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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 163 16.50%
Car free less than 1 year 92 9.31%
Car light less than 5 years 133 13.46%
Car free less than 5 years 113 11.44%
Car light more than 5 years 82 8.30%
Car free more than 5 years 204 20.65%
Contemplating a car light or car free change 177 17.91%
Not interested in becoming car light or car free 24 2.43%
Voters: 988. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-21-08, 04:29 PM   #126
Fairmont
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The town I live in, Peachtree City, Georgia, has an extensive network of bike/golfcart paths that connect every single building. Homes, churches, schools, restaurants, etc. They're all connected. You can live and work here without a car. You can get anywhere in our city without having to drive on the car roads (you'll have to cross a couple here and there).

Our path system is the most extensive in the entire country.


We're the best-kept secret as well.

Check it out.

Our teenagers drive golf carts (and bikes too). In the fifty year history of our city we have only had ONE death on a golf cart and one death on a bike.

Fifty years!
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Old 07-21-08, 04:32 PM   #127
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Oh, and we might get our first college (fingers crossed). That will just cement us as America's number one small town in America (we were voted number eight in Money Magazine for towns with a sub-fifty thousand population).

We lack a good hospital and a college. That's why we made number eight.

BUT, we are the only one in the top ten who doesn't get snow.

Okay, we had ONE snow day this year, but with one snow day, everyone celebrates and plays. It was gone the next day.
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Old 07-25-08, 04:38 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by Platy View Post
I set out to become car free about 5 years ago. In that time I acquired a car owning SO (significant other). So I'm classifying myself as car light.
Ditto: my SO owns a car and we travel together a lot so I don't feel honest calling myself car free. Nevertheless, I gave up taxiing this Spring (which involved a short cycling commute) and now commute 8.5 miles each way to a much more fulfilling job. I've traded in my sturdy Mongoose for a Specialized hardrock that is a lot lighter and I can fit into 32 in jeans again (I'm 41).

I think it is no exaggeration to say that the bike is the central motivating component in a radical improvement in my quality of life.

Just got to get prepared for the first winter now.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:20 PM   #129
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Car Free

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Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
I'm curious how long those of us here have been car light or car free. Have your views changed in that time?
I have been car free for over a year now. Without a doubt, the most liberating experience of my entire life. I now pay attention to the many ways that my family justifies their need for an auto. I don't feel the need to respond as I think my actions speak for themselves. They will say that they do not see how it's possible to walk so far or that a bicycle is too dangerous in traffic, but secretly envy me , especially when it's time to fill the tank. Loving my new life.
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Old 07-29-08, 06:25 PM   #130
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I feel like I made the right decision for me. I don't care about gas prices and my legs look better!
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Old 07-30-08, 06:25 PM   #131
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I went car free for a while when I first moved to HI, then I got hit and moved into a truck I bought, one of the best experiences I have had. Since then I have been moving towards car free again. Now the big island where I lived is not bike friendly at all with a few exceptions. So I recently made my residence the bay in CA and I am excited about being car free again in my life. My absolute favorite memories are when I was a teen and I biked everywhere I could, sometimes when I was bored and didn't want to do anything, I would just hop on the bike and go, sometimes I would end up so far and after dark it was an adventure just getting back home.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:44 PM   #132
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I've been car light for three years.

We mostly use an electric golf cart to get around, and I'm riding to work on zee bizicle.
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Old 08-15-08, 12:06 AM   #133
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My girl has an SUV. I have a close friend with a vehicle as well. I haven't had a car for about 4 years now. I don't miss my $460 monthly payment, or my insurance company, and I'm sure as hell not missing filling the tank. (2001 Dodge Ram with the off road package) I'm looking into purchasing the new Motobecane Fantom Team Ti for use as a commuter.
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Old 08-18-08, 05:43 AM   #134
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I think that if anything I have become more extreme in my beliefs.
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Old 08-18-08, 01:33 PM   #135
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I've been car-light since last January. I get free city bus transportation for being a college student. I also ride the bike when ever possible, though I have to admit to riding in the GF's car when we need to go somewhere. The insurance on my truck expired a few months ago. I haven't been overly concerned about renewing it. I'm not working at the moment, and that probably affects my car-lightness.

Hoping to move to Ft. Collins CO for grad school in fall of 2009. Very bike friendly city -- I might do a total car-free then.
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Old 08-18-08, 01:59 PM   #136
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Been car free for a year and a half now, love it. Ride where I cannot walk, or where I can if I wanna get things done quickly, or take my local transit systems. Now I look way down on cars, America(ns) has(have) become super lazy, wanting things at too easily. Without the old POS car around I consume much less and save in ways I didn't think would occur. Survived last winter and am awaiting the 2nd one, to see if I can better the experiences (minus 5 to 10 degrees last winter on several commutes home from work at 4am).

Last edited by bckpck2rev; 08-18-08 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 08-20-08, 11:00 PM   #137
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i have been car-free for basically my entire life(unless you count being dragged to places i had to go in a car). i am now old enough to drink and i haven't even gotten my driver's license yet. i bike everywhere. i live like 40 miles from Pensacola, Florida(it's too hot down here). i bike there to get things i can't get here and then come back. cars may be faster but i absolutely love the saving i get from not paying gas(3.94 here last i payed attention) and insurance on a car.
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Old 09-06-08, 12:50 PM   #138
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Our car is sold! After following some great advice in the thread I started below, we sold our car through Craig's list. No car, 5 bikes, and a Philly Car Share membership! Only car-free for a few hours now but it feels great!
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Old 09-08-08, 06:49 AM   #139
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More than 10 yrs car-free. And I love people aka drivers reaction to it. Either that's how I stay fit, etc etc - but then it's followed by a statement on how much money I'm saving on gas. To which I reply - yes, but I also save on car ins, daily parking fees (I work downtown), having to change sides of streets everynight, repairs, etc - but then I finish and on any monies saved I devote to my bicycle addiction and add a new one the flock once too often and of course you need toys for those new rides ...
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Old 09-08-08, 06:08 PM   #140
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I went from driving 125 miles a week (for years) to 25 miles every two weeks, cold turkey, a few months ago. When I get down to 25 miles a month I'll let you know.
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Old 09-14-08, 07:24 PM   #141
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my truck has been broken for 3 months just drive the wifes van on weekends (she doesnt ride)
this winter i will drive a few miles it is nice
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Old 09-30-08, 12:50 PM   #142
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I guess I would describe myself as car light, but newly so. It's only been the last couple weeks that I knew such a classification existed. I was on a business trip to Orlando and was away from home for two weeks and during that time I read a lot of threads on BF including the car-free/car-light stuff. Honestly, such a concept had never occurred to me!

I got a new bike on Labor Day weekend, and leaving town the next week, I was jonesin' pretty bad for it the whole time. When I got home I started riding it much more often than I had been riding bikes (I started part-time bike commuting in February- maybe about 1/3 of the time).

I'm starting to think of my bike as the default means of personal transport, which kind of seems like a decent definition of what "car light" means. In the week and a half since I got home from my business trip, I've probably ridden my bike twice as many miles as my car. In fact I've only had the car out of the garage four times in that week and a half:

. Driving home from the airport after the business trip,
. Driving over to someone's house to pick up a bike I bought,
. Grocery shopping (Costco sizes don't go well on my bike),
. Getting my state inspection done for that car.

Before this car light thing dawned on me, my youngest son got his license and we bought an older car for him to drive, which brings the number of cars in my family to four right now- one for each driver. But since he is getting himself from Point A to Point B without my help, and I'm bicycle commuting, and probably a couple other factors, my car use has gone way down. I bought a new car in 05. The first year I put 20,000 miles on it. The second year, 16,000 miles. This year I've only put 8,000 miles on the car. I think that makes me car light.

I probably could sell one of our cars and get even lighter, but three of the four cars in our household have more than 100,000 miles and/or are 10 or more years old. So... maybe I'll just wait for one to die and not replace it.

Once my sons are out of the house, I still don't see going personally car-free. What I may do though is buy a car that's really just a toy/hobby that I only take out occasionally.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 10-07-08, 08:51 PM   #143
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Initially I approached car light with almost a missionary zeal but that has now changed. I realize not everyone will want to go car light or car free and I realize not everyone is able to do so. Instead of preaching the benefits of a car light lifestyle, I'm quietly living my life with as little driving as possible. And at this point, that is enough./ [/QUOTE]

I have this same approach because it makes what I do special. It attacts more attention and converts more people. Very ironic I admit but, normal people are stange.
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Old 10-07-08, 09:03 PM   #144
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I have this same approach because it makes what I do special. It attacts more attention and converts more people. Very ironic I admit but, normal people are stange.
It's because people don't like to be told that they're wrong. It's like those evangelists that come to you door and ask if you're ready to meet God -- whoTF are they to tell you that everything you believe about religion is wrong?

(NOT going into P&R with this.. )

I never overtly tell people to use an Apple computer, for example. I just keep using mine, friends see what I do, every once in a while they ask me about mine, then they start thinking about one for themselves.
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Old 10-14-08, 04:21 PM   #145
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My whole life. The folks don't have a car either (mom bike commutes, dad just rides the public transit or walks). Sometimes it's a pain of course but I'm so used to it I don't know any other way. And of course as a college student I can't afford even a nice bike, much less a car, what with all those stupid loans...
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Old 10-14-08, 10:47 PM   #146
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It's been awhile since I've been here and even longer since I've posted. So good to hear a community of people figuring out ways to live (or trying to live) car-free. A great book on this subject is How to Live Well Without Owning A Car by Chris Balish. Lots of good creative ideas for living car-free or car-lite.
I'm so impressed by folks who have never had a car or haven't for years. I'm going on 16 months. I will sometimes rent a car for a short trip out of town, but it is incredibly liberating to get by just fine without a car. I was able to offer my carport to my neighbors and they are very appreciative.
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Old 10-20-08, 03:25 PM   #147
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i've been car lite for about a year and a half. i'll be car-free completely as soon as my two young sons are old enough to ride bikes to school themselves. probably another year, then away goes the truck. as it is, i think i put almost 1,000 miles on the truck this last year. i use my bikes for virtually everything. looking forward to the day i sell the truck.

be well,

jim
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Old 10-20-08, 04:19 PM   #148
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three years this december
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Old 10-23-08, 06:53 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by EnigManiac View Post
Anyone who values and yearns for real freedom needs to get rid of their slave-master, that abomination in the driveway.


I've had periods of car light and car free. Until I was 17 I got about by bike, then I bought my first car. When that broke I bought another, and another, and another (never keeping each for more than a year), when the last broke I did without for quite some time, even commuting 6 miles each way. I think my highest total annual mileage was 10,000.

Then, I got a new job, with a work van, covering 12,000 miles a year in that, all for work. Everything else was by bike, or borrowing mother's car. Then I moved 600 miles north, did without a car for some months, then bought a car the first winter. I did less than 6,000 miles a year, then bought a smaller, cheaper car, and finally sold that too a couple of months ago. Now I got made redundant from my job, and my van is gone too - so everything is bike or bus.

Now I'm seriously considering selling my 2-bed house, and buying something smaller. I live alone, I don't need all that space.
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Old 11-01-08, 12:00 PM   #150
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I've been car-light since I moved to the Bay Area almost three years ago. Everything here is within biking distance and if you get lazy, tired or too drunk to ride there's always public transportation like Caltrain to fall back on. My current job is less than a mile away so biking is the way to go. The previous job was about 40miles from home but both home and work were an easy ride from the Caltrain station.

The cycling culture out here is waaay better than back in the East Coast. The weather, bike lanes and tolerant cage drivers is great unlike Virginia and NC where you had to deal with hot/humid summers, ice storms, narrow lanes with little to no shoulders (never any designated bike lanes) and cage drivers who think you should ride on the sidewalk (if there were even any sidewalks).

I only drive my truck if I need to run errands which require cargo capability, but that may change if I decide to convert one of my bikes to an Xtracycle. Currently, I can only manage two grocery bags with my current rack/pannier setup, but the thought of being able to lug twice that amount with an Xtracycle conversion is getting me excited.
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