A personal challenge to change one of my worst habits

Last December I knew that my car’s circulation permit had 40000 colones ($80 aprox.) in fines for parking in areas not allowed in the central canton of San Jose. Not that I did not know, I found the tickets pressed in between the wipers every time.

I work in Barrio Amon (7th Street, 11th Avenue, house # 953). On 7th Street (controlled by the Municipality of San Jose) is forbidden to park without paying a parking ticket (now you get them from a machine that often does not work) and there is a policeman who regularly passes by to check if cars are parked in rule. And on a stretch of 11th Avenue it is possible to park without such parking ticket because that’s territory of MOPT (Ministry of Public Works and Transportation) and this institution never passes by to control.

Then, for the last two years, I came by car and almost always found parking on that stretch of 11th Avenue and I was kind of happy. Other times, I paid (overpaid) the parking ticket for 7th street and sometimes the machine did not work or I deliberately didn’t care. Without paying attention to what was the real problem in this situation, I kept coming by car, even – I confess – in the days that my car has a restriction (according to plate numbers, some cars cannot enter the central canton of San Jose, as a measure to lower traffic in the city).

In mid-December, in one of the last lunches that I share with my colleagues in the house # 953, I mentioned the incredible injustice of this 40,000 colones being charged to me in fines and almost in unison, as people that know something that was impossible for me to see, they asked me: “Paula, why don’t you take the bus?”.

“Paula, why don’t you take the bus?” entered my brain as a fast and accurate dart, coming to the space reserved for CONTRADICTIONS and let myself respond as follows: “I don’t like riding the bus.”

It’s almost cute when one recognizes that is in the contradiction zone. And even cuter when is surrounded by people who astonished look at you and without any mercy throws you all the arguments you have against you: I live just 2.2 km from my work, I am the manager and promoter of a green program at work in the which they all collaborate, and driving a private passenger vehicle is perhaps the most “polluting” daily activity that an ordinary person does.

So, from January 11th, when my working year began, I have taken the bus from Guadalupe every morning (at a cost of 330 colones – $0,40), I walk from the Parque España to the house # 953 of Barrio Amón (which takes me 2 minutes). At the end of the day, I walk back all the way home. I walk through Barrio Amon, Barrio Otoya, Barrio Aranjuez, pass the bridge of Los Incurables and arrive at Colonia del Río in just 30 minutes (the same or less than it takes to make that journey by car in rush hour ).

Not singing victory yet, but I can be and I also like to be a pedestrian.

Paula.

See original post in Spanish here!