By Austin MacDonald
Céline Bianchi, her partner, and their three children live in Pointe-St-Charles, a neighbourhood close to Montréal’s downtown. She spoke with momentum about why her family doesn’t own a car.
“It’s a lifestyle choice for many reasons, including money; it integrates exercise into your life and of course, the ecological aspect,” she explains.
Ms. Bianchi recently gave birth to a baby girl and recalls the excitement of getting back on her bicycle afterward. “Two weeks ago, when I got back on my bike I literally screamed with joy. I felt like Freddy Mercury.”
The couple gave up their car five years ago, shortly after the birth of their oldest daughter. “Most people think that car ownership is equivalent to freedom. For us there’s actually a lot of freedom in not having a car.” They are members of Communauto, a local car-sharing service they use for errands or trips requiring a car.
“We weren’t natural born car owners: we used to forget that we had one,” she admits, “When we got our fifth parking ticket we decided to get rid of the car. It was dangerous, expensive, and a pain in the neck.”
Bianchi is preparing for the day when her eldest daughter, now five, will bike on her own. “That’s the question and it’s a scary one. We’ve set the example. She sees us cycling, so obviously one day this is going to come up,” she says.
The second-born son, a toddler, already shows a growing road-sense, looking both ways before crossing streets with his parents and boasting about his prowess. “My goal as a mother since they were born was to make them ridiculously scared of cars,” she reveals “I love living in the city but I have a pathological fear of cars since I’ve become a mother.”