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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: Are you currently car-light, car-free, or neither?
Car-light (fill up less than once a month) 54 47.79%
Car-free (don't own a car, truck, etc) 42 37.17%
Neither (own a car, drive it often) 13 11.50%
C-F + motorcycle, scooter, etc 4 3.54%
Voters: 113. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-24-08, 02:00 PM   #1
uke
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Are you currently car-light, car-free, or neither?

Taking a poll in effort to get an idea of the distribution in the forum.
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Old 08-24-08, 02:55 PM   #2
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I technically own a car... it needs a radiator and has been parked in a friend's yard ever since I bought it about 4 months ago.
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Old 08-24-08, 02:56 PM   #3
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None of the above?

I drive 42,000 miles a year on average; 3-5,000 of those are mine, the rest are job related. Sometimes I can go 2-3 weeks between fillups other times I may fill up 3 times in one day BTW based on MY annual mileage I would be filling up the beast about once every 6 weeks or so.

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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 08-24-08, 06:58 PM   #4
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hello all;
we own a car and a minivan though the car hardly ever moves. i don't have any plans to sell it simply because i need it on occasion. it's the same deal with the minivan. while my spouse uses the minivan for school drop-off and pick-up that's pretty much it. i see no great sin in having a car, it's just a tool after all. the problem is in over reliance. much like tv, using it when you don't need to makes you slothful and wastes resources. i'd rather ride a bike for transportation and read a book for entertainment, there are times though when you cant do what you'd rather.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:11 PM   #5
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I've been car-free since 2003. And I don't plan on buying a car in the future. Friends and family tell me that I need a car. So I ask them what for. They give me stupid reasons. I'm not married, nor do I have kids. I can commute and do errands on my trusty 'cross bike.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:24 PM   #6
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Moving into my new place this week. Car will be sold in less than a month.
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Old 08-24-08, 11:10 PM   #7
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I went car-light in late 2003 or early 2004. For my personal in-town commitments, I prefer to walk or cycle. I use my car for work and for out-of-town events and errands.
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Old 08-24-08, 11:31 PM   #8
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I've been car-lite for many years now. I've driven maybe two hundred miles this year so far, but I've rode as a passenger for a thousand miles more. This year, I'm on track to put in two and a half to three thousand miles on the bike, down from three and a half to four thousand from previous years.
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Old 08-25-08, 02:20 AM   #9
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I probably should not have voted. I'm car-light, but I still fill up once a week.

I'm haven't quite figured out how it works that I'm car-light, my wife is not, but I'm the one who puts gas in the car. It works out though, as long as she keeps the house and yard up, including the mowing.

However, we are car-light for a family of four, owning only one car.
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Old 08-25-08, 02:48 AM   #10
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In terms of car ownership I've been car-free for all my life. That's the poll option I chose.

But I'm not "car-free" in the sense of being totally independent from cars. I guess very few people are. I rent a car several times per year, I get a taxi when needed, I take the bus quite often. Not to mention how the food I eat is delivered to the grocery store. In that sense I consider myself car-light.

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Old 08-25-08, 07:52 AM   #11
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I thought car-light was when you didn't own a car, but you had access to one you could use. For example, I don't own a car, but my wife does.
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Old 08-25-08, 09:32 AM   #12
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I thought car-light was when you didn't own a car, but you had access to one you could use. For example, I don't own a car, but my wife does.
JeffS,
FWIW I consider car free to be; not owning a motor vehicle, but still using/riding one on occasion. I consider car light to be; anybody that uses one substantially less than the average US mileage of say 12-15k miles a year.

JMHO

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 08-25-08, 10:00 AM   #13
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Just a motorcycle and a slew of bikes for me Motorcycle gets used rarely and only for long distances where biking isn't practical
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Old 08-25-08, 10:34 AM   #14
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100% bikes and buses since 2003.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:07 AM   #15
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Both my fiancee and I qualify as car-lite, if you're defining that as driving significantly less than the 12-15K yearly average like wahoonc suggested.

I commute by bike 4 days a week, and I run most of our errands by bike. Unless I'm going camping or climbing, I don't usually drive on the weekends.
The Girl is car-dependant due to her mobility impairment, but her round-trip to work only has her driving 2400 miles/year. Including additional driving last year, she put under 4000 miles on her car. Combined last year we drove under 6500 miles.

If the stupid HOA would allow Microsoft to put in a park-and-ride lot for their employee bus/shuttles, then even more people in our neighbourhood would be able to go car-lite by taking the bus to work. Unfortunately, the closest stop for The Connector is just as far away (the opposite direction from work) as The Girl drives to her office.
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Old 08-25-08, 12:11 PM   #16
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Fully retired ( I do feel sorry for the working stiffs that gotta drive ) and very car lite.
We only drive our long ago paid for vehicles to the city for supplies and doctors appointments.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 08-25-08, 01:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
JeffS,
FWIW I consider car free to be; not owning a motor vehicle, but still using/riding one on occasion. I consider car light to be; anybody that uses one substantially less than the average US mileage of say 12-15k miles a year.

JMHO

Aaron

According to that definition, I've been car-light all my life. The most I've driven/ridden a car has been six thousand miles in a year.
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Old 08-25-08, 04:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
JeffS,
FWIW I consider car free to be; not owning a motor vehicle, but still using/riding one on occasion. I consider car light to be; anybody that uses one substantially less than the average US mileage of say 12-15k miles a year.

JMHO

Aaron
COOL. I like that definition. That not only means that my wife is car-light, even though she never uses a bike for utilitarian purposes, it also means I have always been car-light. I don't think I've ever put more than 10,000 miles a year on a car.
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Old 08-25-08, 04:29 PM   #19
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I'm car light myself in that we own what is effectively my wife's car.
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Old 08-25-08, 04:37 PM   #20
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COOL. I like that definition. That not only means that my wife is car-light, even though she never uses a bike for utilitarian purposes, it also means I have always been car-light. I don't think I've ever put more than 10,000 miles a year on a car.
The key word was substantially I have been car free in the past and would love to be again, but currently the job situation won't support it. But I can keep looking, dreaming and hoping and drive as little as possible when I have the option. When I can I use Amtrak for traveling back and forth from my job site to my home. Earlier this year I made over 15 round trips by train, that is good for reducing my driving by about 6,000 miles if I had made those trips by driving. Unfortunately Amtrak has pretty poor coverage outside of a few choice corridors.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 08-25-08, 08:20 PM   #21
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i'm car free, but get rides from friends with cars. so what would that be?
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Old 08-25-08, 08:47 PM   #22
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Personal definition of car light is that the car is owned but is also the absolute last transportation alternative chosen at a given time. Used only when load carried, distance traveled within a certain amount of time, etc. necessitates the car's use.

Side question to the above poll: Is anyone else here doing car-light while still having an enthusiastic interest in cars (motorcycles/trucks)? I've always gotten the feeling that this forum isn't populated only with rabid car haters, but was never sure what the proportions were.
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Old 08-26-08, 03:15 AM   #23
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Personal definition of car light is that the car is owned but is also the absolute last transportation alternative chosen at a given time. Used only when load carried, distance traveled within a certain amount of time, etc. necessitates the car's use.

Side question to the above poll: Is anyone else here doing car-light while still having an enthusiastic interest in cars (motorcycles/trucks)? I've always gotten the feeling that this forum isn't populated only with rabid car haters, but was never sure what the proportions were.
I still enjoy custom cars...we have a full blown custom 57 Chevy BelAir Coupe street rod. Take it shows occasionally. We have a couple of trucks that we use on our semi-active farm and I have my work truck. But I still ride my bike to the grocery store 1.5 miles up the road, on a 15-20 mile loop to hit all the farm front produce stands. I ride to church some Sundays 1-12 miles depending on which one. Ride to my parents house about once a month 40 mile round trip. To me cars and trucks are a tool and should be used accordingly. I don't install screws with a hammer and driving nails sucks with a screw driver. To me cars and trucks are used for trips where the load exceeds the bicycle's capabilities or the distances and the number of people involved requires other choices. We make one official trip into town about once a month, usually 3 or 4 people will be involved and we make a round robin of all the places we need to go. If someone has to make a trip in for a doctor's appointment or some other compelling reason we check with the rest of the onsite family to see if anybody needs anything picked up while in town.

My work keeps me on the road and out of town, but that doesn't mean I don't take a bike with me for the short haul trips. I was in Lafayette, IN a few weeks ago and was able to commute from the hotel to the job site by bike, it was a whopping 4.5 miles one way However that is the exception, most of the time the motels are in an area that is non commutable or too far away from the job site(s). I also attempt to utilize local mass transit as much as possible. Current job site allows me to take Amtrak back forth on weekends, but that will soon come to an end. It saved me over 6,000 miles of windshield time so far this year.

Aaron
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Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon

Last edited by wahoonc; 08-26-08 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 08-26-08, 07:07 AM   #24
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I'm car free according to this poll's definition because I don't own a car, truck, etc. In the last year I've driven 25 feet (to move my Significant Other's car from one parking spot to another).

My situation is fairly common. I'd be happily car free if I were living alone, and that was indeed the case for a couple of years. However, I am in a relationship with a partner who owns and uses a car. Both of us have made compromises. We could run the household on bike power alone if we had to. SO was formerly car heavy, sometimes driving 60 miles round trip to pick up a few groceries. Now her car sometimes goes a week or more without moving, so obviously SO has done some compromising as well!

For me, car free living isn't primarily an ethical imperative. I think of it as a lifestyle experiment. Going into an oil-impaired future, it will be much more important to know how to live car light or car free.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:33 AM   #25
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I'm not sure my situation fits any of them.... I have to commute 16 miles each way, a lot of days I will drive 10 miles, park, and ride my bike the other 6 miles. Sometimes I drive my motorcycle, it gets 65 mpg.... I wish I lived closer to work, I wouldnt own a car.... Maybe a 2 wheel drive truck for loads of gravel and bark.
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