We have now been car free for almost two years, which sounds more intentional than "we could get a car, but it probably wouldn't be a smart financial decision right now, and we really don't want to find that out the hard way." Almost everything we need can be found within walking distance, and most other things are available through Amazon. Daycare is 1.24 miles from home and that is our biggest daily commute. When I take LB, I then walk back home. B's work is also in the direction of home and then a little further. So our combined daycare commute is five miles a day. This travel is made possible with a BOB stroller and a stroller weather shield. LB hangs out with a blanket and snacks in her plastic bubble, and she has stayed warm and dry even in pouring rain and heavy wind. It is usually dark by the time we finish our afternoon commute, so I've added a red light (bought at the running store) to the nose of the stroller so that we are more noticeable to drivers.
Overall, we have a good system. LB gets some fresh air, B and I get some exercise, and our costs are minimal. Under the best circumstances, the stroller commute let me gaze a vibrant sunsets, while exchanging meows with a happy child. At its worst, I find myself saying "please, please, please stop screaming!" Other frustrations include distracted or rude drivers. I was trained to be an aggressive (obnoxious) pedestrian as a young lady on the mean streets of Boston, however, you just can't be aggressive as a pedestrian with a child in the a stroller. This fact leaves me with few weapons to address rude or unsafe drivers, beyond the occasional word or gesture. Those everyday frustrations have been compounded by recent snow and epic failures of sidewalk snow removal. The worst offender is a local independent pharmacy that decided to pile all the snow from their sidewalk into an ice barrier at the end of their property. Thanks.
If we got a really large amount snow, I think we might have to switch to the backpack, but the idea of waddling like a penguin while i carry an increasingly heavy LB across slippery sidewalks doesn't really sound good to me. And that's without lost mittens, extreme wind chill, or epic tantrums. Hopefully it will be a mild winter.
[Here I talk more about how the BOB performs in various weather conditions.]