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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 01-15-17, 08:54 AM   #1
tandempower
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Obstacles to Daily LCF

LCF is slightly out of reach for most people who commute downtown for work, but not by much. The following obstacles are all that stands between most people and commuting to work carfree daily:

1) park-n-ride for transit: there are park-n-ride lots so this is not really an obstacle. It's the destination end that harbors obstacles.

2) bike-share convenience: bike shares don't allow users to relinquish their bike at their workplace or other destination, forcing them to take responsibility for the bike until they return it to the docking station.

3) clothing: people dress nicely for work and fear the effects of chain grease on their clothes, wind in their hair, etc. grease-free bikes with adequate chain guards to protect pants and skirts from damage could be ridden calmly and comfortably between the bus stop and workplace.

These are really not huge obstacles to overcome when you consider the alternative of everyone driving and parking everywhere all the time.
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Old 01-15-17, 04:06 PM   #2
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Cycling to work ...

1. Nowhere to put the bicycle when you get to work.

2. Effort involved. Distance. Terrain. Weather. Traffic.

3. Public Transportation doesn't take bicycles ... if you want to do part of the commute by public transportation and part by bicycle.


Using Public Transportation ...

1. Time consuming. Can take twice as much time as making the trip with an individual personal motorised method of transportation

2. Inconvenient. Doesn't go where you want it to go when you want it to go there.

3. Requires strategic planning and excessive amounts of time if you've got more than one place to go.

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Old 01-15-17, 04:20 PM   #3
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Safety: sometimes the commute is just too dangerous to make by bike.
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Old 01-15-17, 05:57 PM   #4
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Logistics and the structure of a persons lifestyle....Alternative forms of transportation may not be practical because of location and lifestyle of an individual....or an individual has absolutely no interest in giving up their car and using public transit or bicycle.....Seriously it has nothing to do with any obstacles, it all comes down to personal choices on where the person wants to live and what they want to use to get around...After all it's 21 century and we're not living in a third world country so there is nothing unusual about being modern using a car to get to work, it's common sense that majority of people will choose the easiest, most convenient and most comfortable way to get around.
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Old 01-15-17, 07:39 PM   #5
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Logistics and the structure of a persons lifestyle....Alternative forms of transportation may not be practical because of location and lifestyle of an individual....or an individual has absolutely no interest in giving up their car and using public transit or bicycle.....Seriously it has nothing to do with any obstacles, it all comes down to personal choices on where the person wants to live and what they want to use to get around...After all it's 21 century and we're not living in a third world country so there is nothing unusual about being modern using a car to get to work, it's common sense that majority of people will choose the easiest, most convenient and most comfortable way to get around.
But this thread is for people who either can't or don't want to use a car. Why are you going about other people?
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Old 01-15-17, 08:03 PM   #6
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Time/schedule.

There is a finite number of hours in the day. When I was in the city, maximizing use of those hours might involve bicycle commuting; in my current situation, a CF commute leads to a much longer commute.

As a result, it impacts other ways I would rather be spending my time. In many cases, the opportunity cost of CF living provides less personal return than living a car-owning lifestyle. I'm unwilling to give up some of the things I enjoy in order to live CF.
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Old 01-15-17, 08:35 PM   #7
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Old 01-15-17, 08:37 PM   #8
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But this thread is for people who either can't or don't want to use a car. Why are you going about other people?

I think people who can't use a car may have a few other reasons why, it's not a lifestyle so much as a handicap to some.
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Old 01-16-17, 01:53 AM   #9
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If you're just lurking here, be aware that for each of these drawbacks to carfree existence, there are literally hundreds of posts here about overcoming them and working around them.
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Old 01-16-17, 01:57 AM   #10
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If you're just lurking here, be aware that for each of these drawbacks to carfree existence, there are literally hundreds of posts here about overcoming them and working around them.
So make this a useful thread and start offering some suggestions.
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Old 01-16-17, 02:00 AM   #11
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So make this a useful thread and start offering some suggestions.
I don't have the time right now, so I hope you and others will step up to the plate.
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Old 01-16-17, 02:09 AM   #12
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Time/schedule.

There is a finite number of hours in the day.
Yes, and most Americans are pre-diabetic or diabetic and watch 5 hours of television per day. People are free to decide what they wish to do with their time, but how many people were aiming to be obese and diabetic when they set out on their adult lives? Most Americans have the time to commute by bike, but very, very few choose to (0.6% nationally).

Apparently, watching television is a higher priority than engaging in active transportation. Perhaps this could be changed, at least for a few of those 99.4% who aren't on their bikes, by better messaging, but no one really makes much money when people change over from sedentary transportation to active transportation. The fossil fool industry loses, the car companies lose, the gravel companies lose, the pharmaceutical companies lose. Maybe the health insurance divisions win, but they are pitted against the auto insurance divisions of those same insurance companies. The only people who win are the ones who get active, but no one has much incentive to help them see that.
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Old 01-16-17, 02:11 AM   #13
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I don't have the time right now, so I hope you and others will step up to the plate.
I don't have suggestions to overcome the obstacles. I have the obstacles. Bring on the suggestions.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:00 AM   #14
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Yes, and most Americans are pre-diabetic or diabetic and watch 5 hours of television per day. People are free to decide what they wish to do with their time, but how many people were aiming to be obese and diabetic when they set out on their adult lives? Most Americans have the time to commute by bike, but very, very few choose to (0.6% nationally).

Apparently, watching television is a higher priority than engaging in active transportation. Perhaps this could be changed, at least for a few of those 99.4% who aren't on their bikes, by better messaging, but no one really makes much money when people change over from sedentary transportation to active transportation. The fossil fool industry loses, the car companies lose, the gravel companies lose, the pharmaceutical companies lose. Maybe the health insurance divisions win, but they are pitted against the auto insurance divisions of those same insurance companies. The only people who win are the ones who get active, but no one has much incentive to help them see that.
I'm not one of those 5-hr/day TV watchers. Commuting by bicycle/bus would mean:

Less yoga.
Less AA meetings.
Fewer hours spent with loved ones.

Current situation also makes it difficult and uneconomical to consider moving closer to work; current employment situation makes it difficult to consider working closer to home. Living rural is also of greater importance to me than living car-free.

These aren't obstacles to living car-free, they are preferences.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:09 AM   #15
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If you're just lurking here, be aware that for each of these drawbacks to carfree existence, there are literally hundreds of posts here about overcoming them and working around them.
In my situation, a solution might involve trains. We live less than a quarter mile away from a track on which runs the Downeaster Amtrak New England regional train service.

If the US had more of a European style rail system and there was a stop right by our house, that might go a long way toward promoting CF lifestyle for us.

The other end of my commute is the northern terminus of a commuter rail out of Boston. One of the obstacles to what could be nearly door-to-door train service for me? The section of rail north of the commuter rail stop, which might plausibly connect with similar service south has been converted to a rail trail for pedestrians and cyclists... who would surely oppose conversion back to rail use...
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Old 01-16-17, 09:53 AM   #16
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Cycling to work ...

1. Nowhere to put the bicycle when you get to work.
2. Effort involved. Distance. Terrain. Weather. Traffic.
3. Public Transportation doesn't take bicycles ... if you want to do part of the commute by public transportation and part by bicycle.

Using Public Transportation ...

1. Time consuming. Can take twice as much time as making the trip with an individual personal motorised method of transportation
2. Inconvenient. Doesn't go where you want it to go when you want it to go there.
3. Requires strategic planning and excessive amounts of time if you've got more than one place to go.
My workplace makes a profit off car parking, but even so they have been pretty good at installing bike facilities. Maybe they have figured out that by providing less subsidized staff parking, they can make more money off the public. I have bike commuted about 25 years, and for about 10 years we have had large bike cages with magnetic locks at several of our locations. Your ID badge opens it. There are occasional issues with the magnetic lock being turned off, so you still lock your bike to a rack inside, but I no longer worry about removing lights and some people leave panniers on their bikes. So one solution is to pester your workplace to install bike facilities.

Several but not all of our bus routes have bike racks on the bus. They tend to be ones that go uphill - there is a small escarpment just north of downtown where you bike up about 40m in elevation and a few more small hills and ridges after that, so that is a bit sweaty on hot summer days.

Time-consuming public transit is true. My commute is 45 minutes by bike, versus 75 minutes by transit, but I take a bus route where I almost always have a seat and am above ground, so I can do email, websurfing etc.; and if I do sometimes take the subway, I usually have some articles downloaded on my phone for offline reading, so it is not wasted time. If I drove, it would only take 35 minutes, but it would be all wasted time, as far as I am concerned, as well as infuriating.

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Old 01-16-17, 10:26 AM   #17
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LCF is slightly out of reach for most people who commute downtown for work, but not by much. The following obstacles are all that stands between most people and commuting to work carfree daily:
1) park-n-ride for transit;
2) bike-share convenience;
3) clothing
Only on this list could such a spacey assumption be posted about "most people" with a straight face (w/o a smilie) and accepted as a given; as if getting to/from work car free, as well as everywhere else is what "most people" want to do, or would voluntarily do if only these few obstacles were eliminated.

Then again this being the LCF list, "living car-free" might not mean living without a car and "most people" may not mean "most people." The meanings of words/terms/statements on LCF have shifting (or no) definitions when challenged for twisting the word definitions to create silly statements of fact.

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Old 01-16-17, 11:35 AM   #18
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Only on this list could such a spacey assumption be posted about "most people" with a straight face (w/o a smilie) and accepted as a given; as if getting to/from work car free, as well as everywhere else is what "most people" want to do, or would voluntarily do if only these few obstacles were eliminated.
I just think it's senseless to discuss what people want or don't want to do because popular wants are fickle and change. Obviously the pro-car interests are always insisting that driving is widespread because it's what people want in some kind of fundamental sense beyond the normalcy and standardization of mass-culture-prescribed-behavior; but I don't believe that. I think there was a period where people really fell in love with driving because it didn't seem like it would alter other aspects of culture, life, and geography. They thought it would just open up the existing world to them getting places and carrying more stuff, and they would have more time for other things besides driving. But gradually cities expanded, congestion grew, and driving times increased. The landscape changed drastically, but it happened too gradually to really notice or intervene for the most part. Given the choice to avert the bad effects of ubiquitous driving over the long-term, I think most people would welcome other options, but they just don't feel like there's any hope so they just keep going along with the day-to-day status quo. There's no discussion of what people truly want or don't want because that is not the real foundation for their choices.

Quote:
Then again this being the LCF list, "living car-free" might not mean living without a car and "most people" may not mean "most people." The meanings of words/terms/statements on LCF have shifting (or no) definitions when challenged for twisting the word definitions to create silly statements of fact.
What this thread is implying is that there are certain clearly identifying obstacles for average people to commute to work car-free using bike shares and park-n-ride/park-n-bike systems. This is a spin-off of another thread about the bike-share system in Seattle being closed. There is a bike share where I live, but I have noticed it doesn't really function as a link between transit stops and destinations as it should, and I analyzed why it wouldn't.

The fact is that it is extremely convenient and comfortable to get off a bus and grab a share-bike to get to work IF certain obstacles are overcome. This is a great solution to the problem of congestion and parking where so many people drive into downtown from suburbs instead of taking a bus and then walking or biking to work. Walking a mile or more from a bus stop could take significantly longer and get you much sweatier than biking the same distance at a comfortable, breezy pace. For this reason, I think there are just small obstacles, like chain-grease and wind-blown hair, that would deter people from park-n-ride-n-bike en masse. Yes, if it was just quick and easy to drive to work and park, people would probably choose that but population growth and congestion are the reality, so other options have to be considered, and park-n-ride-n-bike is probably the best possibility if it is organized efficiently and effectively.
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Old 01-16-17, 01:59 PM   #19
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LCF post modernly

LCF is 100% available to everyone everyday ... NO EXCUSES ... buy a peloton stationary trainer ... buy a VIVE mask ... pedal anywhere any time ... never get anywhere ... never do anything ... the future is now
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Old 01-16-17, 03:28 PM   #20
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These guys whose only reason for coming here is to disrupt threads.
Must have boring lives.
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Old 01-16-17, 06:13 PM   #21
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These guys whose only reason for coming here is to disrupt threads.
Must have boring lives.

What about these guys who start fantasy threads and advocate ideas which are only found in science fiction novels and movies ???...They must have really boring lives.
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Old 01-16-17, 07:11 PM   #22
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... and for about 10 years we have had large bike cages with magnetic locks at several of our locations. Your ID badge opens it. There are occasional issues with the magnetic lock being turned off, so you still lock your bike to a rack inside, but I no longer worry about removing lights and some people leave panniers on their bikes. So one solution is to pester your workplace to install bike facilities.
We've got bike facilities. A cage with a magnetic lock, as you describe, that houses 12 bicycles for a 10-story building full of active people. It has a gate with a magnetic lock on one side ... and a gate which ends up propped open to the alley way on the other side most of the day because they also store parking lot cleaning equipment in there. It's first-come-first-serve.

If we happen to miss out on that really secure option , we've got a couple racks which no one I've talked to feels particular secure about. And if those are full, we've been given a short list of other places we could park our bicycles. I think the closest is about 1.5 km away.

All the cyclists in the building have talked and talked, but it falls on deaf ears.


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Several but not all of our bus routes have bike racks on the bus. They tend to be ones that go uphill - there is a small escarpment just north of downtown where you bike up about 40m in elevation and a few more small hills and ridges after that, so that is a bit sweaty on hot summer days.
I think they tried racks on buses here but the roads are so narrow and twisty, it just didn't work.


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Time-consuming public transit is true. My commute is 45 minutes by bike, versus 75 minutes by transit, but I take a bus route where I almost always have a seat and am above ground, so I can do email, websurfing etc.; and if I do sometimes take the subway, I usually have some articles downloaded on my phone for offline reading, so it is not wasted time. If I drove, it would only take 35 minutes, but it would be all wasted time, as far as I am concerned, as well as infuriating.
My bicycle commute would take me nearly 3 hours total time. The bus takes me about 1.5 hours total time. And a drive would take me about 30 minutes total time.

I do take the bus, but often find myself considering the purchase of a second vehicle.
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Old 01-16-17, 07:45 PM   #23
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These guys whose only reason for coming here is to disrupt threads.
Must have boring lives.
I'm just here to clarify that the three obstacles identified by the OP as "all that stands between most people and commuting to work carfree daily" ... aren't the only ones.

If this thread is to be useful, let's think of obstacles and ways to overcome them.

I can think of a lot of reasons why people might not cycle, walk, or take public transportation, and quite frankly "park n ride" facilities or "bike share" facilities don't even hit the top 10.

Clothing might be a valid one ... that's often a concern, especially when we've got to dress in certain ways for work.


But here's another ... it's all very well and good to say that individuals should be able to cycle, walk, or use public transportation. But what about when there are other family members involved?
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Old 01-16-17, 08:16 PM   #24
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I'll be fine once the roads are not unsafe for driving some and we don't have a forecast of more snow. Believe me I'd love to take Rosa out and enjoy the springer but it not safe and we have to worry about our roofs and the potential of flooding soon.


If that wasn't enough my beloved housecat Socks was diagnosed with early stage renal failure and I've got to get her prescription food and it's pretty hard getting out to the mailbox or the other cats outside.


My mom 40 miles away is as stuck as I am. Many of the valley schools were closed nearly a week after vacation ended , the roofs leaked, several buildings roofs collapsed. I'm not trying to harpoon your topic...I wish to God I had 95-105F temps like parts of Australia do right now. I still think thank him that the crops should be okay finally.


I envy you.
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Old 01-16-17, 08:18 PM   #25
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I think the biggest obstacle to LCF is the "EXPECTATION" of how a person should/must live, to be a contributing member of society and not be considered a "misfit/failure"?... JMO
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