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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.

View Poll Results: How long have you been car light or car free?
Car light less than 1 year 165 16.57%
Car free less than 1 year 93 9.34%
Car light less than 5 years 133 13.35%
Car free less than 5 years 114 11.45%
Car light more than 5 years 82 8.23%
Car free more than 5 years 207 20.78%
Contemplating a car light or car free change 178 17.87%
Not interested in becoming car light or car free 24 2.41%
Voters: 996. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-14-08, 11:36 AM   #101
Roody
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I don't own a car, and haven't regularly driven since 2000 or so, but we use zipcar sometimes (less than 1x/month average) so I picked car light. We're pretty close tho!
By my definition, you are carfree. You don't own one, and only a very small portion of your transportation is by car.
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Old 05-14-08, 01:05 PM   #102
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I became car lite when my job moved next door to my apartment. So now I only drive to church, large grocery runs and the occasional trip out of town.
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Old 05-17-08, 08:23 PM   #103
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2001... Yes Virginia you can live fine without an automobile. I count it among the best things Ive ever done
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Old 06-09-08, 08:28 AM   #104
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Last year I moved closer in to work (20 miles closer), and dumped my S-10 and got an Hyundai Accent. Last month I started riding my bike to work 3-4 days each week. So far so good I guess. However maybe we could add a poll option asking how many others have we convinced to be car light/free? Unfortunately I'd have to answer with a big ol' egg....
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Old 06-14-08, 10:03 AM   #105
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I sold my Honda two days ago. I was car-free for a few years in a row starting in 2001 but I had to buy one for school. Now, I truly cannot see myself ever purchasing another car ever again. I love it.
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Old 06-16-08, 01:48 PM   #106
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Well, I have just started commuting by bike, which is 10 miles each way, and I am also starting to do most of my 'around town' on my bike as well. My wife needs to drive to work since her job includes some errand type stuff that needs a car (our minivan) and it is 30 miles each way. I do own a car as well, as I have always, but I am looking for ways to use it less. I love driving my car, as it is a fun car to drive, and I love cars in general, but then again, I love eggs too, and I can't have them every day either!

We do not have public transport where we live, and things are spaced out a bit. Any ride that involves a destination to shop, do mail, doctor, etc etc etc, starts at 4 miles, and goes up quick. I am taking that as the challenge!!

In any event, I am looking to make a big dent in the 11k/year that I put on my car for what is left of this year, and a bigger dent next year.
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Old 06-16-08, 05:47 PM   #107
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I grew up in a family that didn't have a car. Luckily we live in Toronto, so public transit has always been available and affordable. I don't even have a driver's license (although I contemplate getting one all the time). Last year I decided to spend the summer riding my bike and limiting the amount of bus time. It went well, so this year I have given up my bus pass and ride my bike every for fun, errands, fun, work, fun, seeing friends, and fun. I'm hoping my bus pass less existence will last far into the winter!

Most of my commutes are brief, maybe 8 to 10 km round trip. The only errand I walk to is the laundromat. The laundry fits in a large four wheeled shopping cart that I walk only 2 or so km round trip (even in winter it isn't bad since I walk down a well plowed main street).

I'd like to buy a trailer, but my apartment is tiny (and so is the elevator). So far I am using a combination of panniers, handlebar basket, and back packs to haul my stuff around town.

Hopefully I will do this forever!
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Old 06-16-08, 09:08 PM   #108
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I sold my last car, became a vegetarian [goveg.com] and walked-cycled for a year, for all transport, at the time of the first Gulf War. I choose trains over rental-cars, and taking my bicycle over both. I usually only fly to cross the Atlantic. If I must fly, or to offset the train CO2, I go to carbonfund.org.

I have few possessions, only what I carry with me in one bag and a Xootr.com folding bicycle, a gift from friends. For the moment, I am a 24/7 caretaker for my cancerous 95% bedridden wheelchair rolling dad. I only use his car to take him to his array of Doctor's and his one weekly outing, a game of bridge. I do the rest of the shopping and getting around solo on my bike.


When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.

~ H.G. Wells


Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

~ Albert Einstein
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This guy has some fantastic photos on his myspace page.

B & W bike porn!
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Old 06-17-08, 10:12 PM   #109
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Car free for about 4 months now. Recently became extremely frugal and stopped riding the motorcycle in favor of the bicycle. Trying to convince my dad to take over the payments on the bike. Bicycle commuting on the regular now.
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Old 06-24-08, 04:33 PM   #110
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good thread

I've been car-free for 14 years now. I've managed to do this in five different states from California to Maine.
I've consistently commuted in 113 degree Tucson, Arizona to -13 degrees in Sanford, Maine.
These threads always a filled with excuses from people who love to show off their $5k race bikes on weekends, love the image of a hardcore driven racer, but are too embarrassed to be seen commuting. People might think their poor. People might think they don't own a nice car.
The responses to this thread shows it's possible to live car-free, survive with your livelihood in tact, find a mate willing to mate, and retain your self-respect without a car. We aren't a bunch of hippies who have given up on contributing to society. We aren't radicals or DUI cases. After mastering commuting in all weather, our biggest challenge is to resist exercising our well-earned right to smugness when we hear others bemoan how gas prices have completely shattered any chance for them to enjoy a happy existence.
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Old 06-28-08, 03:20 PM   #111
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I've been car free/car light all of my life(22 years). I got a car a few months ago because I thought I'd be using it for stuff that is a necessity. Instead i've gotten kind of lazy and find myself driving it more than I thought I would. SO, as of today I've listed it as for sale. I don't like having any sort of dependency on a car, and I guess I don't have the willpower not to use it when it's easily available, so out it goes!

I plan on putting the money from the sale towards new winter gear for when the weather turns bad again.
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Old 06-29-08, 08:05 PM   #112
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I have been living in the DC area for the summer and I'm considering moving down here permanently and becoming car free. The best part about it is that the decision is not of economics or of some greater environmental calling, but I just don't ever seem to need it. The public transit here is superb. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why anyone would ever sit in the endless traffic around here when they can take a bus for $1.00 a trip. I even get my passes subsidized by work so I can go anywhere in the city via bus for about $0.30. Why get frustrated at traffic when you can doze off or read on the bus, for less? It's beyond me.

Also, my office is right off of a beautiful bike trail so the days it's not raining or I'm not needed in business attire, I can bike in and shower at the office. So it's honestly not even a matter of rejecting the car, I just don't need it.

Wanna be car free? Check out DC!
Ha, it rhymes, I'm trade-marking this slogan.

David
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Old 06-29-08, 08:08 PM   #113
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Why get frustrated at traffic when you can doze off or read on the bus, for less? It's beyond me.
I had a friend who started taking the bus to work, commuting between Silver Spring and Rockville/Bethesda (which is also the future route of the Purple Line for the Metro). Her wife (yup!) said that she was MUCH less cranky whenever she bused.
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Old 06-30-08, 05:27 PM   #114
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Ha, I ride/bus from Silver Spring to Friendship Heights :-)
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Old 06-30-08, 11:05 PM   #115
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ive never owned a car or want one, ive ridden bikes since i was 7 and ive never stopped, my partner drives and it comes in handy now and then, i use a trailer for the children and my oldest rides her own bike, im not a enviromentalist i just love bikes and hate cars, people becoming different people in cars, i get shouted at alot by car drivers, probably frustrated because i dont get stopped by the traffic lol, im 38 now and still no license and i still get my aunty saying to me, when are you going to drive ? who knows i love riding too much,

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Old 07-01-08, 05:09 AM   #116
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I had a friend who started taking the bus to work, commuting between Silver Spring and Rockville/Bethesda (which is also the future route of the Purple Line for the Metro). Her wife (yup!) said that she was MUCH less cranky whenever she bused.
When I was still doing extra-mural tertiary study I used to do all the reading for my assigments while riding on public transport; - and I used to arrive at work after a short walk from the train station feeling pleasantly relaxed and unstressed.
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Old 07-02-08, 09:17 PM   #117
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I unexpectedly and luckily became car free.

my old 97' Buick finally broke down on fathers day, after 160k+ miles needs a new transmission.

and just happened the day before that my cousin (he as been car-free all his life 33yo and he is a Triathlete too) give me a rescued trek 820 to motivate me to loose some weight 345lbs.

So far I have put 70 miles on the bike, my daily commute is 4 miles each way + errands.

The changes that I have noticed: seems that I have lost some weight, I feel awesome in the morning (used to drink 2-3 16oz cups of coffee due to slow metabolism) not anymore, Sleep better, better mood.

I feel soooo happy and better now, that I gues is like rebirth, as my fitness lever gets better I'm looking to relocate maybe 6-8 or more miles away from work, so I can drive more !

My ride

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Old 07-03-08, 11:52 AM   #118
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Have been car light for 1.5 years. Just got lighter, traded in 2 cars for 1. I have a 16 month old and he requires a car, because we don't live in a super bicycle cooperative area. We do as much on the bike as possible.
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Old 07-04-08, 04:37 AM   #119
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17 years car free. I'm happier, healthier (quit smoking) and a lot better off financially.

The recent gas increases only show how the ICE is unsustainable. People should think twice before hopping in their car.
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Old 07-08-08, 03:33 PM   #120
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Life is good

I agree, LIFE is much better without the worry of: 1) Insurance 2) Gas bills 3) automobile repair costs 4) detailing costs.... However, I must say, being carless for over 1 year now, the only time I do miss it is when (I am a dual rider of both mountain biking and Road cycling) I wish I could haul my mountain bike to the mountains and ride over there. Otherwise, my main transportations are my bicycles and the public transportation: Buses and Trolleys.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:36 PM   #121
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When I REALLY need a car I rent one. Arrive at a wedding in a Bentley. They don't know it only cost you a couple of hundred bucks for the day. They spend thousands a month on their Hummer.

As my mom would say:
"More fool them!"

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Old 07-09-08, 01:00 AM   #122
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Haha I'm so glad to find a place where I can be free to be happy about shunning my car!!! It's so big and I could fit 20 bikes in the space that it fills up in the garage collecting dust and leaking fluid!!! I'm only 24 so I haven't been car free for that long. Only about 5 months solid actually. and I must admit I do use it twice a month to drive 18 miles one way to night class For me it of course was the gas prices that I couldn't afford. But now I'm saving money and investing! (I would say I feel great(er), but I've been in good shape my whole life) Thanks for not glaring at me like I'm some crazy hippy for not liking to drive a gas guzzler around
Anybody in here gone from using a giant SUV to using a bike? That's the best!!! Sorry I'm pretty excited, it's from all the biking.
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Old 07-12-08, 07:09 PM   #123
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I'm 48 and have never owned a car!
Dwayne
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Old 07-17-08, 03:30 PM   #124
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I have now been car-ownership-free for about 10 days. Yippee!

I lived basically car-free for the last year, but I did not actually sell my old car until July 7. It's a date that I will be celebrating every year, every month, and every week as my own personal "Car Independence Day".

I've been preparing and dreaming of this for a long, long time, and it's very exciting to join the rest of you guys and finally be FREE!
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Old 07-21-08, 11:25 AM   #125
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I have now been car-ownership-free for about 10 days. Yippee!

I lived basically car-free for the last year, but I did not actually sell my old car until July 7. It's a date that I will be celebrating every year, every month, and every week as my own personal "Car Independence Day".

I've been preparing and dreaming of this for a long, long time, and it's very exciting to join the rest of you guys and finally be FREE!

Right on, right on! I have been car light for about 6 months and car free for one month! It is quite a great feeling... Almost hard to explain. People interested need to wrap their minds around it, feel the fear and do it anyway! There are just too many pro's to the scenario and I think HEALTH is at the top of the list! Cheers,

-Grant
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