Monday, September 27, 2010

Willamette Trustee Eliminates Second Car, Becomes One-Car Family

Willamette Trustee Eric Friedenwald-Fishman recently ditched the second car, and now his family is a one-car household.

Over the weekend the Oregonian ran an article about his family's decision.
Their switch was the culmination of small adjustments over the years. About 10 years ago at Metropolitan Group, where Eric is president and creative director, their sustainability committee reviewed how employees commuted and realized the company gave an incentive to drive solo by paying for parking. So to promote alternatives, the company switched to a transportation allowance for a time.

Eric, who had commuted alone by car daily, decided to either walk or take the bus one day a week. Then two days a week. By 2008 he commuted every day by bike, which felt safer as more bike lanes went in along Hawthorne to downtown, and it was fun.

"It's like being a kid again," he says. "Rain or shine, hot or cold -- as long as you have rain gear, it doesn't matter."

The family's second car sat on the street until June 2009, rarely used. "We said, 'Let's do it, let's just go to one car,'" Eric says.
So far it's working out!

(Eric has more roots in Salem, as he was one of the founders of the Bistro at Willamette!)


Emily said...

What?!! Where is the article about OUR decision to never buy a second car? And the real hardship and lasting satisfaction it has caused us?! I guess getting rid of your car is newsworthy, just not getting one is considered inaction.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

There are some good stories out there! Maybe with the change in weather it's time for you to revisit the topic on DSS?!

As for this story, what is especially interesting is the "golf" angle - when the executives and bosses start car-reduction efforts, how will corporate cultures start to change and employees seek to emulate the boss? Who are the leaders who make the changes and set the example in rational transportation? Right now in Salem, bike commuting is mostly an "underling" and fringy thing - the bosses say "I'm too busy."