Take a walk

  If anyone walking along the sidewalk were to make deafening noises, spew poisonous gas into innocent faces, and threaten people with a deadly weapon, they would be arrested. Yet a few feet away, on the public roadway, it is considered normal behavior.
- Steve Stollman, a cycling/pedestrian advocate in New York City, quoted in Divorce Your Car! Ending the love affair with the automobile

Katie Alvord wants to get you out of your car. In her new book, Divorce Your Car! Ending the love affair with the automobile, Alvord spells out the ecological, personal and social reasons to split up with the automobile.

She offers nuggets of humor - chapters called "Not a Cheap Date: The real cost of cars" and "Play the Field: The spice of transportation variety" - mixed with thousands of facts. If you don't already feel guilty about the pollution spewed into the air or the animals killed on the road, Alvord makes sure you know the thousands of other reasons to walk out on this machine-dominated relationship.

"Maybe you've had problematic cars in your life," she writes. "Before my first car divorce, at least three passed through mine. There was the Dodge camper-van whose engine caught fire and left the interior coated with black soot. There was the Renault LeCar with a mystery problem that reduced its gas mileage to about half of what it should have been. There was the blue Volkswagen bug whose air-cooled motor failed so often we ended up changing engines on the side of the road the way most people change tires."

To order the 305-page paperback book, which sells for $17.95, call 800/567-6772 or check out www.newsociety.com.

Copyright 2000 HCN and Beth Wohlberg

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