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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 06-19-14, 12:40 AM   #26
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Thanks! I used to spend $120+ a month on gas. Now it's down to about $5 a month. My monthly bus pass used to cost $144. Now I only pay per ride and the monthly cost is about $20 since I ride to work most of the time. This means I save more than $200 a month. And I'm a lot healthier.
And, like you indicated earlier, that $200 can easily cover a big upgrade in housing quality or a better location.
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Old 06-19-14, 12:53 AM   #27
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Got an SO and/or any dependents? If so, how did the move affect them?
I'm married with no children. Another reason we moved was that my wife wanted to live closer to the city for "more liveliness." Job-wise, it was kinda funny because the move did get her closer to her job at that time, but then she switched jobs, where her new workplace is closer to our old home. That's about 100 extra miles of driving per month for her. My saving still outweighs it, which is good.
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Old 06-19-14, 01:05 AM   #28
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Not all suburbs are created equal. I used to live in one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in San Francisco. I moved to a suburb when my job moved, and discovered that it is much better for biking, has better access to public transportation, and has more amenities within walking distance than my old neighborhood in the city.

There's also a lot of new infill development taking place here, and nearly all of it is higher density multi-family buildings, sometimes mixed with retail and office space. The location on a peninsula tends to contain sprawl, of course, and about half the Peninsula consists of protected open space where no development is allowed.
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Old 06-19-14, 01:27 AM   #29
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No "Sardine Can" for me. How many of you "Car-Free" can hop in the Silverado with bikes in the back and spend a 4 day weekend running the Centennial Trail in the Black Hills of SD?? While "car light", I am NOT going to be told where or where not to live. Many would like to see legislation that would create these so-called "Urban Utopias", it is not for me and many others. It is a little thing called FREEDOM. Those who have served and shed blood for this understand the concept.
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Old 06-19-14, 01:37 AM   #30
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Not all suburbs are created equal. I used to live in one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in San Francisco. I moved to a suburb when my job moved, and discovered that it is much better for biking, has better access to public transportation, and has more amenities within walking distance than my old neighborhood in the city.

There's also a lot of new infill development taking place here, and nearly all of it is higher density multi-family buildings, sometimes mixed with retail and office space. The location on a peninsula tends to contain sprawl, of course, and about half the Peninsula consists of protected open space where no development is allowed.
I agree the city itself is compact and well designed, and even if you include Berkeley and Oakland it isn't bad at all. But my god! The sprawl of the entire "Bay Area" is incredible--possibly worse than Los Angeles. And the social unrest is starting to get ugly, related to the skyrocketing property values and housing costs. (Of course, I'm basing this on what I've read recently and a couple visits years ago. Your perspective as a current resident is more valid.)

And I do know what you mean about all suburbs not being equal. I lived briefly in a suburb that was very walkable, had centrally located shopping and amenities, and express bus service to the city every 20 minutes. Contrast that to some inner city neighborhoods that have no shopping and a local bus downtown only every 45 minutes. This suburb would be the hands down winner for a carfree person or family, in this particular case.
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Old 06-19-14, 01:41 AM   #31
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No "Sardine Can" for me. How many of you "Car-Free" can hop in the Silverado with bikes in the back and spend a 4 day weekend running the Centennial Trail in the Black Hills of SD?? While "car light", I am NOT going to be told where or where not to live. Many would like to see legislation that would create these so-called "Urban Utopias", it is not for me and many others. It is a little thing called FREEDOM. Those who have served and shed blood for this understand the concept.
Whats a silverado? Some kind of mountain bike?
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Old 06-19-14, 01:51 AM   #32
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Whats a silverado? Some kind of mountain bike?
I think he's referring to one of these.

It's no sardine can.

I'd have a "hog tax" placed on such vehicles, take away the subsidies on gasoline and the billions of dollars of subsidies that Big Oil rakes in every year, and stop building freeways out into the far-away exburbs where these "freedom lovers" live. Those measures would go a long way to nipping sprawl in the bud.

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Old 06-19-14, 02:05 AM   #33
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I can't hop in a car and go to the Black Hills because, well, I don't have a car and it would be a really long drive anyway! But what I can do from here is get on a regular public transit bus and ride it to the trailhead for a multi-day backpacking trip, without needing a car.
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Old 06-19-14, 02:15 AM   #34
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I can't hop in a car and go to the Black Hills because, well, I don't have a car and it would be a really long drive anyway! But what I can do from here is get on a regular public transit bus and ride it to the trailhead for a multi-day backpacking trip, without needing a car.
Good public transit is key if we want to curtail sprawl.
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Old 06-19-14, 02:18 AM   #35
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Not all suburbs are created equal. I used to live in one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in San Francisco. I moved to a suburb when my job moved, and discovered that it is much better for biking, has better access to public transportation, and has more amenities within walking distance than my old neighborhood in the city.
I agree.

When I was car-free in Winnipeg, I lived in a suburb about as far away from the centre of the city as you could get ... right next to open countryside. But it was lovely. I had several choices for shopping in different directions, my doctor and physiotherapist were nearby, my library and church were just up the road, there were cafes and restaurants nearby, and work was only 6.7 km away. I could cycle to work quite easily, I could walk to many other places, and there was decent public transportation if I wanted to go a bit further afield. And cycling longer distances was so easy from that location because I could be out in the country and off in any direction within minutes. Living in a relatively remote suburb was ideal.
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Old 06-19-14, 02:22 AM   #36
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Whats a silverado? Some kind of mountain bike?
It's a large SUV which could house a number of bicycles.
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Old 06-19-14, 03:37 AM   #37
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I think he's referring to one of these.

It's no sardine can.

I'd have a "hog tax" placed on such vehicles, take away the subsidies on gasoline and the billions dollars of subsidies that Big Oil rake in every year, and stop building freeways out into the far-away exburbs where these "freedom lovers" live. Those measures would go a long way to nipping sprawl in the bud.
I have been to Spain on a few occasions, namely Benidorm, Palma De Majorca and Rota. The Place isn't much bigger than Texas. Come play around in the Real wide open spaces and maybe you will see just how flawed your thinking is.
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Old 06-19-14, 04:02 AM   #38
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I'm married with no children. Another reason we moved was that my wife wanted to live closer to the city for "more liveliness." Job-wise, it was kinda funny because the move did get her closer to her job at that time, but then she switched jobs, where her new workplace is closer to our old home. That's about 100 extra miles of driving per month for her. My saving still outweighs it, which is good.
So it made economic sense for the both of you to move closer to work (at the time). Cool .

Unfortunately, we have kids and that introduces other variables into the 'where to live' matrix- quality of schools, local crime rate, location/condition of parks, daycare (depending on age of child)... we headed for the outskirts of the city and then on in to a 'burb proper a couple of years after that because it afforded us the best value for space, better schools, and perceived safety.
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Old 06-19-14, 04:23 AM   #39
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So it made economic sense for the both of you to move closer to work (at the time). Cool .

Unfortunately, we have kids and that introduces other variables into the 'where to live' matrix- quality of schools, local crime rate, location/condition of parks, daycare (depending on age of child)... we headed for the outskirts of the city and then on in to a 'burb proper a couple of years after that because it afforded us the best value for space, better schools, and perceived safety.

Yes, it gets complicated as soon as you've got more than one person to think about.


Rowan's and my situation adds a different extra variable for us ... we work about 40 km apart. We can't live within walking or easy cycling distance to both our places of employment.
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Old 06-19-14, 04:24 AM   #40
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I think we should keep in mind that suburb and sprawl are not the same thing.

A lot of people like suburbs, but I think it's fair to say that everybody hates sprawl. Suburbs can be beautiful places for carfree people and motorists to live. Sprawl is wasted space, inefficient, ugly, not nice for children and other living things.

Referring back to the OP, what can be done to allow spacious suburbs without having as much sprawl?

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.
Then the question is what it takes to achieve sprawl-free cities. Density? Viable transit and bike infrastructure? Limited parking?
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Old 06-19-14, 04:38 AM   #41
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I think we should keep in mind that suburb and sprawl are not the same thing.

A lot of people like suburbs, but I think it's fair to say that everybody hates sprawl. Suburbs can be beautiful places for carfree people and motorists to live. Sprawl is wasted space, inefficient, ugly, not nice for children and other living things.

Referring back to the OP, what can be done to allow spacious suburbs without having as much sprawl?
Can you give us an example of your definition of sprawl ... an actual place that contains what you describe as sprawl.
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Old 06-19-14, 07:15 AM   #42
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Can you give us an example of your definition of sprawl ... an actual place that contains what you describe as sprawl.
The problem is some of us are discussing sprawl and some of us are discussing what we/they believe sprawl to be. Humorously enough the Wikipedia discussing urban sprawl says this:

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Discussions and debates about sprawl are often made unclear by the uncertainty of the meaning associated with the phrase. For example, some commentators measure sprawl only with the average number of residential units per acre in a given area. But others associate it with decentralization(spread of population without a well-defined centre), discontinuity (leapfrog development, as defined below), segregation of uses, and so forth.


Urban sprawl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-19-14, 07:35 AM   #43
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What?
In almost every American city, the pattern has been for the wealthy and middle class to live in the suburbs and the poor and working class to live in the central city. There are only a few exceptions to this.
I was a bit unclear.I was trying to say there were parts of USA cities much like the OP wanted-low sprawl-high population density parts of cities where most folks walk or take public transportation(or expensive taxis). MANHATTAN parts of San Francisco.
My point is those areas of the city are impossibly expensive.

Asia has high density cities-don't think they are tree lined-despite the building being relatively low.

Many streets in NOLA are tree lined- huge trees-actual canopy-but they aren't high density-1,2 stories-with a bit of a yard
We used to have excellent public transportation-trolleys-but not any more.We have a few trolleys but mainly stinky diesel buses(that have lost some of their sooty stench lately)
Maybe folks could post pictures of high density streets neighborhoods or cities??

Yeah post pictures-1000 words etc
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Old 06-19-14, 07:46 AM   #44
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Maybe folks could post pictures of high density streets neighborhoods or cities??

Yeah post pictures-1000 words etc

Yes ... to the OP (and Roody) show us examples of what you don't like ... and what you do like.

If you don't have photographs, maybe do up some sketches ... artist's renderings.

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Old 06-19-14, 07:52 AM   #45
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You have a tough sell on this forum! Cars are needed in sprawl zones, and most of us on the carfree forum don't want cars.

The notion that this is a huge country so we can do anything we want has been well proven to be false.

And is this what you mean by "easy access"? As in most of Sprawlsville, the access is easy in a car, difficult on a bike, suicide for a pedestrian!

I just see an arterial 4 lane road... What are you getting at with this picture?
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Old 06-19-14, 08:01 AM   #46
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So in your assessment most people prefer sprawl? I.e. they don't just deal with it because that's what they have to deal with but they actually prefer to spend their time driving long distances and getting stuck in traffic? I can't imagine who would advocate sprawl except people who can't think of a better way to make money than automotive industries, insurance, road and parking lot construction and maintenance, etc. Why else would people prefer sprawl to bikeable/walkable living? The only other answer I've thought of for this is that sprawl creates a lifestyle where people are basically invisible in public and they use their motor-vehicles to go from private venue to private venue. To me this seems like a control obsession but to the people that prefer it, public living must seem like a security nightmare.
I like this
bird feeder
bees
bird seed thieving squirrels-
the tomatoes(yeah not much on weeding)-
salvia
bird bath somewhat over grown back yard(neighbors have not much say in how you keep your back yard)

Lots of folks want to grow "stuff" and see various "wildlife" bees squirrels raccoons possums worms rats mice snakes doves
high density cities are deserts-or monocultures growing people and pigeons rats
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Old 06-19-14, 08:13 AM   #47
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I just see an arterial 4 lane road... What are you getting at with this picture?
IMO, some of our LCF comrades have a fondness for sugar coating a return to the good old days of anti-sprawl, high density car free living for the urban masses. Not everybody can live the life of an urban hipster/Yuppie with high income and no family responsibilities.




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Old 06-19-14, 08:19 AM   #48
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I just don't get the take away what you want to get what I want mentality. It's selfish. If you want to live in a dense city with mass transit suitable to your needs then move to one.
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Old 06-19-14, 08:24 AM   #49
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  1. Close urban freeways
  2. Land use plans (zoning) that creates green belts around cities
  3. Zoning that permits infill development to increase density in sprawl zones
  4. Better public transit in most areas...
  5. But NO public transit in sprawl zones
  6. No extension of utilities and roadways

My hunch is that #6 is the most effective and the most easily accomplished. They won't build a new Home Depot if it doesn't have electricity, sewage, and a big ol' road!
In your city- VERY RICH will live in the middle
The working poor and many lower middle class will be pushed to the crummy perimeter with no public transportation no utilities- poor policing they will be forced to make their way to the rich urban center to work for the more affluent
The GOV subsidized poor will be a bit better off that the working poor-they will live in "projects" just like the 50's-60's 70's etc-
"Metropolis"-but not underground.

We need a solution to economic disparity before we "make more livable cities for the very affluent"
Your solution will be just fine for the affluent-hell Lexus Liberals are usually the ones whining loudest about wanting "livable cities"

but just try to park wind turbines off their coast-Mass-and see how quickly those Lexus Liberals whine about "ruining their views"(many of those folks actually live most of the time in Manhattan-liveable city-the Cape Cod cottages -second homes)
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Old 06-19-14, 08:31 AM   #50
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Yes ... to the OP (and Roody) show us examples of what you don't like ... and what you do like.

If you don't have photographs, maybe do up some sketches ... artist's renderings.
Sorry, I'm not interested in yet another pictorial display. Anybody can use a web search to find 100,000 pictures of sprawl, if there's even somebody alive who doesn't know what it is. We need to use our words more, IMO. Let's try to get beyond simple description and have a meaningful discussion.



***************************

I found one definition of sprawl that might be useful. (I didn't copy the whole thing because of copyright, so use the link.)
"Sprawl is generally defined as the increased development of land in suburban and rural areas outside of their respective urban centers. This increased development of real estate in the outskirts of towns, villages and metropolitan areas is quite often accompanied by a lack of development, redevelopment or reuse of land within the urban centers themselves....

Framed in other terms, sprawl refers to the slow decentralization of human occupancy. That is, communities are requiring more land and space to supply the same given population with homes, workplaces, shopping locations and recreation spaces."
A Definition of Sprawl

If you're not fond of this definition, find one or invent one of your own. I'm not even the OP!
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