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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 05-08-08, 07:41 PM   #1
burbankbiker
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The Car-Free tipping point... [PICS]

I moved to San Francisco last month for many reasons. One primary reason, though, was that I could live car free in such a bike-sized city (moved from LA). For the last month I've been moving my car from one side of the street to the other on street sweeping days while I test the car free waters and waiting for the right buyer for it. And so far, having a car has only been a complete nuisance. Not once have I needed the car. Not once have I driven it somewhere. Since I got here, it's been driven almost entirely (except for a trip to Muir Woods) around only looking for a free parking spot to move it to on the no-parking days.

And with all that hassle, I've had the misfortune of getting a ticket (my fault for oversleeping) having my bumper scraped badly by someone else (not my fault) and having to carry around the "oh **** what day is it?" feeling as I monitor the street sweeping schedule of my neighborhood.

BUT TODAY TAKES THE CAKE!!! I headed over for my weekly car moving chore to find what is pictured here.





I called the department of transportation but they said there's nothing they can do. If it's not blocking my driveway and not in front of a fire hydrant or red curb, there's nothing they can do. They told me to call the police and file a report if I thought there'd be damage. So I did that and the police showed up. They were upset that two people could be simultaneously so inconsiderate but they said there's nothing they can do. And believe me, they tried. They were calling HQ trying to figure out if they could tow one of the cars. But there was no violation.

Tomorrow is street sweeping so I'm gonna have to get up extra early to go see if I can move my car. This has eaten up 4 hours of my day so far from the time I discovered it, went home, called DPT, went back, called the cops, waited for the cops (90 minutes), photographed it, and now came home again.

Seriously, I didn't need any more motivation to sell the car but this is definitely gonna make me lower my price to move this thing fast. I want this hassle out of my life!!
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Old 05-08-08, 07:51 PM   #2
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I moved to San Francisco last month for many reasons. One primary reason, though, was that I could live car free in such a bike-sized city (moved from LA). For the last month I've been moving my car from one side of the street to the other on street sweeping days while I test the car free waters and waiting for the right buyer for it. And so far, having a car has only been a complete nuisance. Not once have I needed the car. Not once have I driven it somewhere. Since I got here, it's been driven almost entirely (except for a trip to Muir Woods) around only looking for a free parking spot to move it to on the no-parking days.

And with all that hassle, I've had the misfortune of getting a ticket (my fault for oversleeping) having my bumper scraped badly by someone else (not my fault) and having to carry around the "oh **** what day is it?" feeling as I monitor the street sweeping schedule of my neighborhood.

BUT TODAY TAKES THE CAKE!!! I headed over for my weekly car moving chore to find what is pictured here.





I called the department of transportation but they said there's nothing they can do. If it's not blocking my driveway and not in front of a fire hydrant or red curb, there's nothing they can do. They told me to call the police and file a report if I thought there'd be damage. So I did that and the police showed up. They were upset that two people could be simultaneously so inconsiderate but they said there's nothing they can do. And believe me, they tried. They were calling HQ trying to figure out if they could tow one of the cars. But there was no violation.

Tomorrow is street sweeping so I'm gonna have to get up extra early to go see if I can move my car. This has eaten up 4 hours of my day so far from the time I discovered it, went home, called DPT, went back, called the cops, waited for the cops (90 minutes), photographed it, and now came home again.

Seriously, I didn't need any more motivation to sell the car but this is definitely gonna make me lower my price to move this thing fast. I want this hassle out of my life!!
Hmm.. Three strong guys with hoodies could probably lift those offending little cars from one side and flip them into the street. Treated to burgers later on that evening at a sports bar perhaps...
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Old 05-08-08, 07:51 PM   #3
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head out to the desert and find some parking.
Ride your bike back.
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Old 05-08-08, 08:16 PM   #4
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PEE ON THEIR DOOR HANDLES!!! MUWAHAHAHA lol jk
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Old 05-08-08, 09:08 PM   #5
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And take some comfort that you're going to come out much, much better in that situation than the guy rear ending you. That's a BMW, either 1600 or 2002, something from the 70's and very, very collectible. Fixing that kind of damage is going to be very, very expensive. Much more so than what you're facing.

Whoever owns that car should be shot for treating it that way.
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Old 05-08-08, 09:09 PM   #6
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What you can't really tell from the pictures immediately, is that the Saab parked so hard against my car that his own grill is bent and misshapen.

You can kinda tell, but in person it's even more obvious.
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Old 05-08-08, 09:10 PM   #7
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That's a BMW...
You're totally right. That's a BMW... I don't know why I thought it was a saab but now that you say BMW I remember seeing the emblem on the hood.
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Old 05-08-08, 10:17 PM   #8
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I've been able to park my car in spaces that didn't leave much more margin than between yours and that Civic. But that BMW owner was simply a jackass.

Would've been great to recruit those "three strong guys with hoodies" and... get ready for it...

Flip it.

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Old 05-08-08, 10:22 PM   #9
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So the police, with that (assuming San Fran is in the 21st century) laptop/mobile data center in their cruiser, couldn't look up the plate number and call the registered owner?
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Old 05-08-08, 10:47 PM   #10
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they called the owners and got no answer from both. I actually just got a call from the police officer who placed a follow up call trying to reach the owners. She got through to one of them so I'm on my way now to move my car!!!!
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Old 05-09-08, 01:15 AM   #11
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San Francisco has got to rank up there with New York as the worst city to own a car. The city is made for car free living, love SF
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Old 05-09-08, 01:51 AM   #12
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Hmm.. Three strong guys with hoodies could probably lift those offending little cars from one side and flip them into the street. Treated to burgers later on that evening at a sports bar perhaps...
What does it matter what they wear?
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Old 05-09-08, 05:47 AM   #13
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HOw about you start your car, put it into reverse and just back up? It will likely move. Cars get dented, cars get scratched, that's part of having a car,no worries.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:36 AM   #14
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HOw about you start your car, put it into reverse and just back up
I thought about doing that but opted against it, primarily because I didn't want this guy to then suddenly have some cause against me for damaging his car.

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It will likely move. Cars get dented, cars get scratched, that's part of having a car,no worries.
Yeah but when you're selling your car, every dent and scratch is basically lost income. The car was in near perfect shape during its years in LA but in the last week it's gotten this guy and it also got that big scrape you can see on the rear bumper in the wide shot.

If I was just gonna own it, it'd be whatever. But those two things probably dropped a few hundred bucks off the sale price. I'm gonna try and touch them up this weekend cosmetically and then get rid of this 4 cylinder albatross.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:01 AM   #15
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we lived in san francisco for the 9 years preceding 2004, when we moved to portland. anyway, not only were we car-free the whole time, but when we were able to afford a house, we were able to rent the parking space we controlled for $350/mo. the down payment on our house was equivalent to the money we'd saved over the preceding decade not owning a car.

we biked everywhere. we were on transit only when crossing to east bay, bringing bikes of course... if only they'd let bikes on that bridge.

we did join city carshare, and used it maybe 4 times a year (nearly the whole week our son was born because the relatives don't do bikes).

if you look at local crime statistics, you will see that about half of reported property crimes target peoples' cars. lose the car and your crime victimhood rate drops to below that of the "safer" suburbs.

so sell it already and enjoy life.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:07 AM   #16
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What does it matter what they wear?
If they had hoodies they could hide their faces easier.. Maybe just buy some hoodies and get three strong folks. Even better get a few more to just pick up your car and move it into the road. Maybe one of them will like it and you can sell it to them on the spot.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:40 AM   #17
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A couple months a go I had two hybrids/city bikes park thier bikes on the bike rack close to my cross bike at the grocery store. Because the drops are lower than the hybrid bars I guess they didn't notice that they trapped me in, happens to bikes also.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:13 AM   #18
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you would be better off renting a storage locker for the thing, or finding a long term parking garage somewhere. The time you've spent screwing around with finding "free" street parking, plus the damage your car has received, plus the ticket would have probably paid for the space already.

Or stop waiting for the "right" buyer and just find any buyer.
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Old 05-09-08, 12:14 PM   #19
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PEE ON THEIR DOOR HANDLES!!! MUWAHAHAHA lol jk
Sorry, but that **** is funny. MAde my day.

Why didn't you sell the car BEFORE leaving LA? You probably could have found a buyer easier than in SF...
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Old 05-09-08, 12:24 PM   #20
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Sorry, but that **** is funny. MAde my day.

Why didn't you sell the car BEFORE leaving LA? You probably could have found a buyer easier than in SF...
Yeah, kudos for taking the time to make that image mod!

I didn't sell it in LA because of a couple factors. The two largest were that I found my apartment one weekend, flew to NYC for a business trip on the monday, returned on the saturday, and moved up on the Sunday. It was a very quick process and getting the truck loaded was more than enough to keep me busy before I moved. But beyond that, part of me wanted the security of knowing that I'd be fine without the car up here. Living in LA, you become so dependent on the car to cover the huge distances and freeway-based geography that while I was 99.9% sure I could ditch the car, I figured it best to move up here and confirm it... while selling the car a month later.

I'm actually going to move the car down to my brother's place in San Mateo this weekend and list it there on craigslist. I'm thinking that advertising a 38MPG car to a community of commuters will be a better target demographic than city dwellers anyway (with the price of gas and all).
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Old 05-12-08, 07:49 AM   #21
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we lived in san francisco for the 9 years preceding 2004, when we moved to portland. anyway, not only were we car-free the whole time, but when we were able to afford a house, we were able to rent the parking space we controlled for $350/mo.
Holy crap 350$ a month for parking?!?!??!?!?!?! you could get an apartment for that much, wow Im kinda glad I dont live in the city out here in the country a car is a definite must, I bike to some places but just to the nearest city is a 20 minute drive, (and its not like SF city its a itty bitty city, barely a city more like a heavily populated suburb.)
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Old 05-12-08, 11:00 AM   #22
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They hit your car and walked off--isn't that hit and run? Usually the kind of offence that gets people arrested... So what's the deal--did BMW driver move his car allowing you to move in time for sweeping or what?
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Old 05-12-08, 12:32 PM   #23
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Just sell the damn thing and quit whining.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:36 PM   #24
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The conclusion was that the officer said that it's not hit and run since it didn't look like substantial damage (to be clear, though, he did damage my paint on the bumper). She said I could sue him in civil court but anyone who's that off kilter is not someone I want to have anything else to deal with.

In order to get out of the spot, the officer managed to get a hold of the honda civic in front of me and they moved their car so I didn't get a street sweeping ticket.
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Old 05-20-08, 07:51 AM   #25
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You need to take that car to Carmax and cut your losses.
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