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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 164 16.53%
Car free less than 1 year 93 9.38%
Car light less than 5 years 133 13.41%
Car free less than 5 years 113 11.39%
Car light more than 5 years 82 8.27%
Car free more than 5 years 206 20.77%
Contemplating a car light or car free change 177 17.84%
Not interested in becoming car light or car free 24 2.42%
Voters: 992. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-26-07, 09:32 PM   #1
Newspaperguy
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Living Car Free/Car Lite Introductions

I'm curious how long those of us here have been car light or car free. Have your views changed in that time?
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Old 10-26-07, 09:59 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 10-26-07, 10:04 PM   #3
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My van's engine ate itself sometime in 2001 and while driving a rental out of state a few weeks later I got pulled over and found out my license was suspended for an unpaid seatbelt ticket, so I dumped the rental, eventually got my license sorted out, and still haven't felt any great urge to get another vehicle considering the costs involved.
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Old 10-26-07, 10:18 PM   #4
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Been car lite for decades, started out as most kids, with only two means of transportation at my disposal, my parents giving me a ride in their car or my bicycle. My bicycle also proved to be more reliable than the vehicles of my youth, so my bike was given more seat time, plus, I thought when they raised the price of gas to over fifty cents a gallon, that it was a ripoff. Even now that my vehicles are very reliable, I still enjoy riding the bike so I can eat as many of the wife's cookies as I want, and still maintain the weight.
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Old 10-26-07, 10:33 PM   #5
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I've never owned a car and neither has my husband. When we were home from college we both had use of a family car. Once we were on our own at 20 and 22, we decided not to buy a car. Once not owning a car became our pattern, car free became easier than going out and buying one. Depending on when you start counting us as car free, it's been at least a decade.
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Old 10-26-07, 11:27 PM   #6
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I've been car light for the past four or five years and I'm using my car less each year.

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.
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Old 10-26-07, 11:42 PM   #7
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I had to think about this one for a few minutes. I was surprised when I thought about it, because I didn't realise that we've been doing the car light thing for that length of time. My husband and I work at the same place, same hours, same days off. We carpool in. I often have overtime, so we always have a bike in the car. I almost always ride home anyway, OT or not. Mr. East Hill combines trips, and if I need to go somewhere, it's the bike for me.

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Old 10-27-07, 02:36 AM   #8
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I've been car-free or car-lite pretty much all my life. Bicycling to work was a slight shift from pedaling to school. The most important event was moving out from my Dads' before I had saved up for a car. That was 1974.

I've owned a number of cars over the years and there was a 6 month period where I commuted consistently by car, and a few years where I worked at home, but my bicycle has always been the preferred method of transportation.

Last edited by Artkansas; 03-09-08 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 10-27-07, 05:44 AM   #9
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I voted contemplating
I have been car free/car light in the past. I was basically car free until the mid 80's then car light until the late 90's. Right now I don't drive unless I absolutely have to, unfortunately my current job requires massive amounts of driving (to the tune of 45-50k miles a year) But we are making plans to change that in the next 2-3 years and get back to car light. I ride my bike to the grocery store. When I am on the road I carry a bike with me to ride around on for errands, entertainment and when the opportunity arises to use a commuter between the motel and the job site (rarely happens).

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Old 10-27-07, 08:49 AM   #10
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27 years!
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Old 10-27-07, 09:10 AM   #11
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48 hours
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Old 10-27-07, 11:44 AM   #12
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I am fifty years old and never have had a drivers license. I got my first bike in 1963.
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Old 10-27-07, 07:44 PM   #13
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Car light for just over two years here. I would say car free, but I drive my elderly Mum to her medical appointments & etc as necessary. Otherwise I use either my tricycle or a bicycle.
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Old 10-29-07, 06:32 PM   #14
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Car light for a little over a year now. Actually, car very light as I estimate I ride 95% of the time or more. I hope to be car free eventually, but it would be very difficult to do in this town. I am certain that if my truck suddenly needed a major repair, it would immediately be on the market and I wouldn't be looking for a replacement. I'll also be moving in a few months to a more convenient location so that will help.
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Old 10-29-07, 08:14 PM   #15
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Car free for two years this time around, was car light for a couple of years due to a job I had which required me to drive two days a week, before that i was car free for four years. Probably going back to car lite next year since I love to race and need car for getting to and from those.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:26 AM   #16
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I haven't owned a car since 1997, and haven't missed it. But I do rent a few times a year, and borrowed a friends car earlier this year sometime. Or was it late last year? I think that makes me car-free, and that's what I voted. But if the rentals make me car-light, then so be it. Don't think I can change the voting though.

It helps to live near the center of a big city that has decent public transport -- in the core area at least.
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Old 10-30-07, 12:36 PM   #17
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I've gone through periods. I was car-lite for about a year before moving abroad where i was car free. When i came back to the states i was again car-lite, but recently i moved to san francisco, so i sold my car and am now car free again. It will be one year in two months!
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Old 10-30-07, 04:09 PM   #18
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i sold my car to move from hellhole, indiana to portland, oregon, and my dad sent me a bike so i could get around. in the last 2 years, i've had 4 bikes (2 got stolen) and never even wanted a car. but i definitely have the advantage of living in portland. bike city usa!
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Old 10-31-07, 12:13 PM   #19
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I've been carfree this time for 6 years. I've been carfree for a total of more than half of my adult life, on and off--roughly 17 years.

I've never been carlite. Every time I owned a car I drove the hell out of it. I'm an all-or-nothing person, I guess.
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Old 11-11-07, 09:02 PM   #20
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I've been cycle-commuting for the last 20 years and have owned a car/pu for 18 of them. Over the last few years, however I've become much more aware of the tyranny of the automobile and cut my mileage from 12,000 to a little under 7,000. Also, I upped my cycling mileage to over 6,000 this year. My wife has a Toyota Echo she uses to get back and forth to work and it'd very good on gas and cheap to maintain. I only use my truck when absolutely necessary. Sometimes it sits for weeks at a time.

My goal this next year is to drive less than 5000 and cycle over 7500.
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Old 11-12-07, 05:42 PM   #21
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I am now 27 and have managed to never own a car nor have I bothered getting a license
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Old 11-12-07, 11:24 PM   #22
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I guess the occasional use of Flex/car qualifies as car lite, but I don't own a car or live with anybody who does.
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Old 11-15-07, 07:23 PM   #23
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i cant drive a car. does that count??
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Old 11-16-07, 08:20 AM   #24
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I had the fantastic luck of totalling my car about a year and a month ago now (guy took a right turn into me from the left lane w/o looking). Since the insurance didn't end up paying more than 1/4 the price of another car and I am totally broke, I didn't have any other option but to rely on my bike and public transportation.

It's been a godsend in a lot of ways -- I am a lot more active, have gotten in shape, and have a lasting obsession! And the best part of all: I am allowed to be annoyingly self-righteous in political conversations.

Still use my girlfriend's car to get groceries and take long trips (I reimburse her for a % of her insurance and gas -- I'm not a total bum), but that's the extent of my use.
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Old 11-16-07, 09:26 AM   #25
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I've been car free for five years now, but car-lite before that for another three years. I doubt I could ever go back to using a car regularly. I love cycling and walking and while I don't particularly like crowded buses or subways and despise waiting, I'll still take public transit over crawling on crowded streets in a car, searching endlessly for somewhere to park, paying for parking, insurance (they can all go to hell, as far as I'm concerned), gas and repairs. Anyone who values and yearns for real freedom needs to get rid of their slave-master, that abomination in the driveway.
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