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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 09-27-07, 11:54 AM   #1
naisme
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car free DC peeps

Know you are out there. I'm moving to the DC area and am being told by almost everyone, don't sell my van, you need it in DC. REALLY? I've lived almost car free for a while, lately the van's been getting used, but with moving, and the opportunity to start new in a new place, I've thought why not? Sell the van save the money, and take a long vacation or something. I've seen all sorts of ideas here, so I know people are doing it, just wondering if it's really true, I'll need to burn fossil fuel to get around DC.
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Old 09-27-07, 12:03 PM   #2
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How far in are you going to be? Things get kinda sprawly, but I could see it happening even as far out as Fairfax, if you're willing to work at it.
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Old 09-27-07, 12:03 PM   #3
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DC is an amazingly car-unfriendly place, the worst place to drive of anywhere I have lived. Traffic congestion is tied for second-worst in the country and parking is difficult to find. On the other hand, it's quite good for cycling.

Paul
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Old 09-27-07, 03:59 PM   #4
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It really depends upon where you're going to be.

I could probably get away with not owning a car on Capitol Hill.

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty has been using mixed forms of transportation, taking a bus in one notable instance (while a city councilmember regularly uses the bus) and doing triathlons with his dad. I'd say that things are looking up for cyclists in the District. It's rare if I don't see a cyclist when I leave the house.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:11 PM   #5
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I spent a semester of college in DC sans car....and without a bike for that matter. I lived just across the river from DC in Rosslyn and got around just fine. I guess I was a bit lucky that a grocery store was just two blocks away, the Metro a block away, and my internship was right next to another Metro stop. The only time I felt that I really needed a car was to go somewhere outside of DC or to some areas of DC where the Metro didn't go. However, I never took advantage of the bus system which does fill some of those Metro holes. I would do some research first of where you're living and working and how Metro friendly they are. But I think you could definitely do it if you're within the main metro area, especially if you have a bike.
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Old 09-27-07, 06:36 PM   #6
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Just from the time I have spent visiting DC, I agree with the person who says it is car-unfriendly. I was frustrated being there without a bike because public transit is so much slower, but car traffic was terrible.

If you are going to live and work in DC proper, it seems there is almost nowhere you can go within DC that is quicker by car than by bike, because the place is small and dense.
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Old 09-28-07, 06:06 AM   #7
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When you move to a new city, consider doing your job & house/apartment hunting without a car. That might help you avoid making choices that trap you into a car dependent situation.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:17 AM   #8
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I lived for years in the DC area with a car and for the past 7+ years without
owning a car. Life is much much better without a car. There are tons of rental
and car share and truck rental options if you really need one. The city seems
to be getting bike/ped religion in the last ten years. More bike lanes, more ped facilities, bike racks on buses, expanded secure bike parking at metro stations.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jahona View Post
I guess I was a bit lucky that a grocery store was just two blocks away, the Metro a block away, and my internship was right next to another Metro stop.
Factors like those push up property & rental values. "Metro accessible" is always a selling point in the classifieds and real estate ads.

It might be more expensive to live in a place like that, somewhat offsetting the savings of not having a car (depending on the condition of the car, of course ) -- but not entirely -- and you wouldn't have to deal with the headaches of car ownership in DC.
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Old 10-09-07, 01:45 PM   #10
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having a car and parking in some places in dc can be a real hassle without a garage or reserved parking (georgetown, adams morgan, arlington...) the list goes on.

I've been here about 15 years and it's easy to live car lite or car free here in many different neighborhoods.
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