham’s Roosevelt area subsequent to a Railroad Trail, they knew it was right for them.

The route gets them where they need to go, though it’s also a place to accommodate people face-to-face. Neighbors practice their dogs, kids travel to school, and relatives pull strollers along a converted tyrannise right-of-way that runs from Memorial Park by Sunnyland Elementary School to Lake Whatcom and Whatcom Falls Park.

“It’s a encampment path,” Terry says.

Even though a car, it’s easy for a Brooks to revisit their grown children in Seattle. They locate a Whatcom Transportation Authority train (50 cents with a comparison discount) to a Cordata train station, get on a BoltBus to Seattle (fare varies), afterwards take a King County Metro Transit train to their daughter’s home. Terry and Jane have ORCA cards, that simplifies fare-paying on Seattle buses and trains.

You can spin Bellingham into a village. You don’t need an automobile to get around.Terry Brooks

If they wish to expostulate to Seattle, or lease a outpost to go camping, they travel to Enterprise Rent-A-Car on North State Street. In 2015, they spent $250 on automobile rentals; in 2014, $450.

They were astounded how intermittently they need a let car. In contrast, owning a automobile costs about $3,500 a year, Terry estimates.

They suspicion that removing to airports though a automobile would be difficult, though have found otherwise. Wearing carry-on backpacks, or with a rolling suitcase, they travel 15 mins to Iowa Street to locate a convey to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Or, they take a BoltBus to Vancouver, B.C., and locate a SkyTrain to that city’s airport.

As a Brooks demonstrate, a car-free life can work for healthy adults who travel well, don’t need to ride children or elders, and can constitute themselves nearby selling and other activities. Terry and Jane intentionally chose a residence in a prosaic area that’s nearby a train line and trail, to promote their car-free life.

“Nothing is that inconvenient,” Jane says.

“That’s due to good planning,” Terry says. “You can spin Bellingham into a village. You don’t need an automobile to get around.”

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