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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 08-14-08, 11:39 PM   #201
iwegian
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i may be wrong but i think you have to pay for the ambulance ride. but if you don't have a car and i'ts an emergency it may be worth the fee

edit: i'm officially going car free when college starts in a week. but my roommate has a car and most of what i need is on campus so it shouldn't be too bad
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Old 08-15-08, 03:00 PM   #202
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Test
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Old 08-18-08, 01:20 PM   #203
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YEAAAAAAAA! A group of younger people that "gets" it! I grew up in LA car crazed culture. Still took to bicycling in a big way in my teen years. Glad to say I'm getting back to it more and more lately. Living on an island (Key West) helps. When I see a "local" driving anywhere on the island I kinda wonder what's wrong with them... IT'S A 2X4 ISLAND YOU FOOL! WHY ARE YOU DRIVING!!??
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Old 08-18-08, 09:39 PM   #204
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I have experienced this both ways. I rode my bike everywhere all my life until I turned 16, then I got a car. I drove my car EVERYWHERE... one of my friends lived less than two blocks away from my house and I still drove to his house. I recently experienced the loss of my car... I drove a REALLY nice BMW but my seeing how my mom paid for more than half of it she got to take it from me when I moved out, so what did I do.... bought a bike. I now ride my bike everywhere... I get groceries on it, ride almost twenty miles to school and back, and go on liesure rides with my girlfriend every Sunday. Now that I have experienced how easy it is to get everywhere on my bike I don't even see then need for a car anymore... it's kind of a nice feeling.
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Old 08-29-08, 04:48 PM   #205
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How do you guys take your books to school? I used a backpack last year which didn't feel good so i'm trying to figure out what's the best alternative.
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Old 08-29-08, 10:39 PM   #206
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How do you guys take your books to school? I used a backpack last year which didn't feel good so i'm trying to figure out what's the best alternative.
Panniers are nice.

If you can get past the geek factor, baskets work too.
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Old 08-30-08, 12:36 PM   #207
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I'm 16, and I have no plans to buy a car in the near future.

Here's how I look at it:

Car: Learners Permit, $550
License, $20
Car, Couple thousand +
Gas Money

Bike: Giant OCR1 used, $524


School is only 6 miles away, yet my bus ride takes an hour. It is super rural here, so every bus drives long distances to pick up just a few kids. Now that I have a bike, I should be able to get to school in 20 minutes at the most, and I get and extra hour of sleep.

The big negative is the sweating, but I think I can convince the gym teacher to let me take a shower in the locker room.

Also, everywhere I go is withing 10 miles of my house. The farthest away one of my friends lives is about 10 miles, the store is 2.5 miles, my grandparents are 6 miles, school is 6 miles, the movie theater is 8, and the LBS is 9.5.

I have no need for a car unless I want to lug something around. I save tons of money, I stay fit, and it's a "green" way of transportation.

A bike is good enough for me, although by the time high school ends I'll probably need a car.
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Old 09-01-08, 09:18 PM   #208
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i may be able to go car free this winter. my dad has a redline monocog at the house that he might throw on a set of knobbies and bring it up to me. (i'm in college) damn, now i need cold weather sh1t
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Old 09-09-08, 05:56 AM   #209
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im 18 (legal drinking age in AUS) drink free, drug free, car free, bike rich.
i have my license for emergencies and to help friends bring their cars home from the airport.
i see having the DL as quite worthwhile in that sense, but the amount of money that i've saved from riding everywhere is borderline ridiculous, if I wasn't constantly buying cd's or bike parts, i could probably buy and insure a better car than half my mates have anyway.
can i get an amen?
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Old 09-13-08, 04:37 PM   #210
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im 18 (legal drinking age in AUS) drink free, drug free, car free, bike rich.
i have my license for emergencies and to help friends bring their cars home from the airport.
i see having the DL as quite worthwhile in that sense, but the amount of money that i've saved from riding everywhere is borderline ridiculous, if I wasn't constantly buying cd's or bike parts, i could probably buy and insure a better car than half my mates have anyway.
can i get an amen?
I have a car, but bought it very cheap with the main intention of keeping insurance down. Our insurance company assumes that if I have a license, I must be insured on my mom's much nicer car.
Ooh yeah, money adds up fast when you aren't buying gas, wheels and tires, and booze. For a guy who is only 17 with a meager one "real" job, I'd say I'm quite a financial success: $1400 projector, $1000 surround sound (good shopping made my price around $600), $1000 in a mountain bike, $900 road bike, some extras. Yeah, sure wish I could trade all my hobbies to buy a noisy Mustang.
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Old 09-14-08, 10:51 PM   #211
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I'm 16, and I have no plans to buy a car in the near future.

Here's how I look at it:

Car: Learners Permit, $550
License, $20
Car, Couple thousand +
Gas Money
Don't forget insurance. Insurance for a 16 year old can easily be $1,500+ a year.

I'm 26 and have an almost perfect driving record (only one speeding ticket) and my insurance is just over $800 a year. The first time you get in a wreck or get a ticket it skyrockets. If it wasn't for insurance I'd want to keep my car and just park it but it's hard to pay $70 a month for something you don't use. Of course right now for work I have to keep it but later on I won't.
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Old 09-24-08, 03:51 AM   #212
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My mums currently making a big deal that I'm going to the movies today by bike.
I go everywhere by bike, but for some reason today she thinks that I'm gonna lose
my ability to drive a car, and that I need to practice.

What a weak argument. Now she's talking about how I'll never find a girl because
I won't be able to drive her to a restaurant. I have my licence, and I can drive. I just don't think
I should have to drive once a week just to keep my skills up.

Back me up here, because right now its just me and my mom, and my dads not gonna
take my side as long as my mom has any say in it.
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Old 09-24-08, 11:58 AM   #213
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Back me up here, because right now its just me and my mom, and my dads not gonna take my side as long as my mom has any say in it.
Why enter into a debate at all? You tell 'em you're going to the movies - then you go, by bike. It is your choice to cycle, they have no say in that whatsoever. If you consent to entering into debate over this, then you are giving your parents power over your choices (same goes for anyone else who you enter into a debate with). Just get on the bike and go enjoy our movie.

If the behaviour of your parents becomes a problem, address the behaviour, not the attempt to start a debate on cycling.

Mother, "You'll never find a girl if you can't drive her to nice restaurants... blah blah...."
You, "Mom, I'm sorry you can't respect me, but this is none of your business. I'll be home at 11."

OK, the dialogue is hardly award-winning, but you get the idea. Don't be afraid to manipulate the situation a bit - but do NOT let people manipulate you into entering into a debate with them.
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Old 09-25-08, 05:24 PM   #214
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Why enter into a debate at all? You tell 'em you're going to the movies - then you go, by bike. It is your choice to cycle, they have no say in that whatsoever. If you consent to entering into debate over this, then you are giving your parents power over your choices (same goes for anyone else who you enter into a debate with). Just get on the bike and go enjoy our movie.

If the behaviour of your parents becomes a problem, address the behaviour, not the attempt to start a debate on cycling.

Mother, "You'll never find a girl if you can't drive her to nice restaurants... blah blah...."
You, "Mom, I'm sorry you can't respect me, but this is none of your business. I'll be home at 11."

OK, the dialogue is hardly award-winning, but you get the idea. Don't be afraid to manipulate the situation a bit - but do NOT let people manipulate you into entering into a debate with them.
Caveat--this approach may not work with all parents.
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Old 09-25-08, 08:25 PM   #215
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Caveat--this approach may not work with all parents.
Well, my experience with parents is naturally limited, but in more general experience I have yet to find any situation in which the "not talking about this" approach failed. If nothing else, the refusal to become engaged in a discussion often results in a flustered silence.

Of course, with parents, selective hearing is also a good skill to learn,
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Old 09-29-08, 01:15 PM   #216
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Well, my experience with parents is naturally limited, but in more general experience I have yet to find any situation in which the "not talking about this" approach failed. If nothing else, the refusal to become engaged in a discussion often results in a flustered silence.

Of course, with parents, selective hearing is also a good skill to learn,
I was thinking more that most teens are financially and emotionally dependant on their parents, and it benefits them to play it a little cool sometimes. Confrontation really bothers some adults, unfortunately. "Young man, while you're living in my house, you WILL talk about it...."
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Old 10-06-08, 06:26 AM   #217
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YEAAAAAAAA! A group of younger people that "gets" it! I grew up in LA car crazed culture. Still took to bicycling in a big way in my teen years. Glad to say I'm getting back to it more and more lately. Living on an island (Key West) helps. When I see a "local" driving anywhere on the island I kinda wonder what's wrong with them... IT'S A 2X4 ISLAND YOU FOOL! WHY ARE YOU DRIVING!!??
How'd you end up getting into cycling? What's the cycling cuture like in LA? Is there an LA cycling culture?

Cullen
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Old 10-07-08, 08:34 PM   #218
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i have had nothing but support from my parents, ie asking why i am driving to school not riding. I think parents might see the bike as an isolating variable, but this is not the case if used right... just my $0.02. to be 100% honest i do drive my gf, not put er on pegs on my orca or fixie lol
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Old 10-08-08, 03:48 AM   #219
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Yeah my mom cooled quite quickly. In general I do think she's quite happy with me riding. It does save her from having the car ready everytime I need to go somewhere.
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Old 10-29-08, 05:36 PM   #220
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For me money had nothing to do with it - it was all the exercise/fun factor. I do have my license, but i rarely use it:

Driving to school (~3.8mi @6:40am):
car - $0 (parents' car)
insurance - $0 (parent paid)
parking - $0 (parent paid)
gas - $0 (parent paid)

Biking to School (~3.8mi @6:30am):
Superflash - $20 (my money)
Ultrafire Flashlight - $23 (my money)
New Chain and lube - $15 (my money)
Cable Lock - $20 (my money)
Brake pads - $14 (my money)

So by biking I'm actually spending about $100 more than I would if I had driven, mainly because my parents don't really like the idea that I'm riding a bike on rural roads (i.e. so they're not paying for it).
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Old 10-30-08, 12:53 AM   #221
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A quick question for the literary experts: can anyone think of some
essay on the question

"What the world would be like if everybody rides a bike"

We need something for a middle school curriculum - where are our
literary bicycle visionaries? do we have any?

- THIS IS BELIEVE on PRI had an essay once ...

http://www.thisibelieve.org/dsp_ShowEssay.php?uid=12955 - but too many dificult words there

any advice welcome...
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Old 10-30-08, 02:29 AM   #222
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"What the world would be like if everybody rides a bike"
Once upon a time everybody did ride a bike! This article is too difficult for middle school, but it's interesting nevertheless:

The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine
Volume 50, Page 474 (1895)

Bicycle Problems and Benefits.

As a revolutionary force in the social world the bicycle has had no equal in modern times. What it is doing is, in fact, to put the human race on wheels for the first time in its history. The proportion of people who are riding bicycles in nearly every community is astonishingly large. In many instances it maybe said that nearly every able-bodied man, woman, and child has a wheel, and is a regular rider. When we consider the increase in rapidity of locomotion which is attained, and the fact that it is self-supplied with such ease, it is not surprising that the changes required to meet the demands of the new order of things are so many and so radical as to amount virtually to making the world over again, so far as traveling is concerned.

This is peculiarly the case in the great cities. In and about New York, for example, there are at present something like half a million bicycle-riders. In the city itself, on pleasant holidays, they swarm like flies upon all the parkways and other thoroughfares having asphalt or macadam pavement. It is very clear that sooner or later they or the vehicles must give way, for both cannot find room to remain with safety. Indeed, there have been many fatal accidents already, some of them shocking in the extreme. The dangers increase as the number of wheelmen multiplies. In a collision with any kind of vehicle drawn by a horse the bicycle-rider is certain to get the worst of it. His vehicle, instead of being in any way a protection to him, is a menace to his welfare the moment it comes in contact with any other moving body. The fact that he cannot stand still for a moment is also an element of additional danger. These conditions make it an absolute necessity that in all communities in which there are large numbers of wheelmen there should be separate roadways set apart for their especial use. No city park should be laid out in future without its bicycle pathway, nor is it likely to be. The need of a separate roadway for horseback-riders has been recognized in all our great parks, yet in a roadway filled with carriages an equestrian is much safer from harm than a bicycle-rider. At present the wheelmen outnumber the horsemen a hundred or more to one, and the need of separate provision for them is consequently too obvious to be questioned.

But it is not in the parks alone that such accommodation is necessary. There has been much discussion in the New York press for some months past about providing a suitable roadway for bicycles from one end of the city to the other, so that riders may pass to and from their business on their wheels. It has been urged that the covering with asphalt of a continuous or connected line of streets would supply this; but this is doubtful. The chances would be that heavy wagons and carriages of all kinds would seek the same line of travel because of the superior road-bed, and that it would become too crowded to be either a safe or a speedy thoroughfare for bicycles. It is not impossible that in time we may see in all our great cities lines of streets reserved for bicycles. This might be done were all the streets of the city paved equally well, and it is one of the most beneficent effects of the bicycle that it is making the advent of this condition of our city streets certain in the near future. There are enthusiasts also who predict that in New York it will not be many years before a lightly built elevated structure will be run through the streets on the water-front for the exclusive use of wheelmen.

If separate thoroughfares of any kind are set apart for this use, the result will be a considerable loss of income to the street transit companies. It is a fact that many trolley lines running between Western cities and their suburbs have suffered serious financial loss through the use of the bicycle, since thousands of persons travel to and fro between their offices and their homes on wheels. But while the transit companies have been injured in this way, the whole country has been the gainer by means of the wide-spread demand for good roads which the advent of the bicycle has aroused. Many States, led by Massachusetts and New Jersey, have taken up the subject seriously and systematically, and the next few years are certain to see great progress in this direction. Massachusetts, in 1893, appropriated $300,000 to be expended by a highway commission in scientific road-building, and about forty sections of such roads are now under construction. New Jersey has spent many thousands of dollars in the same way, and its number of good roads is increasing year by year, each new one being the most persuasive kind of argument for others. The recent legislature of New York State recognized the needs of wheelmen more specifically by passing a bill authorizing the construction of a bicycle roadway upon the top of the Croton aqueduct, running for forty miles through a beautiful part of the country north of the city.

An interesting effect of the new order of things is the revival which has been started in the old wayside tavern business. Within the next few years we are certain to see comfortable inns spring up along all the roads which are suitable for bicycle-riding. The wheelman cannot carry much luggage, and is especially unable to find accommodation for food. His ability to travel easily fifty or seventy-five miles a day makes comfortable lodging-places at night and comfortable eating-places by day great desiderata along his pathway. There are old inns within a radius of fifty miles of New York city that have known scarcely more than a customer a week for years which are now overrun with wheelmen, and are adapting themselves rapidly to the new situation. Good inns, like good roads, will add immeasurably to the attractiveness of the country, and will spread a love for country life among the dwellers in cities which will be in all ways a benefit to us as a people.

The bicycle is, in fact, the agent of health and of a wider civilization. It will give stronger bodies to the rising generation than their fathers have had, and it will bring the city and the country into closer relations than have existed since the days of the stagecoach. What the summer boarder has been doing for the abandoned farms and deserted villages of New England, the wheelman is doing for the regions surrounding our great cities. He is distributing through them modern ideas and modern ways of living, and is fructifying them with gentle distillations of city wealth. Above all, he is teaching their people that a sure way to prosperity lies before them in the beautifying of the country in which they live, and in the preservation of all its attractive natural features.
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Old 11-02-08, 06:48 PM   #223
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Older cyclist chimes in.

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Originally Posted by Cully_J View Post
How'd you end up getting into cycling? What's the cycling cuture like in LA? Is there an LA cycling culture?

Cullen
Oh Hell yes! Just go to the "regional" section here and you'll see a TON of cycling-related stuff for LA. If you're anywhere near the beach areas in LA there's a bikeway from Santa Monica almost all the way to Long Beach. I haven't lived on the west coast for some time but I do know there are a lot of places you can ride. How did I "get into" cycling? I really loved the freedom bicycling gave me. I could go great distances and not have to depend on a car or driver to get anywhere. After I got my license I still rode. I was one of the few kids at my high school the had a dropped handlebar "racing" bike. I just thought they were cool! Getting back into cycling after a lot of years is like coming home... I plan on taking off and traveling for as long as I can stand it.
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Old 11-03-08, 07:39 PM   #224
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Oh Hell yes! Just go to the "regional" section here and you'll see a TON of cycling-related stuff for LA. If you're anywhere near the beach areas in LA there's a bikeway from Santa Monica almost all the way to Long Beach. I haven't lived on the west coast for some time but I do know there are a lot of places you can ride. How did I "get into" cycling? I really loved the freedom bicycling gave me. I could go great distances and not have to depend on a car or driver to get anywhere. After I got my license I still rode. I was one of the few kids at my high school the had a dropped handlebar "racing" bike. I just thought they were cool! Getting back into cycling after a lot of years is like coming home... I plan on taking off and traveling for as long as I can stand it.
I'd like to chime in on this thread .

I'm 16. Driving fever is starting to pick up with some of my more outgoing acquaintances. This occuring just as I discovered a love for cycling. In May I aggressively looking for a bike on craigslist that had drop style handlebars and "looked cool and went fast". I found it, and after that I discovered a newfound freedom. Ever since I was young I've been completely fascinated by public transit. I love the ebb and flow of the city, the energy that occurs from it, the compact demeanor of urban cities. I fell in love young. Yet sadly, I live about 20 miles south of that, in suburban Carson. Though luckily, I'm 30 minutes away from the ebb and flow; there is a train station 2 miles from my house. Yet the only thing that made me even consider driving was the fact that the bus to the train was so far. Same thing with the bus to school, took forever. Then came cycling.

With the bicycle, I found the aforementioned newfound freedom. I was able to go everywhere I needed without the stress associated with being in my mom's car listening to music I didn't like blaring through the speakers . I live 4.2 miles from school; I arrive in 16 minutes. I work at the Pike in Long Beach; the ride to the train station is 7 minutes, and the train ride is 22 minutes. If I want to go to LA, 7 minutes, 35 minute train ride. I am neither mired by time constraints nor bus schedules. Distance never stops me from getting anywhere I want. And neither does money. I work once a week for only four hours and get paycheck of around $60 every two weeks, which makes me more than happy. I neither have to send that money away to foreign oil interests, nor to the state of California. My stress levels, paycheck, and overall peace of mind is in my control.

Not only that, but the bicycle fits my lifestyle. I've never been the one to hop from party to party constantly, though I do enjoy the occasional outing. I plan my days down to the last detail; planning a few minutes to organize my bag so it doesn't feel weird on my back is simply another minute or two to prepare in the morning. When I'm riding in crosstown traffic, I am able to float about across town, my head in the clouds and listening intently to whatever soothes or excites me. The traffic is forever manageable; my legs in a repetitive, therapeutic cyclical motion. To put it short, one could find beauty in riding down the busiest of thoroughfares.

So in short, when my mom approached me with the prospect of getting a license, I thought about it for all of two seconds, smiled, and said "No thanks." 'Why in the world would a 16 year old turn down a license?' You might ask? Because cycling makes me happy. Traffic pisses people off, stress levels explode, and tensions rise. Driving makes people afraid of others. Driving limits your desire to go beyond certain distances to find the new, unique, and undiscovered. On a bicycle, this is simply not the case. Man was born with two legs; cars have only been around for less than a century. It isn't natures way for people to be cooped up in a metal contraption, unaware and afraid of everything outside their steel metal oblivion. And while many find it far-fetched to live a car free lifestyle for life, I simply turn their attention to places who have been doing so for decades, even centuries. Japan, Amsterdam, Sweden, London, New York City, Portland, the list goes on and on. And if a car-free lifestyle is what I desire, then one of these towns shall be the first stop to my brighter tomorrow. A stress-free tomorrow.
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Old 11-10-08, 06:27 PM   #225
jamanesii
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I completely agree. This is why I live in NYC instead of rural Kentucky. Although I would still opt to be car-free in rural Kansas, it's much more convenient to be car-free in NYC instead. Also, why would anybody want to live anywhere else
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