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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 10-23-07, 05:01 PM   #101
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$17,750. Divided by five, looks like my yearly cost is $3550 -- assuming that when I sell the car I get $0.That's less than I spent on bicycle stuff this year...
I spend about $300/year on commuter biking. (I did buy a fairly expensive Bike Friday this year for travelling with, but more for fun than utility. So it was really a recreational expense, not a commuting one.) My regular commuting is on beaters and I buy one every couple of years for $200 or so, which is about $100/year. Add maybe $200 annually in clothing, accessories and maintenance. I know these figures are about right since I tracked them for a couple of years. I ride 150+ days per year, so my bike commuting cost is about $2/day or $0.20/mile. Bus fare costs me closer to $5/day or $300 for the 60 or so days I don't bike, so my basic commuting cost excluding food is about $600/year. I do eat a lot of home-cooked pasta, and if we assume that is how I fuel my cycling, I could estimate that I spend under $0.25/day on the carbs needed for cycling fuel. However I sometimes eat more expensive carbs too. I just ate a bag of chips that cost $1.50 and contained 420 calories. That's enough for 1.5 days commuting, so at that price it would cost $1/day to fuel my cycling. So my car-free commuting, including food, costs somewhere between $637 and $750 per year.

We do have a family car, but if I drove to work regularily I'd need a second car, so if that cost me $3550 based on your frugal practises, that's still a five-fold advantage for cycling.

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Again, I have zero problems with people who choose to go car-free, but what's wrong with just saying "This is the choice I've made for myself" rather than coming up with all this stuff about how owning a car will cost you millions and destroy the planet?
But in fact cars are a blight on the planet. I say this as a car owner (actually it's my wife's sister's car - she can't drive anymore so we took it on and sold our previous vehicle). No individual car owner is responsible, since it's very difficult to live in this society without a car, but collectively, we are wreaking havoc on the planet with our car lifestyle. and we're killing each other with our cars. So that's what's wrong with just saying it's up to the individual's choice.
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Old 10-23-07, 05:16 PM   #102
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As to the first part, cooker, that's great, but again it's a matter of what can be done rather than what is done. See my post about living with a car during my poorest days.

As to the second part, it's all opinion. Passionately held, perhaps, but still opinion. The same argument can -- and has -- been made by activists for just about everything under the sun.
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Old 10-23-07, 05:23 PM   #103
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Fer sure, if ya wanna live in the city. I mean, if ya got an extra ~$200-500k burning a hole in yer pocket and wanna spend it living somewhere, why not spend it on a house in a dense area?
Each situation is different and there is endless complexity in the numbers. If you have a job where you set your own hours and earn a high hourly rate, or if you are willing to take a second, part-time job or run a business on the side, a short commute is money in your pocket. If you have a young family, a short commute is quality time with the kids. If living in the city means owning one instead of two cars, that's a savings of at least $3000/year (and probably a lot more for many people who aren't as frugal around cars as Six jours or you) which is the mortgage payment on something like $40,000. So by owning one less car, you can afford a $40,000 more expensive house, and by living in the city you can increase your income and/or quality of family life.
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Old 10-23-07, 05:28 PM   #104
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As to the second part, it's all opinion. Passionately held, perhaps, but still opinion. The same argument can -- and has -- been made by activists for just about everything under the sun.
I think we're at peak auto, or close to it. Ten years from now we'll see if I'm right. Hopefully this thread will still be archived somewhere.
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Old 10-23-07, 05:32 PM   #105
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I think we're at peak auto, or close to it. Ten years from now we'll see if I'm right. Hopefully this thread will still be archived somewhere.
There's a guy that likes to walk around my neck of the woods with a sign on a stick, predicting the immenent end of the world. Maybe you two should compare notes.
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Old 10-23-07, 05:39 PM   #106
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There's a guy that likes to walk around my neck of the woods with a sign on a stick, predicting the immenent end of the world. Maybe you two should compare notes.
I'm not a doomsday predictor by any means. It's just obvious we won't keep building bungalows and freeways as oil gets more and more expensive - we'll shift more to townhomes and rails. And bikeways.
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Old 10-23-07, 05:43 PM   #107
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I'm not a doomsday predictor by any means. It's just obvious we won't keep building bungalows and freeways as oil gets more and more expensive - we'll shift more to townhomes and rails. And bikeways.
Maybe. But the oil companies are betting against you, and they tend to get their way. Your prediction might eventually come true, but I'd say smart money is on a much larger timeline.
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Old 10-23-07, 10:30 PM   #108
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Maybe. But the oil companies are betting against you, .
Not T Boone Pickens.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...NVk&refer=news
http://goog.bloggingstocks.com/2007/...on-has-peaked/
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Old 10-24-07, 09:18 PM   #109
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Each situation is different and there is endless complexity in the numbers. If you have a job where you set your own hours and earn a high hourly rate, or if you are willing to take a second, part-time job or run a business on the side, a short commute is money in your pocket. If you have a young family, a short commute is quality time with the kids. If living in the city means owning one instead of two cars, that's a savings of at least $3000/year (and probably a lot more for many people who aren't as frugal around cars as Six jours or you) which is the mortgage payment on something like $40,000. So by owning one less car, you can afford a $40,000 more expensive house, and by living in the city you can increase your income and/or quality of family life.
True dat, but it does get irritating having other try to shoot down your own specific situation. There are also a wide variety of conditions that people consider to be positive and negative, as well as those that they ignore. For instance, most don't mind a reasonably longer commute, even though it's generally a negative, just like they don't mind horrible AQ, which is generally a negative. It's definitely YMMV. For a DIY'er, living in the city generally provides far fewer advantages than disadvantages imo, and the money saved via living farther out for much, much cheaper, can be used to buy something small in the city outright. There are definitely ways to maximize utility depending on what a person's or group's goals are.
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Old 10-25-07, 12:09 PM   #110
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True dat, but it does get irritating having other try to shoot down your own specific situation. There are also a wide variety of conditions that people consider to be positive and negative, as well as those that they ignore. For instance, most don't mind a reasonably longer commute, even though it's generally a negative, just like they don't mind horrible AQ, which is generally a negative. It's definitely YMMV. For a DIY'er, living in the city generally provides far fewer advantages than disadvantages imo, and the money saved via living farther out for much, much cheaper, can be used to buy something small in the city outright. There are definitely ways to maximize utility depending on what a person's or group's goals are.
I hope I wasn't one who you felt was shooting you down, cuz that's not my intent. I'm sure that you've made reasonable and rational decisions based on your personal set of circumstances. We're all living in the land of the beast, and we all have to make accomodations. I admire you for trying to get away from the beast as much as you can. Keep up the good work! Buy more food and less gas!
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