Hello Car Free forumites! I'm a long time lurker, first time poster here, and I do enjoy reading about how you all manage to do without the automobile as transportation in places that thrive on it. Of course, once I started to like cycling way more than driving in traffic, I decided I'd try to be car-free too.
Although I currently reside in "The O.C.," I'm going to be moving up north along the West Coast for Puget Sound over the summer after completing my bachelor's degree in college. I have an uncle who's nice enough to let me stay at his place while I go job hunting.
I posted my plans in another thread that I started, and the fact that I have a parent as an obstacle:
So How Bike Friendly is Seattle, Exactly?
I know there are some Seattle-based car free posters here; I've seen you crop up on threads recently, in fact. I'm just figuring that Seattle is a good place to at least go car-lite, if not car-free. I'm single and unattached, so there's no need to worry about a SO or raising a family or anything, yet.
I've done a lot of research on the feasibility of doing this, including the blog of the family in Ballard, and it also appears that the city of Seattle is trying to encourage people to get rid of their cars: http://www.seattle.gov/waytogo/onelesscar.htm
I say "car-lite" and not "car-free" because Seattle has a car-sharing program for people who only need a car once a month, instead of everyday. Might come in handy if I have to drive my many cousins around or if I have to carry furniture.
I've come up with FIVE reasons to do this:
1. I save money on car repairs, maintenance (I don't know how to fix cars myself), gas costs, insurance (which is like $1900/yr for an under age 26 driver like me...and that's with a SAFE DRIVER discount added in ). My car was paid off by the time I turned 18.
2. I get exercise. As my username says, I'm a FAT bike nut (BMI 30.9). I was getting fit on my bike 'til it caused enough mechanical problems for me to junk it. I'm looking for a new bike, and with the money I get for selling my car, I can buy several plus the locks/lights/bags/racks/tools/etc. for commuting! Plus, I'd think that cardiovascular exercise is important to get for a guy with a genetic pre-disposition to Heart Disease, don't you think?
3. I improve my mental health. I'm happy on the bike. My mom worries that I'll get bored, depressed, and then go crazy for cooping myself up at home. With a good, reliable bike, I'm never home!
4. I don't waste the environment as much. Please don't misunderstand; I am NOT a tree-hugging environmental nut! I just prefer good air quality so I don't choke and have an asthma attack whenever I breathe! In my most recent trip to Puget Sound, I read a newspaper article stating that most of the air pollution in Puget Sound was caused by automobiles
5. If I REALLY NEED A CAR, just for carrying bulky furniture, etc., then I can join FLEXCAR, and "borrow" a pick-up truck or SUV for a day: http://flexcar.com/CarsLocations/tabid/55/Default.aspx
What do y'all think?