Coming Soon: Diane Meyer’s Beautiful Car-Free Portraits at the 18th Street Art Center
Diane Meyer is a photographer who teaches at Loyola Marymount University. A few years ago she took the leap and became car-free. Over the past year, Meyer has photographed a diverse group of 100 car-free Los Angeles residents. Some of them are familiar to Streetsblog's readers in green transportation activist circles. These include Greensters Stephen and Enci Box, Green L.A. Girl Siel, BikeRoWave's Alex Thompson, various Eco-Village residents including founder Lois Arkin, Bicycle Kitchen's Joshua Moody, the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition's Allison Mannos, and others (even me.)
After the jump, view a sampling of Meyer's photos and excerpts from her own words about the exhibit. Mark your calendar to check out the rest of Meyer's work later this month.
"For the first 20 minutes after selling my Volkswagen Jetta to Car Max, I was wracked with fear…and curiosity. Exactly how would I navigate the city and do everything I need to do – in Los Angeles, of all places! – without an automobile? My initial assumption that I could rely on the car-sharing company Flex Car proved incorrect. The day after I ditched my car, Flex Car announced that it would merge with Zipcar, and would thereon only provide service to USC and UCLA. That day also marked the arrival of a January storm and eight straight days of rain. Hence, my belief that I would be able to get anywhere, at any time, by bike seemed similarly misguided."
"What started as a temporary lifestyle adjustment, originally planned for a few months at most, has freed me from any desire to own a car ever again. The experience has also truly opened my eyes to the joys of living in this city. While saving money, transcending traffic, and reducing my environmental impact were easily anticipated benefits, many unexpected benefits came from de-car-ing. I found that my life, and what I could accomplish in a day, changed surprisingly little."
"I met people from a wide range of backgrounds, socio-economic levels, occupations, and heard an amazing range of reasons for not driving. I met single moms, teachers, writers, consultants, comediennes, actors, urban planners, computer programmers, analysts, bakery workers, students, and unemployed. I met people whose physical disabilities kept them off the road, and people who did not drive because of firm ideologies about the detrimental effects of car culture. Others had been in accidents, their cars had blown up, they were afraid to drive, they lost their licenses after receiving a third DUI, they preferred bicycles, or they were simply tired of spending so much on a car."