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Myths and misconceptions about living car free

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Myths and misconceptions about living car free

Old 07-17-17, 06:27 AM
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Myths and misconceptions about living car free

This was inspired by a comment in another thread. Even within the regular group we may have different ideas about what car-free and car-light living are all about, but personally I think people are often reacting to what they think the other person's views or positions are, rather than what they actually are. I also think new people joining the forum sometimes come with preconceptions that affect how they participate - for example sometimes acting defensive or hostile from the OP.


So let's talk about what we think LCF/LCL is or isn't, and in particular what we think is misunderstood, so at least if we have disagreements we agree on what we are disagreeing on

And let's be civil.

Last edited by cooker; 07-17-17 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 07-17-17, 06:52 AM
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Old 07-17-17, 08:05 AM
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Thanks Machka.

Here's another example from a recent post in another thread: Can you be car-free and ride in an ambulance?
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Old 07-17-17, 02:02 PM
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I am 100% sure I will be miss-interpreted, and shouldn't post my thoughts on this subject... But I will anyways.

I find it hard to believe anyone can/could live a "normal" life in this car/vehicle culture being 100% car/vehicle use free. Maybe personally car free and not own one, but the use of a car/vehicle is almost a must to live in todays environment.

Now what IS a vehicle,? anything with wheels and a motor.

Car/vehicle light in my opinion is about the best one can do...

So myth number one is that you think you are living without a car/vehicle in your life, as the second you get into a vehicle, even just once a year...
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Old 07-17-17, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
I am 100% sure I will be miss-interpreted, and shouldn't post my thoughts on this subject... But I will anyways.

I find it hard to believe anyone can/could live a "normal" life in this car/vehicle culture being 100% car/vehicle use free. Maybe personally car free and not own one, but the use of a car/vehicle is almost a must to live in todays environment.

Now what IS a vehicle,? anything with wheels and a motor.

Car/vehicle light in my opinion is about the best one can do...

So myth number one is that you think you are living without a car/vehicle in your life, as the second you get into a vehicle, even just once a year...
Thanks for posting.

I partly agree, in that I think it is a misconception that anyone expects to, or strives to, have nothing whatsoever to do with motor vehicles ever. However, people who describe themselves as car-free really mean free of the burden of car-ownership, and not reliant on cars on a day to day basis. As I've said before, it's more akin to the harm reduction model than a 12-step total abstinence model; or more akin to a "sugar-free" or "gluten-free" model, where you define "x-free" as being below a very low threshold, but not necessarily untraceable.

But I think not everybody is on board with this, and so some may feel that any kind of exposure to motor vehicles means a self-described "car-free" person is a fail - ha ha, you rode in an ambulance - you're not car-free!

So really we're arguing about semantics - if you ride in somebody else's car once a year, can you call yourself "car-free" or should you use a different term?

Last edited by cooker; 07-17-17 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker
Thanks Machka.

Here's another example from a recent post in another thread: Can you be car-free and ride in an ambulance?
There's a rare phobia among some of the more dedicated that's known as unwillfulcartripinus. It's the fear you'll be knocked unconscious and transported in an ambulance against your will. No chance to bleed to death in the street defending important principles.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:34 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deja_Vu_All_Over_Again
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Old 07-17-17, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker
Thanks for posting.

I partly agree, in that I think it is a misconception that anyone expects to, or strives to, have nothing whatsoever to do with motor vehicles ever. However, people who describe themselves as car-free really mean free of the burden of car-ownership, and not reliant on cars on a day to day basis. As I've said before, it's more akin to the harm reduction model than a 12-step total abstinence model; or more akin to a "sugar-free" or "gluten-free" model, where you define "x-free" as being below a very low threshold, but not necessarily untraceable.

But I think not everybody is on board with this, and so some may feel that any kind of exposure to motor vehicles means a self-described "car-free" person is a fail - ha ha, you rode in an ambulance - you're not car-free!

So really we're arguing about semantics - if you ride in somebody else's car once a year, can you call yourself "car-free" or should you use a different term?
I agree, that IS the best way to see it, not owning a car is the first step to be car free. However, now comes the how often you ride IN a car/vehicle, and at what point are you not really car free but are actually car light, even tho you do not own a car/vehicle...? Not really semantics unless you do take a ride in an ambulance and someone says you are no longer car free and that was your only ride in a vehicle the whole year...
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Old 07-17-17, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
I agree, that IS the best way to see it, not owning a car is the first step to be car free. However, now comes the how often you ride IN a car/vehicle, and at what point are you not really car free but are actually car light, even tho you do not own a car/vehicle...? Not really semantics unless you do take a ride in an ambulance and someone says you are no longer car free and that was your only ride in a vehicle the whole year...
Who gives a crap what somebody else things is "carfree"? Set your own ideals and associate motivating phraseology with them and screw the rest of it. The beauty of being an adult in the free world is I can call myself carfree and there's not a damn thing you can do to stop me.
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Old 07-17-17, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S
There's a rare phobia among some of the more dedicated that's known as unwillfulcartripinus. It's the fear you'll be knocked unconscious and transported in an ambulance against your will. No chance to bleed to death in the street defending important principles.
I think the condition you describe is related to a fear that the person might be transported to an ER and be discovered wearing dirty underwear.

Everyone can call this phobia whatever they like, just like applying or denying the meaningless label of "car-free" to whomever they like for whatever reasons they like. Who gives a darn except ideologues suffering from OCD?
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Old 07-17-17, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S
Who gives a crap what somebody else things is "carfree"? Set your own ideals and associate motivating phraseology with them and screw the rest of it. The beauty of being an adult in the free world is I can call myself carfree and there's not a damn thing you can do to stop me.
You can call yourself car free all you like and most people will take it at face value that you ARE.

BUT, It starts to fall apart when and if you also say you take taxis, rent cars, borrow cars, take rides from others... At a certain point, people will start to say No, you are NOT car free. You may still be car light but, not really car free even tho you may not own a car.
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Old 07-17-17, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I think the condition you describe is related to a fear that the person might be transported to an ER and be discovered wearing dirty underwear.

Everyone can call this phobia whatever they like, just like applying or denying the meaningless label of "car-free" to whomever they like for whatever reasons they like. Who gives a darn except ideologues suffering from OCD?
Who can resist debating what carfree "really means" AGAIN!
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Old 07-17-17, 04:29 PM
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I think there will always be ideologues on any topic, so no surprise about seeing them here.

But keeping it simple LCF, is exactly what the name implies, no more, no less. I don't see the world in black and white, so one doesn't have to be 100% absolutely car free to consider himself to be LCF.

By the same token, some may believe that living someplace where the great majority are carless, ie. Manhatten, doesn't count, but I think that's putting too fine an edge on it.

IMO anyone making a conscious decision to forgo, or significantly reduce dependence on cars can consider himself car free or car lite, depending on where he chooses to draw the line.

Keep in mind that I have no interest in debating the reasons behind being car free. Just the realities of the lifestyle, the benefits and challenges, and the possible solutions to problems one encounters when LCF.

The LCF forum should be a big tent, but devoid of preachers. After all, just the fact that folks are is good enough.
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Old 07-17-17, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S
Who can resist debating what carfree "really means" AGAIN!
Who can resist watching a train wreck... Not many. Relax, this is just light banter...

Last edited by 350htrr; 07-17-17 at 05:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-17-17, 05:52 PM
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My Myth number 2; You think you are doing good by not driving, well probably. or at least not as much "harm" as those drivers out there...

BUT, there are way better/more effective ways to reduce your "footprint" than just not owning/using a vehicle... Become a vegetarian, no, really, your impact on this world will be way less. "Assuming" that is why you chose not to drive, and yes there are other reasons too as to why not to drive. Coming later.

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Old 07-17-17, 07:13 PM
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The biggest myth is that someday I'll meet a nice girl on a bike...


oh wait...that's a myth in general.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Who can resist watching a train wreck... Not many. Relax, this is just light banter...

That's my favorite smilie.
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Old 07-17-17, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S
Who can resist debating what carfree "really means" AGAIN!
Apparently almost everybody, witness the number of people viewing, let alone participating on the Living Car Free List at any time, day or night, compared to almost every other discussion list on BF.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
just like applying or denying the meaningless label of "car-free" to whomever they like for whatever reasons they like. Who gives a darn except ideologues suffering from OCD?
You seem to give a darn, because you frequently opine on the topic. What's your concern if people call themselves car light or car free if you think the labels are meaningless? Is there any harm being done if someone calls themself car free and rarely is seen in a car?
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Old 07-17-17, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S
Who can resist debating what carfree "really means" AGAIN!
We don't have to debate that unless people want to, and you certainly don't have to. Are there any other myths or misconceptions you think need to be validated or debunked?
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Old 07-17-17, 09:19 PM
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The majority of people who are car free simply don't own a car. They have no problem riding in them. They are car free because it's practical for them.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
You can call yourself car free all you like and most people will take it at face value that you ARE.

BUT, It starts to fall apart when and if you also say you take taxis, rent cars, borrow cars, take rides from others... At a certain point, people will start to say No, you are NOT car free. You may still be car light but, not really car free even tho you may not own a car.
Where do you think that point is?
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Old 07-17-17, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker
Where do you think that point is?
I have absolutely no idea, there is a different line for everyone and can be quite flexible, but there IS a point at which things change from LCF to LCL to living like everyone else, and to even driving for fun and driving around aimlessly even when not needing to go anywhere...
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Old 07-17-17, 10:11 PM
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Are we trying to define "car free" again? Is that what this thread is about?

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Old 07-17-17, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Are we trying to define "car free" again? Is that what this thread is about?

It's about Myths and misconceptions about living car free...

Although it Will probably boil down to what is car free and what is not...

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