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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 12-06-15, 12:11 PM   #1
Dahon.Steve
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Man who lived to 100 never owned a car.

Here's a good story about a man (Danny Gallant) who's now over 100 and never owned a car. He raised 8 children and they did fine without an automobile. I'm sure this may come as a disappointment to some that he did not use a bicycle for mobility. His secret to becoming car free was simple. Just walk.

It's incredible he lasted this long since he worked as a coal miner for years. He attributes his long life to walking an eating right.

From the article:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
He said they always got by fine without a vehicle. With a family of eight children, groceries were delivered and they took a bus when necessary.

New Waterford man who turns 100 next week has never owned a car - Local - Cape Breton Post

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Old 12-06-15, 12:40 PM   #2
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A simple man or cheap bastard...?

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Old 12-06-15, 01:02 PM   #3
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Very inspirational, thanks for sharing. From the article:
"[Gallant] said they always got by fine without a vehicle. With a family of eight children, groceries were delivered and they took a bus when necessary.

Penny said not having a car never stopped her father from doing anything.

"He went to every wake that he could possibly go to that was very important to him," she said.

She said he was a good father and a good provider who loved kids."
Evidently he did this ina rural area on Cape Breton Island. I wonder if he ever tried riding a bike.
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Old 12-06-15, 02:29 PM   #4
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There are a lot more people like him in Europe then in North America and they don't even make into the news media, because it's just a normal thing in many European countries...In my own family all of my grandparents who lived in Europe were car-free all their life. One of my grandmas is almost 90 and still walks everywhere.
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Old 12-06-15, 02:57 PM   #5
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There are a lot more people like him in Europe then in North America and they don't even make into the news media, because it's just a normal thing in many European countries...In my own family all of my grandparents who lived in Europe were car-free all their life. One of my grandmas is almost 90 and still walks everywhere.
High density cities, better non-car infrastructure, and (relative) lack of sprawl make many European cities more attractive for LCF.

However, the old gent in the article was in a rural area of your own country (Canada), not urban Europe. The fact that he responsibly raised so many kids, and put most of them through college, is a good inspiration for the one or two posters here who still insist that this is impossible.
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Old 12-06-15, 04:00 PM   #6
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High density cities, better non-car infrastructure, and (relative) lack of sprawl make many European cities more attractive for LCF.

However, the old gent in the article was in a rural area of your own country (Canada), not urban Europe. The fact that he responsibly raised so many kids, and put most of them through college, is a good inspiration for the one or two posters here who still insist that this is impossible.
His rural location must of been exceptionally well suited to living a car-free lifestyle, with all the necessities of life very close by. Majority of rural areas that I know of are not like that. I've been to many different rural areas and none of them are suitable to living a car-free lifestyle...Nevertheless, I agree that this man is an inspiration, I mean living to be 100 and still healthy is a great accomplishment and requires making good positive lifestyle choices.
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Old 12-06-15, 04:55 PM   #7
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His rural location must of been exceptionally well suited to living a car-free lifestyle
Please Google Cape Breton Island and go to the street level. I am amazed Danny Gallant was able to live carfree in Cape Breton Island. Could you live carfree in that Island?

Don't get me wrong, CBI is a beautiful island to live on and the small homes really give a resort type of living. However, public transit is minimal with bus service by the hour. In fact, many lines only operate until 5 in the evening. Weekend service is worse!

I suspect he may have lived in a city like New Waterford that has some small stores for shopping. I don't know how he managed to get to work since the mines where he was employed is pretty far away and bus service is minimal.

He must have done alot of walking or what is called human transit. LOL!

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Old 12-06-15, 05:08 PM   #8
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There are a lot more people like him in Europe then in North America and they don't even make into the news media, because it's just a normal thing in many European countries...In my own family all of my grandparents who lived in Europe were car-free all their life. One of my grandmas is almost 90 and still walks everywhere.
How was the older generation able to remain carfree yet people can't do it today? Danny was able to show that you do not need to live in New York City to become carfree. He didn't have access to trains, commuter rail lines, lightrail or even a bicycle for transportation. A limited and simple bus line was all he needed for employment. Lets not forget, a good pair of walking shoes.

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Old 12-06-15, 05:10 PM   #9
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Very inspirational, thanks for sharing. From the article:
Agreed. Danny is the carfree hero of month! :-)
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Old 12-06-15, 05:17 PM   #10
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I don't know how he managed to get to work since the mines where he was employed is pretty far away and bus service is minimal.

He must have done alot of walking or what is called human transit. LOL!
The winter weather on CBI can get very nasty. I am sure he car-pooled with some of his friends who he worked with. I just can't see anybody working hard in coal mines all day and then walk to and from work everyday, especially if the distance is pretty far and then raising a family of 8 kids. I am sure there are a lot more "finer details" to the gents life which the news media left out and never printed.
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Old 12-06-15, 05:20 PM   #11
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The winter weather on CBI can get very nasty. I am sure he car-pooled with some of his friends who he worked with. I just can't see anybody working hard in coal mines all day and then walk to and from work everyday, especially if the distance is pretty far and then raising a family of 8 kids. I am sure there are a lot more "finer details" to the gents life which the news media left out and never printed.
My mother never drove in her 80 year life life, and may not ever have been in a privately owned motor car until she got married. Of course for the next 60 years other members of her family and occasionally friends drove her about in their car whenever travel beyond the restraints of public transportation was convenient or necessary. The cited article was not clear that this gentleman did not also do the same, as many "car free people" do when and if he had to (or chose to) travel beyond walking distances.
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Old 12-06-15, 11:01 PM   #12
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Back in the 1930s when he started working in the mines it's likely most workers didn't have cars, so either the town is built right at the mine site or the company had a shuttle bus or something like that. As well if you google New Waterford, it's a pretty compact town so it's highly feasible he could walk to the grocery store, church, the legion hall etc. without needing to car pool.

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Old 12-07-15, 01:31 AM   #13
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Back in the 1930's when he started working in the mines it's likely most workers didn't have cars, so either the town is built right at the mine site or the company had a shuttle bus or something like that. As well if you google New Waterford, it's a pretty compact town so it's highly feasible he could walk to the grocery store, church, the legion hall etc. without needing to car pool.
Also he had a lot of kids, who were probably expected to help with shopping and other chores. Some parents today won't even let their kids go outside alone for various reasons, but it wan't like that when his kids were young.
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Old 12-07-15, 01:35 AM   #14
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I lived in a mining town for several years. There were residents there who had never travelled outside the town boundary by motor vehicle. Back in their childhood days, there was a train which took them to the port about 25 miles away and they travelled by boat to other places. But generally, they stayed in the town for most of their lives. There was a bus which took the working men to the mine, and the shops were all within walking distance of all the town's homes.

There are millions of people who live to old age without owning or driving a motor vehicle. They live in Asia, Africa, and even Europe. Their lives aren't unusual for that where they reside.
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Old 12-07-15, 01:50 AM   #15
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I lived in a mining town for several years. There were residents there who had never travelled outside the town boundary by motor vehicle. Back in their childhood days, there was a train which took them to the port about 25 miles away and they travelled by boat to other places. But generally, they stayed in the town for most of their lives. There was a bus which took the working men to the mine, and the shops were all within walking distance of all the town's homes.

There are millions of people who live to old age without owning or driving a motor vehicle. They live in Asia, Africa, and even Europe. Their lives aren't unusual for that where they reside.
That's a very good point that some North Americans tend to forget. But again, for the record, the guy in the article lived in Canada, where such a life is possibly less common--but obviously practical and enjoyable for at least some people. I have often seen people on this forum say that it's "impossible" to live in the country without a car, but there are always carfree people proving that it is indeed possible.
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Old 12-07-15, 04:30 AM   #16
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That's a very good point that some North Americans tend to forget. But again, for the record, the guy in the article lived in Canada, where such a life is possibly less common--but obviously practical and enjoyable for at least some people. I have often seen people on this forum say that it's "impossible" to live in the country without a car, but there are always carfree people proving that it is indeed possible.
Maybe you have forgotten that I lived in a country region (in fact, I didn't even live in a town) for six years without owning a car, and very rarely travelled in one (I rented twice, used a taxi once, and got the occasional lift to a nearby town to catch a bus or train).
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Old 12-07-15, 08:45 AM   #17
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Pre 1960 Canadian (and American) small towns were typically very walkable with a main street for shopping, and houses on the adjacent streets, literally around the corner. Subsequently even they have experienced sprawl with the advent of automobiles for everyone. However the coal mining towns like New Waterford have been economically depressed for years, with young people leaving, so that town probably has the same footprint it had in the heyday of the mines in the 1940s and '50s.

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Old 12-07-15, 02:44 PM   #18
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Maybe you have forgotten that I lived in a country region (in fact, I didn't even live in a town) for six years without owning a car, and very rarely travelled in one (I rented twice, used a taxi once, and got the occasional lift to a nearby town to catch a bus or train).
Like I said earlier, living in the country without a car can be tough, and obviously a lot of people wouldn't care to do it. But you and the guy in the article both show it can be done. About the impossible--I've found almost always, "It can't be done" really means, "I don't have a clue how to do it, and I don't plan to find out." So many kudos to you!

I lived in a small town carfree for a while. The worst problem I encountered was commuting to my job about 25 miles away in the nearest big city. The bus trip to work was about three hours one way, and there was no bus home after work. It came down to either moving or finding a new job right in the small town. I moved back to the city, becoming one of the people who "can't do it."

Looking back, if I had been riding a bike at the time, and following this forum for ideas, I might have been able to do the 25 mile commute every day, at least for a while.
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Old 12-07-15, 03:41 PM   #19
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That's a very good point that some North Americans tend to forget. But again, for the record, the guy in the article lived in Canada, where such a life is possibly less common--but obviously practical and enjoyable for at least some people. I have often seen people on this forum say that it's "impossible" to live in the country without a car, but there are always carfree people proving that it is indeed possible.
I read somewhere that before about 1850 when railroads started having much impact, that 1/2 of the population on average never traveled more than 25 miles from their birthplace in their entire lives.
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Old 12-07-15, 03:54 PM   #20
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I read somewhere that before about 1850 when railroads started having much impact, that 1/2 of the population on average never traveled more than 25 miles from their birthplace in their entire lives.
That might be true, but I doubt it. 1850 in North America was a time of constant expansion and migration. I think nearly half the population at any given time was born on another continent--immigrants from Europe, Africa, and even Asia. And the western territories were constantly being settled by people from the East. The California Gold Rush started in 1849 and was in full swing in 1850. And this wasn't the first (or last) big boom caused by discovery of a mineral or other resource.

The human species has always been characterized by exploration, nomadism, and resettlement. For two million years, all of this movement was carfree. "Out of Africa" and Native Americans crossing a land bridge from Asia--absolutely no cars were involved. Stone Age peoples traded with people hundreds of miles away.

It might be hard for modern pople to imagine, but everybody was on the move long before cars were invented. And now people can't make it to the corner store without hopping in a big car!
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Old 12-07-15, 06:40 PM   #21
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The human species has always been characterized by exploration, nomadism, and resettlement. For two million years, all of this movement was carfree. "Out of Africa" and Native Americans crossing a land bridge from Asia--absolutely no cars were involved. Stone Age peoples traded with people hundreds of miles away.
In many ways, the driving culture ended that freedom by usurping the spirit of exploration and making it dependent on fuel and maintenance of the machine. Whereas people used to be able to fuel and maintain their own bodies through long treks using skills passed down from older generations, moderners have grown ever more dependent on commerce to supply them with the means of travel; which in turn keeps them indentured to employers who typically restrict their schedules in a way that prevents extended travel.
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Old 12-07-15, 08:09 PM   #22
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"He went to every wake that he could possibly go to — that was very important to him," she said.


All of those family members standing around wondering who he was.
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Old 12-07-15, 08:17 PM   #23
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I read somewhere that before about 1850 when railroads started having much impact, that 1/2 of the population on average never traveled more than 25 miles from their birthplace in their entire lives.
There's nothing wrong people spending their lives in one town. For some reason, those of us who have family and friends (and good jobs) in one town are supposed to up root our lives and move across the country now that we have automobility. A life of frequent travel living here and there making little or no friends not being a part of any community. A nomad.
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Old 12-07-15, 08:47 PM   #24
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A life of frequent travel living here and there making little or no friends not being a part of any community. A nomad.
A life of frequent travel living here and there making friends everywhere as we go, being a part of many communities. A nomad.
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Old 12-07-15, 09:38 PM   #25
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Here's a good story about a man (Danny Gallant) who's now over 100 and never owned a car. He raised 8 children and they did fine without an automobile. I'm sure this may come as a disappointment to some that he did not use a bicycle for mobility. His secret to becoming car free was simple. Just walk.

It's incredible he lasted this long since he worked as a coal miner for years. He attributes his long life to walking an eating right.

From the article:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
He said they always got by fine without a vehicle. With a family of eight children, groceries were delivered and they took a bus when necessary.

New Waterford man who turns 100 next week has never owned a car - Local - Cape Breton Post
??? My dad never owned a car or had a drivers license....is this something rare? (He lived in Manhattan, was a airline exec.) 'Course, he died of a massive heart attack at age 47, I don't think all that walking helped him much....
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