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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 12-08-13, 02:02 PM   #101
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Whatever your reasons for driving less, I think it's progress.
For FBinNY, yes. For those whose reason is their down on their luck circumstances (economically, physically or mentally), not necessarily so.
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Old 12-08-13, 02:36 PM   #102
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For FBinNY, yes. For those whose reason is their down on their luck circumstances (economically, physically or mentally), not necessarily so.
Even for me it's not progress, simply a choice among many.

As you point out, I at least have a choice. For many others, what bicycle advocates call progess is only another hardship.
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Old 12-08-13, 02:37 PM   #103
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Even for me it's not progress, simply a choice among many.

As you point out, I at least have a choice. For many others, what bicycle advocates call progess is only another hardship.
Well put.
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Old 12-08-13, 02:49 PM   #104
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As you point out, I at least have a choice. For many others, what bicycle advocates call progess is only another hardship.
While some people who are happy to describe the effects of distressed circumstances on individuals as "progress", might call themselves bicycle "advocates", I think a more accurate term is bicycling (or often anti-car) ideologues.
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Old 12-08-13, 02:53 PM   #105
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My point was that being a cyclist and a motorist aren't mutually exclusive (except you can't do both at the same time). After a year of not driving daily, I decided I wasn't driving enough to justify the $1,000/yr cost of insurance so turned in the plates, and switched to renting whenever I wanted a car. However driving is still part of my life, just not for daily short trips.

There's a belief among some active cyclists that it's somehow morally superior, and/or the belief that we live in a bike vs. car world. I view either as a choice, which we make based on personal considerations. I'm an active daily cyclist, but not anti-car in any way. Get around whatever way makes the most sense for you.
I would agree, except that the choices we make really do affect other people and the world in general, which raises ethical issues. You can pretend to live in a value-free world, but you really don't.
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Old 12-08-13, 03:01 PM   #106
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I would agree, except that the choices we make really do affect other people and the world in general, which raises ethical issues. You can pretend to live in a value-free world, but you really don't.

We all make decisions everyday of our lives, and the lives of others. Some are clearly ethical, like not killing someone who you can't stand. But most aren't that clear, or have that great an impact (discounting the butterfly effect). You're high-moral decision may or not coincide with others.

Since you bring up that we don't live in a value free world, might I suggest that one value decision might be to not stand in judgement of the decisions others make.

I have a simple philosophy. I expect folks to respect (or not to actively disrespect) how I live. In return, I respect how they live.
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Old 12-08-13, 03:09 PM   #107
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While some people who are happy to describe the effects of distressed circumstances on individuals as "progress", might call themselves bicycle "advocates", I think a more accurate term is bicycling (or often anti-car) ideologues.
Nobody likes to be called an ideologue (even (or especially) when it's true). I prefer to call some of the self described bicycle advocates "urbanists". It's not that they're pro-bicycle per se, it's that they have a vision of how urban life should be, and the bicycle just happens to fit in. If at any time the bicycle, (or more specifically bicyclists, -- humans), doesn't fit in with that vision, they'll have no problem regulating it until it does, or dumping bicycles in favor of walking and public transit.
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Old 12-08-13, 03:23 PM   #108
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We all make decisions everyday of our lives, and the lives of others. Some are clearly ethical, like not killing someone who you can't stand. But most aren't that clear, or have that great an impact (discounting the butterfly effect). You're high-moral decision may or not coincide with others.

Since you bring up that we don't live in a value free world, might I suggest that one value decision might be to not stand in judgement of the decisions others make.

I have a simple philosophy. I expect folks to respect (or not to actively disrespect) how I live. In return, I respect how they live.
I respect how others live. I also reserve my right to encourage others (legally, politically, and morally) to make responsible decisions that respect the common good. I don't blame or disrespect people who drive. I do try to make it easier for people to choose not to drive--by working to change infrastructure, alternative transportation, cultural norms, and so forth. Cars are not benign, and the ideological dreams of naive libertarians won't make them benign.
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Old 12-08-13, 03:34 PM   #109
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I respect how others live. .....
No you don't.

By your own words, you consider their life choices morally and ethically inferior to yours. That's fine, and there's nothing with feeling as you do, just be straight about it.
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Old 12-08-13, 04:06 PM   #110
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No you don't. By your own words, you consider their life choices morally and ethically inferior to yours. That's fine, and there's nothing with feeling as you do, just be straight about it.
No. There will always be rightful limits on human behavior. You will agree that I have no right to smack you in the face. I do believe, and I think you would agree, that face smacking is a "morally and ethically inferior"choice.

But you won't agree that I have no right to spoil the air that we all breathe. I don't get the disconnect in your moral system--face smacking is bad but polluting is a responsible lifestyle choice. But that's why we have a political system (and Internet forums, for that matter), because we disagree on the limitations of rights and need mechanisms to reconcile our disagreement.

And again, I'm not saying that people have no right to drive cars. I'm trying not to talk about it as "your rights" versus "my rights." I don't think that's a productive basis for a discussion of the Common Good or general welfare. At this time in history, the common welfare is defined as "cars are good." Society is very much stacked in favor of cars. This is a decision that was made by society, with or without your awareness. I would love to see the definition of common welfare changed to "cars are bad." Mostly because they are bad, in many ways, although we didn't know all the negative consequences when cars were adopted 100 years ago. I think change will be a gradual process but I hope it happens soon enough to actually do some good.
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Old 12-08-13, 04:21 PM   #111
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I choose words carefully. I'm sure you tolerate the behavior of people who's opinion of what's appropriate differ from yours. Tolerance is a good thing, but tolerance is not respect.

There's nothing wrong with having opinions about how to live, and including things like sustainability in those decisions. There's nothing wrong with trying to influence others to think like you, if you believe that's something you should do. There's nothing wrong with trying to use political process to change the way others live.

But the minute you decide your decisions are morally or ethically superior, then respect goes out the window, and tolerance is what's left( at best).

My problem is I don't want to open that door. If I decide that it's OK for me to impose my views on the ethical issue of driving (global warning, air, pollution, traffic noise, etc) then I open myself to folks imposing their views on me on other issues such as diet, health, sexual preference, religion, etc.

Life would be much easier if we all agreed on EVERYTHING, but we don't, so I don't tell people how to live, and don't let them tell me.
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Old 12-08-13, 04:24 PM   #112
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I still own my beat up old car, and I've found that I've come to really dislike driving. Maybe it's partly due to the condition of the car, but I think a big part is also that I hate the way I feel when I drive. My blood pressure seems to go up, I begin to lose my temper, and my patience decreases noticeably. It takes real effort to try to remain calm when my wife's in the car with me.
I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Experiences, please.
I absolutely hate driving, I have to drive cause I pick up old tires and sell them for a living. When I get home I dont want to get back in a car or truck at all. So I ride my bike year long, to get grocerys and go for a fitness ride about 5 days a week all year long in Michigan.

When I retire I will not drive at all.
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Old 12-08-13, 04:31 PM   #113
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Life would be much easier if we all agreed on EVERYTHING, but we don't, so I don't tell people how to live, and don't let them tell me.
It might be easier, but that just happens to be my personal definition of hell. I really could not stand to live in a world full of people who agree with me; it would make it too hard to learn new things and I'm too old for all that heavy lifting.
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Old 12-08-13, 04:34 PM   #114
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It might be easier, but that just happens to be my personal definition of hell. I really could not stand to live in a world full of people who agree with me; it would make it too hard to learn new things and I'm too old for all that heavy lifting.
Your irony detector needs recalibration. You'll note that I make no effort to support a world with universal agreement.
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Old 12-08-13, 05:01 PM   #115
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We all make decisions everyday of our lives, and the lives of others. Some are clearly ethical, like not killing someone who you can't stand. But most aren't that clear, or have that great an impact (discounting the butterfly effect). You're high-moral decision may or not coincide with others.

Since you bring up that we don't live in a value free world, might I suggest that one value decision might be to not stand in judgement of the decisions others make.

I have a simple philosophy. I expect folks to respect (or not to actively disrespect) how I live. In return, I respect how they live.
I thought your first posts here were genuinely reporting your experience and what seemed a valid point of view.

But I'm kind of lost on your "high moral" verbiage. And your "respect" philosophy leaves me a little lost too.

If a poster feels the automobile has considerable negative consequence for our society, should you not respect that?

At least, shouldn't you consider the possibility?
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Old 12-08-13, 05:02 PM   #116
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To be honest I don't think about driving much. It is just something at times I feel I need to do. It is a bit like taking the elevator in an office building to the 15th floor. I get in the elevator and get out without thinking about the trip between floors. That being said I do like riding my "Bikes". I like it enough that I prefer it and will not drive simply because the time or distance isn't a consideration.

I do see the point about some being more "urbanists" if that were a word. Many can just as easily post they hate or dislike driving but they also dislike riding anything that might be called a hill. So to them public transportation might be the answer. As far as moral issues the same issues exist for those who fly in this forum as it does for those who drive. At least from many of the studies that have been posted even here. So it really all does come down to respecting others decisions on life choices, at least if everything we choose is laid on the table for others to examine.

I have a good friend that is a professor at a local college near me. Last year he had solar panels installed on his house and this year he leased a Nissan Leaf. He was teasing me just today that he has a smaller carbon footprint than me even without cycling. I am not sure that is true but he was teasing and still I had to stop and think about it. Does it matter really? More than likely not because we are both doing what we feel is best for our family and our idea of what needs to be done.

But even when I used to drive tractor trailer driving never made me nervous or anxious. It was just a job and the truck was just the tool to do the job. Traffic could be bad in LA or San Francisco or even San Diego. But if a simply realized that I was going to get to my delivery whenever I got to my delivery and not a moment sooner things were cool. Same with commuter traffic. Leave earlier if you worry about being late.
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Old 12-08-13, 05:06 PM   #117
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I thought your first posts here were genuinely reporting your experience and what seemed a valid point of view.

But I'm kind of lost on your "high moral" verbiage. And your "respect" philosophy leaves me a little lost too.

If a poster feels the automobile has considerable negative consequence for our society, should you not respect that?

At least, shouldn't you not consider the possibility?
Sorry to confuse you. I have no problem with people who like, or dislike cars. I respect their decisions to live according to their preferences.

It's a fine line, but I do not consider tolerating other's decisions while feeling they fall short of ethical and need to be changed, as respecting those decisions. Tolerance is a good thing, but it falls short of respect. (of course that's just my opinion).
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Old 12-08-13, 05:14 PM   #118
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Sorry to confuse you. I have no problem with people who like, or dislike cars. I respect their decisions to live according to their preferences.
I guess I'm mostly in agreement with what you say. I know quite a few people who drive cars -- as does almost everyone who posts on LCF. Very difficult to get on the moral high ground you mention when so many seem to need to drive just to get to work or Trader Joe's out in the suburbs.

However... just so you know... I don't always respect people's decision to live according to their preferences. This really has nothing to do with cars. But I've seen some people "prefer" things that have some terrible and immediate consequences for my life and the society I live in.
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Old 12-08-13, 06:22 PM   #119
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I also don't respect all other's decisions, some I only tolerate, some less than that. I just try to keep it straight in my own mind.

As far as living car free goes. To me it's a choice, but not a cause.
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Old 12-08-13, 11:20 PM   #120
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I choose words carefully. I'm sure you tolerate the behavior of people who's opinion of what's appropriate differ from yours. Tolerance is a good thing, but tolerance is not respect.

There's nothing wrong with having opinions about how to live, and including things like sustainability in those decisions. There's nothing wrong with trying to influence others to think like you, if you believe that's something you should do. There's nothing wrong with trying to use political process to change the way others live.

But the minute you decide your decisions are morally or ethically superior, then respect goes out the window, and tolerance is what's left( at best).

My problem is I don't want to open that door. If I decide that it's OK for me to impose my views on the ethical issue of driving (global warning, air, pollution, traffic noise, etc) then I open myself to folks imposing their views on me on other issues such as diet, health, sexual preference, religion, etc.

Life would be much easier if we all agreed on EVERYTHING, but we don't, so I don't tell people how to live, and don't let them tell me.
That doesn't seem workable when the population exceeds one person, so good luck on your island. I guess you won't mind if we send our pollution and garbage over your way.
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Old 12-08-13, 11:34 PM   #121
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That doesn't seem workable when the population exceeds one person, so good luck on your island. I guess you won't mind if we send our pollution and garbage over your way.
Life's actually pretty good on this island. We're friendly and courteous, and stay that way by minding our own business, and not putting our noses where they might get out of joint.
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Old 12-09-13, 06:54 AM   #122
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Life's actually pretty good on this island. We're friendly and courteous, and stay that way by minding our own business, and not putting our noses where they might get out of joint.
OK...I'm glad it's working for you. I think it's great that you don't drive much.
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Old 01-10-14, 11:45 AM   #123
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I actually really hate driving. For a while I had a legit medical reason not to drive. After I died and was dealing with the damage hypoxia caused, for a while I just couldn't concentrate enough to drive. That went away after a while, but then I found every time I rode in a car, I got violently carsick. That too eventually went away but I found still that I really just hate driving or riding in a car. I don't own a car, but every now and then my roommate lends me his car like if it's a torrential downpour and I have to go somewhere, or if I'm driving to go see my daughter who lives 20 min away. While it's something I am now physically able to do, it's just a very disagreeable sensation to me. I have nothing holding me back, but it's just very not fun. Other drivers take the whole gig way too seriously and will scream for you to go to hell just because you drifted an inch to center, or because you're going 44 mph in a school zone and they're trying to catch McDonald's breakfast. When I ride in a car I still get slightly carsick, but more or less, I am convinced we are about to get in a wreck at all times. I'll go places with my girlfriend and sometimes I have to legit put my hands over my eyes because I'm convinced we're about to go all Red Asphalt.

My intense dislike of driving is a big part of what pushed me to go car free. When I have to drive, I usually get home and have a stiff drink or lay with a hot towel on my face to calm down. Because it's just awful for me. If I can avoid being in a car, I will.
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Old 01-10-14, 02:23 PM   #124
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If driving was like they show in the car sales commercials, all the time, it would be fine.
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Old 01-10-14, 02:37 PM   #125
Brannigan
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I used to buy old Porsches, Audi's, and other Euro cars but over the years I find that I just use cars for utilitarian purposes like going fishing/camping or shopping with my wife and boys. Driving stresses me out too, although I admit that I would not mind an 80's Lancia Delta for winding mtn roads BUT, I will never stop riding my bike every day... until time takes its toll. I love bikes as much as the air I breathe. BTW, I am (literally) giving away my Volvo wagon in trade for a moped this spring. The wife's Jeep will do for our car needs.
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