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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 12-20-06, 12:36 PM   #1
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New German community models car-free living



http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1220/p01s03-woeu.html

Pretty interesting read.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:02 PM   #2
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It looks like a nice place to live. Keep in mind that this kind of development is not limited to new development. Many existing areas could be made conveniently carfree with simple changes in the infrastructure.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing. Lately I've been looking into echo-communities which is fairly different than what the article is speaking of. Does anyone know of any similar community to that in the States?
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Old 12-20-06, 01:37 PM   #4
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Some of the links to related articles on the bottom of the page were interesting too.
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Old 12-21-06, 03:42 AM   #5
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I bet that is a strange place to visit, in a nice way. I like cycling around my town on my early morning (5am) starts when there are no cars around. The whole place has a different, more pleasant atmosphere.
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Old 12-21-06, 09:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by gwd
Some of the links to related articles on the bottom of the page were interesting too.
Im a big fan of the Christian Science Monitor. I get the print edition. Theres only one single preachy article, and its easy to skip. Outside of that its a good daily 20pg read with good news not hysterical info-tainment gossip crap.
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Old 12-21-06, 11:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by brevig
Thanks for sharing. Lately I've been looking into echo-communities which is fairly different than what the article is speaking of. Does anyone know of any similar community to that in the States?
Here is one that I am aware of Small Community and Community Solution same people different websites. Also check out their link pages.

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Old 12-22-06, 10:08 AM   #8
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Great article. Thanks for linking. I was unaware that Davis, CA had so many bicycle commuters. Makes me want to move there.
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Old 12-22-06, 12:10 PM   #9
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Thanks, Aaron, for the links.
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Old 12-22-06, 05:53 PM   #10
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I wonder if they have rent contro?l
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Old 12-23-06, 07:23 PM   #11
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That definitely is an interesting community. If I ever travel I would love to visit there. I wonder though, what kind of feasibility is there for something like this in the US?
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Old 12-23-06, 07:35 PM   #12
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That definitely is an interesting community. If I ever travel I would love to visit there. I wonder though, what kind of feasibility is there for something like this in the US?
quite a bit I would think. There are a lot of like minded people here, and I believe with an increase in oil prices you will see more of it. I think originally it will be based on small towns near larger cities and then increase.

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Old 12-23-06, 08:24 PM   #13
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Lots of European towns have car-free areas. When I was in Germany in 1995 visiting Bad Hersfeld where my wife's family originated, they already had a car-free part and they were ripping up the main street to make the downtown completely car free.
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Old 12-24-06, 06:54 AM   #14
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I like it !

I wonder if they hike up the price for the homes because they know that most of the people (might) have extra income because they don't have to pay for cars...

Then the only real benefit is just not having cars ... but you'll spend the same amount of $$ to live.

In regards to savings, the benefit would be better in a mixed car / car-free environment...
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Old 12-24-06, 07:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IchbinJay
That definitely is an interesting community. If I ever travel I would love to visit there. I wonder though, what kind of feasibility is there for something like this in the US?
I've been there, many times. My daughter went to the University in Freiburg for two years and I lived in Heidelberg, just a relatively short train or Autobahn ride away. It is easy to ride a bike anywhere in the Freiburg area including the Vauban enclave. It is also easy to take the tram anywhere in the area. My daughter sometimes used one or sometimes the other. Easy either way. She hardly needed to live in a special community to live car free when there was an established full service safe and reliable public transit system that ran 24 hours/day throughout the city.

It helps to build your "car free community" on donated land within a long established city with an existing excellent transportation infrastructure right from the "new" community door to the schools, University, hospitals, and major employment, shopping and entertainment in the city. And good train service to every other city in the country.
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Old 12-24-06, 07:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker
Lots of European towns have car-free areas. When I was in Germany in 1995 visiting Bad Hersfeld where my wife's family originated, they already had a car-free part and they were ripping up the main street to make the downtown completely car free.
The closing main street to cars has been tried in the US but it usually is not successful, people in this country are so hung up on having to have a parking space near the door, then the merchants are crying nobody is coming to their stores because they have to park around the block somewhere. I am not saying it can't be done or hasn't been done, but I have seen several downtown areas go car free only to be reversed a few years later. FWIW Greenville, SC closes its mainstreet several Friday and Saturday evenings a month for street festivals. The total downtown area runs 6+ blocks would make a wonderful plaza if kept closed.

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Old 12-24-06, 09:05 PM   #17
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I like it !

I wonder if they hike up the price for the homes because they know that most of the people (might) have extra income because they don't have to pay for cars...

Then the only real benefit is just not having cars ... but you'll spend the same amount of $$ to live.
The market dictates what the price would be, not whether or not people own cars. Prices shouldn't be any more than the next town over, if they are within the same median income bracket. "They" can hike up the cost all they want, but it won't do them any good if people are smart enough to realize that they're being ripped off.
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Old 12-25-06, 08:09 AM   #18
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The market dictates what the price would be, not whether or not people own cars. Prices shouldn't be any more than the next town over, if they are within the same median income bracket. "They" can hike up the cost all they want, but it won't do them any good if people are smart enough to realize that they're being ripped off.
Yikes! Don't be talking economic truth, you will upset someone's Xmas fantasies.
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Old 12-25-06, 11:27 AM   #19
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Yikes! Don't be talking economic truth, you will upset someone's Xmas fantasies.
Heh...you know, upon rereading what I posted, I realize I worded it poorly. I should have added in that I strongly suspect people who live car free, car lite, as well as those who commute to work, would probably be a little harder to fool. And thus raising the price of a house solely to exploit the car free person/families discretionary income would be a wasted effort.

Of course, I may be a bit prejudiced on the matter.
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Old 12-25-06, 12:02 PM   #20
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The "market is an abstraction that dictates nothing. There are a variety of reasons that determine prices. People may simply not know, for example, that they are paying $750 for an undersized apartment while nearby there's a nice, larger one for $650. Ignorance may play a greater part than the fictional "invisible hand" of the market, which has no meaning in the largely subsidised economies of the industrialised West.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa241es.html
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Old 12-25-06, 12:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rog
Heh...you know, upon rereading what I posted, I realize I worded it poorly. I should have added in that I strongly suspect people who live car free, car lite, as well as those who commute to work, would probably be a little harder to fool. And thus raising the price of a house solely to exploit the car free person/families discretionary income would be a wasted effort.

Of course, I may be a bit prejudiced on the matter.
You might want to include in your population of people who are "car free, car lite, as well as those who commute to work" those who live in housing projects, low income housing and slums in various inner cities through out the U.S. before making snap judgments/gross generalizations about the economic status or economic smarts of car free, car-lite people.
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Old 12-25-06, 08:09 PM   #22
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The "market is an abstraction that dictates nothing. There are a variety of reasons that determine prices.
You also cannot dismiss the uniqueness factor of these types of communities that often attracts the wealthy "hip", who are often willing to pay a premium to be included. Without widespread adoption, the appeal - and as a result price - remains artificially high. I have seen this exact behavior in the few cohousing developments that exist in my area. The waiting lists are full long before building is completed, and prices skyrocket because of developer greed and speculators selling their reservations or completed residences for a quick profit.
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Old 12-27-06, 11:07 AM   #23
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that would be pretty interesting living in a place like that... it really sucks here b/c there are not bike lanes or anything around here, hell theres not even any sidewalks... ive been lucky enough to not get run over riding on the little 1 foot of shoulder there is on backroads
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Old 12-27-06, 03:25 PM   #24
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that would be pretty interesting living in a place like that... it really sucks here b/c there are not bike lanes or anything around here, hell theres not even any sidewalks... ive been lucky enough to not get run over riding on the little 1 foot of shoulder there is on backroads
There are no special bike lanes in Vauban, the community discussed in the OP. Bicycling, which is very good, is about the same as the rest of the Freiburg area. The community is a good place for car-free living because it is newer housing built with good access to the already existing very good public transit system in a stable community with stable citizens.
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