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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 04-30-12, 04:34 PM   #1
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7 Reasons Not To Own A Car

"I'm proud to call myself a straphanger: somebody who relies on public transit for most of his or her urban travel.

I'm not alone. Half the population of New York, Toronto, and London do not own cars, and transit is how most of the people of Asia and Africa, the world's most populous continents, travel. In North America, the Millennial generation, who now outnumber the Boomers, are fleeing the 'burbs for old city centers by the millions, and have far fewer hang-ups about fare cards and bus passes than their parents' generation. (A recent survey found that half of American teenagers would now rather have a new smartphone than a new car)."

Read the full article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taras-...e=It_costs_too
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Old 04-30-12, 06:12 PM   #2
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"I'm proud to call myself a straphanger: somebody who relies on public transit for most of his or her urban travel.

I'm not alone. Half the population of New York, Toronto, and London do not own cars, and transit is how most of the people of Asia and Africa, the world's most populous continents, travel. In North America, the Millennial generation, who now outnumber the Boomers, are fleeing the 'burbs for old city centers by the millions, and have far fewer hang-ups about fare cards and bus passes than their parents' generation. (A recent survey found that half of American teenagers would now rather have a new smartphone than a new car)."

Read the full article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taras-...e=It_costs_too
I feel a book purchase coming on...Go Taras Grescoe!
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Old 04-30-12, 08:25 PM   #3
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So, there may actually be HOPE.......

I know the car will never totally go away, but as a cornerstone of STATUS, it needs to. Let it become the utilitarian machine it's best for, and leave the 'phallic extension' alone.
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Old 05-01-12, 03:32 AM   #4
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I know the car will never totally go away, but as a cornerstone of STATUS, it needs to.
+1000
It's a very useful TOOL, but when having a car became an end in and of itself, that's where things went wrong.
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Old 05-01-12, 03:36 AM   #5
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+1000
It's a very useful TOOL, but when having a car became an end in and of itself, that's where things went wrong.
That's how cars started, as a status symbol and a toy for the rich. It wasn't until later that they became practical transportation.
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Old 05-01-12, 07:54 AM   #6
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I"m all for having fewer cars on the road. The article is clearly urban centric though. We can't all live in urban centers.

BTW, DX-Man, today's status symbol is the cell/smart phone. And they will become an environmental nightmare eventually because the industry is built on disposability / frequent replacement.
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Old 05-01-12, 08:04 AM   #7
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I"m all for having fewer cars on the road. The article is clearly urban centric though. We can't all live in urban centers.
I'll take that a step further. Not all urban centers have public transit adequate to get around the city. In the local area, Dallas (1.2 million) has a combination of commuter rail, light rail and bus. If you're not too far from the rail, you're all set. Fort Worth (750k) has bus service that, in the words of a friend, only "smelly people" ride. (I've looked into it and it takes forever to get where I need to go; could probably walk it almost as fast.) Arlington, also in the same area, has about half the population of Fort Worth, and they have no public transit at all (proudly the largest American city to make that claim).
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Old 05-01-12, 08:10 AM   #8
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"I'm not alone. Half the population of New York, Toronto, and London do not own cars, and transit is how most of the people of Asia and Africa, the world's most populous continents, travel.
BTW, there's a reason why the per capita auto ownership in these cities is so low. It's called population density. The same can be said for the biggest urban centers in Asia too. The writer is taking some liberties by not pointing these things out, but simply making it seem like people living in these areas are just more at the forefront of the environmental movement. That's not entirely true, and uban living has associated excess and waste that isn't found in less urban environements.

And the author also doesnt' bother to mention that China in 2011 produced more motor vehicles than the U.S. and Japan combined.

I am totally for fewer cars. I commute by bike almost every day from March through mid December - 28 mile round trip. I would LOVE to see more bike commuters in my area. But I'm sick of writers taking the easy way out, using statistics in misleading ways.

One other thing that truly concerns me about the movement by the "millenial" generation to live greener and eschew the automobile -- is that it's a temporary thing. It's "in" to do it right now. But how many will stick with it when it's no longer the current cool fad? It will be interesting to see.

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Old 05-01-12, 10:23 AM   #9
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I'll take that a step further. Not all urban centers have public transit adequate to get around the city. In the local area, Dallas (1.2 million) has a combination of commuter rail, light rail and bus. If you're not too far from the rail, you're all set. Fort Worth (750k) has bus service that, in the words of a friend, only "smelly people" ride. (I've looked into it and it takes forever to get where I need to go; could probably walk it almost as fast.) Arlington, also in the same area, has about half the population of Fort Worth, and they have no public transit at all (proudly the largest American city to make that claim).
I drove to Plano last weekend. I couldn't believe what bad shape the roads were in around Plano nor the gridlock on the freeways at a non-peak hour.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 05-01-12, 10:53 AM   #10
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u[r]ban living has associated excess and waste that isn't found in less urban environements.
Could you expound on that, please?
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Old 05-01-12, 11:33 AM   #11
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I'll take that a step further. Not all urban centers have public transit adequate to get around the city. In the local area, Dallas (1.2 million) has a combination of commuter rail, light rail and bus. If you're not too far from the rail, you're all set. Fort Worth (750k) has bus service that, in the words of a friend, only "smelly people" ride. (I've looked into it and it takes forever to get where I need to go; could probably walk it almost as fast.) Arlington, also in the same area, has about half the population of Fort Worth, and they have no public transit at all (proudly the largest American city to make that claim).

But with a bicycle, public transit isn't necessary either. There's NO bus in my town (unless you count the wheelchair van that goes to all the nursing homes and takes people to the hospital/drs office) and the taxi company only has two vehicles and stops service after 3am. But I haven't used my car since the beginning of April, and have suffered no inconvenience.
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Old 05-01-12, 01:03 PM   #12
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But with a bicycle, public transit isn't necessary either. I haven't used my car since the beginning of April, and have suffered no inconvenience.
If you were trying to cross the greater Dallas area say Ft. Worth to Plano in the middle of summer you might find yourself wishing for better public transit.
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Old 05-01-12, 03:04 PM   #13
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If you were trying to cross the greater Dallas area say Ft. Worth to Plano in the middle of summer you might find yourself wishing for better public transit.
It was more a comment on the American myth that one must live in a metropolis to be car free. In many ways, it's easier to live CF in small town America.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:13 PM   #14
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1. It costs too much.
2. It will take you places you might not want to go.
3. It's just not good for you.
4. We've already figured out a way to get around cities without cars. (shows picture of a bicycle)
5. There are so many cool alternatives.
6. In the future, you might not need one.
7. Cities are a lot nicer without cars.

There, I just save you a slide show
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Old 05-02-12, 12:54 PM   #15
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BTW, there's a reason why the per capita auto ownership in these cities is so low. It's called population density. The same can be said for the biggest urban centers in Asia too. The writer is taking some liberties by not pointing these things out, but simply making it seem like people living in these areas are just more at the forefront of the environmental movement. That's not entirely true, and uban living has associated excess and waste that isn't found in less urban environements.

And the author also doesnt' bother to mention that China in 2011 produced more motor vehicles than the U.S. and Japan combined.

I am totally for fewer cars. I commute by bike almost every day from March through mid December - 28 mile round trip. I would LOVE to see more bike commuters in my area. But I'm sick of writers taking the easy way out, using statistics in misleading ways.

One other thing that truly concerns me about the movement by the "millenial" generation to live greener and eschew the automobile -- is that it's a temporary thing. It's "in" to do it right now. But how many will stick with it when it's no longer the current cool fad? It will be interesting to see.
I don't think the author was trying to deceive anybody. He knows the role of density, and assumes that his readers do also. Also, last year for the first time, more than half of the world's people were living in cities. Improvements will have the biggest impact if they're made where most of the people live. This goes for the Millennial generation also. they are the most urban generation, so naturally they are the ones most interested in bikes, buses and subways.

Also were you being deceptive when you mentioned that China ties the US (but doesn't beat the US and Japan combined) in car sales. For one thing, tthat is no longer true, as US auto production, coming out of a depression, has rebounded past China this year. You also forgot to mention that China also leads world production in solar panels, wind turbines, high speed trains, coal powered generators, and plastic duckies--as well as automobiles. As a population leader, one would expect them to lead the world in almost everything.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:26 PM   #16
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Also were you being deceptive when you mentioned that China ties the US (but doesn't beat the US and Japan combined) in car sales.
I didn't say sales. I said production. I also said motor vehicles, not cars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...cle_production

And the solar industry is on the verge of collapse. Do not hold that out as a model for any positive change at this point.

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Old 05-02-12, 08:34 PM   #17
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Could you expound on that, please?
Actually Ekdog I would, but my statement is based on my own observations and thoughts from living in New York City for six years, contrasted with living in some very rural areas both before and after the time in NY. So I don't' have facts, and without that there is a certain person who frequents this sub-forum who will just rip apart my comments since they might not support what he wants to hold as truth.

But if you think about it, and if you've lived in very urban areas as well as rural areas, you can probably figure it out.
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Old 05-02-12, 09:42 PM   #18
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Actually Ekdog I would, but my statement is based on my own observations and thoughts from living in New York City for six years, contrasted with living in some very rural areas both before and after the time in NY. So I don't' have facts, and without that there is a certain person who frequents this sub-forum who will just rip apart my comments since they might not support what he wants to hold as truth.

But if you think about it, and if you've lived in very urban areas as well as rural areas, you can probably figure it out.
I don't care if you don't have facts or figures. Anecdotes and narratives are uusually more interesting and often more important. (But if you do use figures and I don't think they're accurate, I will challenge your figures. And I expect the same from you too.)

I'm sorry if I came across as too zealous (or worse). The last thing I want to do is cut off the flow of ideas.

So please, if you have the time I'd like to hear about your experiences.
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Old 05-02-12, 09:57 PM   #19
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Yeah Roody, you're so harsh. I thought he might be talking about me.

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Old 05-02-12, 11:11 PM   #20
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So I don't' have facts, and without that there is a certain person who frequents this sub-forum who will just rip apart my comments since they might not support what he wants to hold as truth.

But if you think about it, and if you've lived in very urban areas as well as rural areas, you can probably figure it out.
If you make a statement, you should be able to back it up with facts or at least anecdotal evidence.

I hardly think the poster you allude to wants to "rip apart" what you're saying, but if he disagrees with you, he'll probably point out where he believes you're wrong and tell us why. Then others will jump in and support one side or the other or give us different points of view altogether and we can all compare the arguments and decide for ourselves which seem more logical. It's that kind of back and forth that makes forums useful and educational.

You oughtn't to take challenges to your statements personally. The idea is to disagree without becoming disagreeable. By the way, I admire the fact that you commute twenty-eight miles a day by bike. That's amazing!

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Old 05-03-12, 06:42 PM   #21
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By the way, I admire the fact that you commute twenty-eight miles a day by bike. That's amazing!
Agreed.
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Old 05-05-12, 08:57 AM   #22
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Old 05-05-12, 10:01 AM   #23
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It was more a comment on the American myth that one must live in a metropolis to be car free. In many ways, it's easier to live CF in small town America.
I agree with living CF in a smaller town, if you choose wisely. I have seen a few too many small towns were there is no industry or jobs that pay a reasonable wage, unless you plan to work for minimum wage. If you go to city-data.com check out the number of people that commute into or out of a given town for an insight on this.

My choices would be a town in the 10,000-35,000 size range with access to interstate transit and a range of industries near by.

Aaron
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Old 05-05-12, 02:23 PM   #24
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Bought the book a couple days ago and can`t put it down. It`s excellent.
I'm thinking of getting the book too. What do you like best about it?
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Old 05-05-12, 05:58 PM   #25
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I agree with living CF in a smaller town, if you choose wisely. I have seen a few too many small towns were there is no industry or jobs that pay a reasonable wage, unless you plan to work for minimum wage. If you go to city-data.com check out the number of people that commute into or out of a given town for an insight on this.

My choices would be a town in the 10,000-35,000 size range with access to interstate transit and a range of industries near by.

Aaron
I lived in a small town about 20 miles from work for a short time. I had a car when I moved there, but it died on the freeway on my way home from a night shift. To get from small town to my work in the city, I had to take a shuttle van to a shopping mallo on the outskirts of the city, transfer to a city bus, and walk the last mile. When I got out of work at 11:30 PM, I had to hope for a ride from a neighbor who worked evenings in the city. The commute was often 3 hours each way to go 20 miles. On my days off, the only place to shop within walking distance was a Walmart. There were no movies, concerts or decent restaurants in the small town. It was hell, and I moved back to the city within a couple weeks.

Of course it would have been much better if I a)worked right in that small town and b)rode a bike. But I still wouldn't live carfree ina small town unless it also had GOOD public transit within the town and to the nearest large city.
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