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Living with/without a car

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Living with/without a car

Old 02-13-18, 12:31 PM
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craigeckhoff
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Living with/without a car

I have seen stats that 50% of all car trips are 1 mile or less, and 80% are 2 miles or less. More or less counting about 10 blocks as a mile. The Chinese have a saying 10,000 steps a day for health. Hoping this topic won't become a screaming match, but could you live without a car? Now there are almost infinite factors to take in account, I know. However I have not driven a car since 1978. I make do with public transit, bicycle, or walking. I love to bicycle as much as I can to everywhere. I know not everyone could. Then again, I am almost 70, very fit (more so than many far younger people I've seen) and been retired for a few years. My departed twin brother was almost 80 lbs overweight, died at 55, ( and was a millionaire for all the good it did him ). So, could you live without a car? Why or why not?
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Old 02-13-18, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by craigeckhoff View Post
So, could you live without a car? Why or why not?


Uh...There is an entire forum about car free/light living. Let's not bring that world in here. Okay?


https://www.bikeforums.net/living-car-free/
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Old 02-13-18, 12:38 PM
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Probably, but it would be difficult with the lifestyle I've developed. Also, we moved from an in-town house to the 'burbs five years ago and that makes things more problematic. To get to a grocery store in any direction requires dealing with divided four-lanes and highway cloverleaf over/underpasses. However, if autonomous vehicles do not become mainstream before I have to give up my license I'll probably find out.
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Old 02-13-18, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Uh...There is an entire forum about car free/light living. Let's not bring that world in here. Okay?


https://www.bikeforums.net/living-car-free/
which forum was this thread moved from?
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Old 02-13-18, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
which forum was this thread moved from?
Go look. The redirect is still in the former forum.

When you go look, you might find some interesting threads along the way in other forums!
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Old 02-13-18, 08:37 PM
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Since it begins with, "I have seen stats that 50% of all car trips are 1 mile or less," it must be the BS forum...
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Old 02-13-18, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Since it begins with, "I have seen stats that 50% of all car trips are 1 mile or less," it must be the BS forum...

I also wonder about those stats. Didn't come from this government site. https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/r...ly_travel.html

It didn't even come from the green car site: https://www.greencarreports.com/news...ars-says-study

But I did see a report from the office of highway transportation that said 50 percent of household trips were between 1 and 10 miles. However in the next sentence they said those trips were just over 28 percent of the trips driven so it sounds a bit like a bell curve thing.

13 miles seems more like it nation wise.
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Old 02-14-18, 10:42 AM
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I rechecked some stats 40 to 69% was the latest I found 1 to 10 miles. Auto only. The stats I used was supplied by a pro bike site I use to belong to. It is quite possible I was misinformed by this site. Still my question is could one live car free ( that is not owning a car ) why or why not?
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Old 02-14-18, 11:01 AM
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I am doing my best to live without it.
In my case the process is certainly not instantaneous.
But the more I think about it the less I want to use the car.
Again the more I think about it the more I think up ways not to use it.
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Old 02-14-18, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by craigeckhoff View Post
I rechecked some stats 40 to 69% was the latest I found 1 to 10 miles. Auto only. The stats I used was supplied by a pro bike site I use to belong to. It is quite possible I was misinformed by this site. Still my question is could one live car free ( that is not owning a car ) why or why not?
People I talk with can't imagine living the way I do, but not because they can't but because they don't want to. E.g. they don't want to bike to work in heat or in rain. They don't want to limit their travel relative to driving and spend more time going 5-10 miles to a destination. In my view, they have been spoiled by automotive access to everything, and it's not completely their fault because they have been led to see such access and the activities/travel it provides as normal, i.e. not a privilege and a form of being spoiled. Obviously no one likes to feel they are spoiled, so people put a lot of effort into rationalizing driving and automotive culture as more necessity than luxury/privilege. Other people get upset at the whole idea that there's anything wrong with luxury/privilege to begin with and it's rude to even refer to it as being 'spoiled' in the first place.
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Old 02-14-18, 02:43 PM
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I have been car and motorcycle free now for 18 months, and was light before that. The electric bicycle for work commutes helped a lot, as I an an outside machinist and work 10 hour days. Some days that conventional bike was hard to look at at the end of the day, but not so much the electric. It is a great commuter and allows me to really enjoy my conventional bicycles on my days off!
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Old 02-14-18, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by craigeckhoff View Post
I rechecked some stats 40 to 69% was the latest I found 1 to 10 miles. Auto only. The stats I used was supplied by a pro bike site I use to belong to. It is quite possible I was misinformed by this site. Still my question is could one live car free ( that is not owning a car ) why or why not?

To be honest a few years ago I might have said not owning a car was on the horizon. But then when someone else in the family has medical issues it get less and less practical. There are lots of issues that make riding a bicycle impractical. It isn't as much of a don't want to thing some of us have worked a good portion of our lives to make it possible to choose the form of transportation we like for ourselves. We saved, invested, sacrificed till we could do what we wanted if that meant having a car or not.

Could I live car free? If I wanted to maybe. I don't see any reason to be. I might be more like another poster on another thread that took Uber or Lyft all the time.
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Old 02-14-18, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Other people get upset at the whole idea that there's anything wrong with luxury/privilege to begin with and it's rude to even refer to it as being 'spoiled' in the first place.
Probably because it is rude if you insist on gratuitously offering your negative opinions of others lifestyles, opinions or choices because they do not embrace your unique interpretations of reality.
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Old 02-14-18, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Probably because it is rude if you insist on gratuitously offering your negative opinions of others lifestyles, opinions or choices because they do not embrace your unique interpretations of reality.
It may seem rude in your opinion, but I just see it as a fact. I am spoiled in some ways too. People don't have to embrace reality for it to be reality. Some things are opinions and others are not.
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Old 02-14-18, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Probably because it is rude if you insist on gratuitously offering your negative opinions of others lifestyles, opinions or choices because they do not embrace your unique interpretations of reality.
As if his assertions about what is privileged could't be something someone else worked hard for? What is a luxury to me may be an every day purchase to my friends. It would never make my choice the correct one or even just a fact of what was right.
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Old 02-14-18, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
It may seem rude in your opinion, but I just see it as a fact. I am spoiled in some ways too. People don't have to embrace reality for it to be reality. Some things are opinions and others are not.
please try not to get too upset here, tandem .... but you got upset with me for being condescending and insulting. Should I have just said, "That's how I see it" and you would have been cool with that?

You complain because I am "insulting" towards you ,,, but when you roundly insult everyone who uses a car, you say it's alright because every needs to "embrace reality"?

On top of that ... you don't know more than a tiny faction of car owners or how they really think. And as people here have pointed out, ... for some people owning a car isn't about being "spoiled" it is about transporting a sick family member.

I am checking out again .... i don't think we are yet on terms where we can offer each other any real assistance ... but I will say this ... I fully agree, everyone should embrace reality.

Everyone should also try to embrace compassion.

I do not say this to try to hurt your feelings, whatever you might think, and I think, if what i wrote here Does cause you a little unease ... it might be because what i say is true.

I nay case ... be well. I wish you no ill will and will steer clear yet again so as not to limit your participation.
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Old 02-14-18, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
You complain because I am "insulting" towards you ,,, but when you roundly insult everyone who uses a car, you say it's alright because every needs to "embrace reality"?
I'm sorry it's insulting but it's the truth.

On top of that ... you don't know more than a tiny faction of car owners or how they really think. And as people here have pointed out, ... for some people owning a car isn't about being "spoiled" it is about transporting a sick family member.
The reality is that consumerism goes far beyond fulfilling needs. People don't need to drive. They want to drive. The economy isn't dependent on driving; it's spoiled on driving.

Everyone should also try to embrace compassion.
Lack of compassion and love drives much of consumerism. People feel unsatisfied even though they enjoy a material standard of living far beyond necessity. Idk if you understand what it is like to be spoiled, but it involves having more than you need and still feeling disappointed because there is something lacking in your life and you don't know what it is. Giving up driving is one way of finding that something, because suddenly you realize there is joy in the humility of pedaling instead commanding a chariot to carry you.

I do not say this to try to hurt your feelings
No, it only hurts my feelings when you say things about killing or harming living things, e.g. people or trees. I guess there are other insults that bother me because they seem unwarranted. Really, I am not out to insult anyone but I think people deserve to hear the truth, which is that we are all spoiled in many ways - because once we accept that, we get over the nonsense of pretending we're victims in order to feel better about privilege.
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Old 02-14-18, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
It may seem rude in your opinion, but I just see it as a fact. I am spoiled in some ways too. People don't have to embrace reality for it to be reality. Some things are opinions and others are not.
What constitutes "spoiled" is of course strictly in the realm of opinion. The reality is that driving a car is the norm in this culture.

Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
In my view, they have been spoiled by automotive access to everything, and it's not completely their fault because they have been led to see such access and the activities/travel it provides as normal
They see such access as normal because that is the reality. You don't have to embrace that reality for it to be reality.
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Old 02-14-18, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
What constitutes "spoiled" is of course strictly in the realm of opinion. The reality is that driving a car is the norm in this culture.
Norms don't matter. What matters is that there is the possibility of LCF but that people consider it an impoverished way of life the way a person who's used to eating desert every day considers it impoverished to lose that privilege. The fact of norms is that we grow accustomed to privileges and entitlements that aren't necessary and then we become vulnerable to a feeling of loss when we give them up. This is summed up with the word, "spoiled."

They see such access as normal because that is the reality. You don't have to embrace that reality for it to be reality.
Norms aren't reality. They are patterns. Reality is that you have two legs that can walk or pedal but instead you used them to push the gas and brake pedals of a car. Norm or not, that's the reality of what people do, what they can do, and what they're not doing enough of.

Justifying reality as normal is secondary to reality; i.e. it's a subjective assessment of reality, not reality itself.
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Old 02-14-18, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by craigeckhoff View Post
...

my question is could one live car free ( that is not owning a car ) why or why not?
Nearly all of the 25+ million population of N. Korea are living that way... "the best estimate is that there are fewer than 30,000 vehicles on the road—" The "why" is because it's a dogmatic dictatorship.

Last edited by McBTC; 02-14-18 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 02-15-18, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I'm sorry it's insulting but it's the truth.


See, that is why we get along so well. I am also always right about everything in every way.
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Old 02-15-18, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
People I talk with can't imagine living the way I do, but not because they can't but because they don't want to. E.g. they don't want to bike to work in heat or in rain. They don't want to limit their travel relative to driving and spend more time going 5-10 miles to a destination. In my view, they have been spoiled by automotive access to everything, and it's not completely their fault because they have been led to see such access and the activities/travel it provides as normal, i.e. not a privilege and a form of being spoiled. Obviously no one likes to feel they are spoiled, so people put a lot of effort into rationalizing driving and automotive culture as more necessity than luxury/privilege. Other people get upset at the whole idea that there's anything wrong with luxury/privilege to begin with and it's rude to even refer to it as being 'spoiled' in the first place.
For many people with limited income owning a car is directly tied to their livelihood. They scrape together resources to keep their car running and are far from spoiled. They’re just living the least of the available hardships.

Maybe YOU are spoiled for living in circumstances that make car free practical?
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Old 02-15-18, 10:10 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by craigeckhoff View Post
So, could you live without a car? Why or why not?
Of course this was not asked in this forum, so you'll probably find a few more people here who feel that it is possible. Ironically, I also find this forum to be home to some people who believe that it is absolutely not possible, or at least not reasonable, and seem to hang out here to defend their own driving habits rather than to help themselves or others curb their own habits.

For my part, I absolutely could live without a car. I spent many years being not very secure financially, knowing that being unable to get to work could have serious, financial difficulties, and knowing that if I relied on my car to get to work, I would always be one mechanical failure away from unemployment. So I tried my best to find employment and living situations that would allow me to get around without my car, should the need arise. I've been pretty successful, although when I met my wife and we moved in together, our first shared apartment seemed too far from work to do without a car, so we moved to be closer to work and on the bus line. Once we did that, it became kind of a challenge to see how well I could get around while still leaving the car at home, and eventually the car became unnecessary, and its upkeep was more expensive than the use I was getting from it. It's been about 8 years now without it, and I don't miss it.

My wife, however, still has her car and has no interest in getting rid of it. I wouldn't go so far as to say she couldn't live without it, but it would take a significant lifestyle change. Her job has her working first and second shifts in an area with no late-night bus service. Her current duties require her to visit several locations over the course of a day, so at the very least it would require a different position, if not working for an entirely different company. So while I feel like it would be possible to live without her car, it would be difficult and require changes she has no interest in making.

Of course for my part, because of her, there is a car available to me. Even though I rarely use it on my own, it is used on many of our shared excursions, and she handles the household tasks that are more easily accomplished with a car, like shopping and taking the dogs to the vet. We had a conversation recently about what I would do if something happened to her. Her assumption seemed to be I would have to have my own car if I were on my own. I reminded her that I was not dependent on a car when we met, and the only real challenge would be getting the dogs to the vet. Considering that they only go there a few times a year, I think I could find a cheaper solution than buying a take-the-dogs-to-the-vet car. I don't plan on testing that theory, though.

I do think there are people who would find it impracticable to get by without a car. But for the vast majority of people, I think it is simply not something they want to do.
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Old 02-15-18, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
See, that is why we get along so well. I am also always right about everything in every way.
Truth has nothing to do with the person and everything to do with the thing said. A liar can say something that's true and an honest person can tell a lie. Being honest doesn't make anything you say true, just as being a liar doesn't prevent something true you say from being true.
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Old 02-15-18, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
For many people with limited income owning a car is directly tied to their livelihood. They scrape together resources to keep their car running and are far from spoiled. They’re just living the least of the available hardships.
Like the person taking meticulous care of an old worn-out tuxedo so they can possibly solicit a lucrative business deal by attending a high class party?

Maybe YOU are spoiled for living in circumstances that make car free practical?
We are all spoiled in various ways. I think we just have to own it when we are and think about ways to change it if it causes harmful effects in our lives or in the world.

I LCF a way of being spoiled? Maybe if you have a good bike or transit system, like some people living in Europe or other cities, but 'spoiled' is relative and if being spoiled in some way is better for the environment or for people generally, I wouldn't say it's a problem. E.g. eating healthy organic food is a form of being spoiled in a way, but I wouldn't say it is good to eat bad food to avoid being spoiled in this way. Instead, I would say it is a good idea to make healthy food more popular and affordable instead.

Likewise, I'd say it is good to make LCF more popular and affordable. In a way, what's been going on in Asia is that driving has been growing more popular and affordable, but that is not good for people or the environment, so I would say it is not good to spoil people in that way - but you can admit that all privileges are forms of being spoiled in order to induce humility and thus help people focus on appreciating what they have and devoting themselves to positive achievements instead of focusing on feelings of entitlement, victimization, envy toward others, indignation about what they deserve and don't get, etc.
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