While car-free living is great for those of us able to do it, I think that it is more important to have cities that are sprawl-free than car-free. Although motor-traffic is a nuisance and cycling would be a lot more pleasant without motor-noise, not to mention how much nicer roads would be if they were only wide enough for bicycles and foot traffic with tree canopy over all roads, the reality is that some motor-traffic is always going to be inevitable for some reason or other. As such, I think sprawl-free planning is the most effective route to facilitating car-free living among the maximum number of people possible.
Then the question is what it takes to achieve sprawl-free cities. Density? Viable transit and bike infrastructure? Limited parking?