It seems insignificant until it affects you directly, but living in an area where you have more than just one way to get around alters your entire view of how you live your life from day to day. Within the last few months, I've been living in North Hollywood, California, an area reshaped by "transit oriented development." Walkable areas with front-facing shops, wide sidewalks, all connecting to a subway and bus rapid transit system make for an area you'd like to explore, rather than an area you escape from for work and rarely ever see.
Since living in this area, I only use my car two or three times a week. And why should I? Major grocery stores, dining places, comic shops, and bars are withing walking distance. Granted, parking is limited to side streets, but that's just another reason to try out one of the other more attractive forms of transportation. Most importantly, any trips I take into other parts of Los Angeles are usually by rail or bus rapid transit. Every time there's an event I'm invited to, the first thing that comes to mind is if it's near a rail station, as both traffic and parking have gotten worse recently in many L.A. communities-----this way of thinking is very essential when going to parties or dining places where alcohol is involved. It's a great feeling going to an event in Hollywood or Downtown knowing that you don't have to deal with finding and paying for parking, and it's alot easier for me to find addresses on foot than driving. Of course, metro rail does not go everywhere yet, like Santa Monica for instance, but that's where another transportation mode comes in to play: ride-sharing. This weekend for instance, I plan to attend a bar-hopping event in Santa Monica, which won't have a light rail line until next year. To avoid driving, I can take the subway and a light rail to Culver City, then take a Lyft car to the bar and the same way back. Using these other modes helps to lessen the wear-and-tear on my car, so I can use it for just large grocery trips, comic convention appearances, etc. I even get to know not only my neighborhood by cutting down on driving, but other multi-transit cities as well such as Pasadena. Simply put, my love affair with my car and driving wore off in the last year, and I've recently realized how using other transportation modes helps to curb my stress on the roads, and has me not only looking at my surroundings differently, but influencing how I live my life.