Walk if you love your wallet

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Sean Daly

For primarily non-native Chico State students, getting to know this town is a challenge. School creates new living situations that students must adapt to regarding transportation, groceries and other necessities.

In this point of our lives where students must be self-sufficient with low funds, Chico State students have to ponder the necessity of owning a car in this town. Students should scale the necessity of having personal transportation like this against the numerous monetary costs.

Of course everyone’s situation differs regarding support, money and their living situation. There are also more ways than driving to get around, like biking, buses and taxis. Students also have friends, neighbors and roommates who have cars for transportation. Economic costs aside, the city of Chico contains outlets for shopping, food, entertainment and recreation, all varying in accessibility to students living near the university.

First worth discussing is the dissection of the city. The city of Chico is formed by a community influenced by the university and a rising commercial reputation. This can explain the makeup of the town. The college community has necessary attractions for the college population while large scale businesses centralize around the shopping center of town around East 20th Street.

The most accessible neighborhood to the students can be drawn to start from Nord Avenue near Safeway and University Village, include the university, and cut off at about West Ninth Street and Main Street to cover the nearby downtown area.

Depending on which specific area a student lives, this general stretch conjoins to create a walkable neighborhood with many outlets for whatever a student needs. Classes are easy to reach, Safeway provides affordable groceries, there are dozens of tasty restaurants serving foods of different cultures scattered across the area, the Senator Theater and the WREC are good places to kill time with entertainment or activity and cultural trinket shops with other businesses keep downtown interesting.

These places allow close, friendly student communities to survive and thrive compared to other places. This does not completely capture Chico’s amenities and opportunities however, and students who are able to reach farther distances can benefit from this experience.

Consider the business part of Chico on East 20th Street. Businesses like Winco and Costco provide groceries at a fraction of Safeway’s prices. The mall has so many shops that are important to avid shoppers. Well-known restaurants like Denny’s, The Outback and the almighty In-N-Out provide food beloved by all Americans. Other places worth mentioning outside this specific area, but far from the student neighborhood, are the delicious Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., beautiful Upper Bidwell Park and the Cinemark 14 on East Avenue.

The college experience here gets deeper with access to these places, but they aren’t absolutely necessary when considering how much a car costs. It’s smarter to consider forming acquaintances with people and services with transportation versus purchasing a personal one. However, people in the university neighborhood should not stress about this since this area provides plenty of resources for any need. Anyone can enjoy living here without the difficulty of traveling far for anything they need.

Most pedestrians grumpy about walking longer distances feel a little envy or distaste when an obnoxious driver rolls by blasting music and revving their engine. Those who walk their way around earn a win for their wallets though, because the smart Chico State student can have fun while saving their money and getting a good walk each day.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] or @sdaly3orion on Twitter.