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Is living car free commmon where you are?

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.

Is living car free commmon where you are?

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Old 07-12-18, 10:53 AM
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wipekitty
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Is living car free commmon where you are?

I've lived in a few different places, and noticed that living car free is common in some communities...and less so in others.

What is it like where you live? Is living car free or car light common in your community, and if so, how do people get around?
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Old 07-12-18, 11:02 AM
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I'll start!

In my current community, living car-free is quite uncommon...but there are a good number of car-light households (families with two adults and one household vehicle). That said, there are a good number of 8-month bicycle commuters, and perhaps even more who commute on foot. I also notice a number of families transporting children to school by bicycle, either with a trailer or an attachment.

I think that the main deterrent is the harsh winters, but since the city itself is not particularly large, families are able to work out ride sharing reasonably well during the bad months (December-March or so). The other deterrent is that some of the good factory jobs are in locations that are not easily accessible through alternative transit.
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Old 07-12-18, 11:50 AM
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I'd say that it varies within the community. It is rather uncommon for those living in rural areas (me), although I have passed an older guy walking his bike up some of the hills that I think at least does a fair amount of bike commuting, and one younger guy walking along the road (no bike) quite a bit.

Probably fewer homeowners living car free. Those that are car free in the community (in town) tend to be college students, or individuals just eking by in existence.

There will be quite a few bike commuters that also drive. And, of course in town, riding the bus, or otherwise using public transportation.
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Old 07-12-18, 12:42 PM
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I actually know of only 1 person that's car free and 1 other that seems to be, at least he rides his bike to work all the time...
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Old 07-12-18, 12:52 PM
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Where I live [Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex], it's difficult to go 'car light' and damn near impossible to go 'car free'.
This area is just too spread out and it's not uncommon for people here to have a 50+ mile round trip to work and back. Also, the light rail system just isn't there yet. It's improving, but you need to live and work in some pretty specific areas to make a bike/transit commute work.

There was a time when I was working in downtown Dallas that I was able to make 'car light' work, but that only lasted about 9 months until I had to go into a more remote site, at which point it bike/train commute would have been +2 hours and 2 train changes each way.
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Old 07-12-18, 03:12 PM
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If the question of common means a countable percentage of people I come in contact with the answer is no. Like most places 90 percent of the people living shopping, and commuting in my area have cars. Some might use public transportation, a few might walk and fewer still might cycle. We have a reasonable cycling community here but it is more common to see people walking their dog than riding a bicycle to work. Recreational cycling yes.
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Old 07-12-18, 05:54 PM
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There are thousands of car-free people in my city, as evidenced by heavy use of public transit in my city... but AFIK none of them post in LCF forum to brag about their car-free lifestyle... I have a strong feeling that majority of those people who are car-free in my area is because of financial reasons. The cost of living is high and many people just can't afford to own a car....The inconvenient truth about LCF is that it's an inconvenient lifestyle and nobody likes to do it voluntarily, some people have no choice.
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Old 07-12-18, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There are thousands of car-free people in my city, as evidenced by heavy use of public transit in my city... but AFIK none of them post in LCF forum to brag about their car-free lifestyle... I have a strong feeling that majority of those people who are car-free in my area is because of financial reasons. The cost of living is high and many people just can't afford to own a car....The inconvenient truth about LCF is that it's an inconvenient lifestyle and nobody likes to do it voluntarily, some people have no choice.
And, that is a different reason to be car "free" you know, you "want to be car free" or "must be car free"... I am only considering people who "want" to be car free...
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Old 07-12-18, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I've lived in a few different places, and noticed that living car free is common in some communities...and less so in others.

What is it like where you live? Is living car free or car light common in your community, and if so, how do people get around?

Living car free isn't so common .. but employing various methods of living car light is more common.


For example, there's a grocery store at the bottom of the hill not far from where we live, and we often see people walking past our place, and then returning later with a couple bags of groceries.


And many of my coworkers take the bus, cycle or walk. Finding parking in the city isn't easy and is expensive. Some will drive down the mountain, and park a couple km away from work, where parking is free and more plentiful, and then walk from there ... saves them the hike back up the mountain to home but they still get a decent walk out of the deal.


The terrain and weather do play a part in determining people's willingness to walk or cycle.


According to this: https://profile.id.com.au/australia/...ebID=300&Sex=3 ... excluding "Not Stated", "Did not go to work", "Worked at home" and "Other" ... approx. 8% of commutes are by bicycle or walking, and 14% are bicycle, walking or public transportation.


Not really high, but not too bad given the terrain and weather issues.
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Old 07-18-18, 04:00 AM
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Is living car free commmon where you are?
Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I've lived in a few different places, and noticed that living car free is common in some communities...and less so in others.

What is it like where you live? Is living car free or car light common in your community, and if so, how do people get around?
Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I'll start!

In my current community, living car-free is quite uncommon....

I think that the main deterrent is the harsh winters, but since the city itself is not particularly large, families are able to work out ride sharing reasonably well during the bad months (December-March or so). The other deterrent is that some of the good factory jobs are in locations that are not easily accessible through alternative transit.
Hi @wipekitty ,


I note that you post from “organic valley”; “a nice place to live, but I wouldn’t want to visit there” I suppose.

I have frequently posted about Boston:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Boston is probably one of the most Car-free cities in the world, and having a car is often detrimental. We live near the transportation hub of Kenmore Square. Our easily accessible Car-free / Car-light modalities at home and work are:
  • Subway and Commuter Rail
    • taxis and Uber
      • car rentals, including Zipcar
        • shopping and personal services within walking distance
          • my cycle commutes are on pleasant routes in the reverse of the usual commuting direction
            • a convenient place to stay overnight at work
              • [and Hubway Bike-Share (added)]

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Old 07-18-18, 04:28 AM
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Yes, very common. It doesn't really matter in the sense that car free or car light isn't really a lifestyle choice, it has more to do with the circumstances of the time in one's life. Parents with young children usually own a car, people who need one for work or to get to work and car lovers too, but the primary means of transportion within the city is the bike anyway.
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Old 07-18-18, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
And, that is a different reason to be car "free" you know, you "want to be car free" or "must be car free"... I am only considering people who "want" to be car free...
It's a fuzzy distinction. Two people of similar means might be considering getting a car, although it would be hard to afford. One decides it's worth it, the other decides it isn't. In both cases it's a voluntary decision.
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Old 07-18-18, 10:42 AM
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Uncommon. Groceries too far away. Work usually too far away. Here people live too spreadout to make LCF practical for most people.

Very few grocery stores. Instead of alot of little groceries...we have a few giant grocery supermarkets...far apart.

I visited relatives in Asia...and they thought the idea anything but walking to grocery/market to be very weird.

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Old 07-18-18, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
It's a fuzzy distinction. Two people of similar means might be considering getting a car, although it would be hard to afford. One decides it's worth it, the other decides it isn't. In both cases it's a voluntary decision.
Very true. I'll confess that my family isn't poor, but we're also not particularly well-off - owning and maintaining a decent, reliable vehicle would mean giving up many other things we enjoy (such as cycling, making music, and eating better food.)

In real life, I've known more than a couple individuals and families that are homeless, according to the HUD definition, yet still own and maintain a vehicle. In most cases, these were people who doubled up with other family members, though I've know a few that lived out of vehicles after eviction.
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Old 07-18-18, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post

I note that you post from “organic valley”; “a nice place to live, but I wouldn’t want to visit there” I suppose.
I'd actually say the opposite - but I'm much more comfortable living in larger cities. When we go to Denver or Chicago, I feel like I'm back with my people

If you're wondering, I'm in La Crosse, WI. It's close to the actual Organic Valley company headquarters, and my cycling adventures go past a number of their co-op farms. It pretty much looks like the picture on the box.
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Old 07-18-18, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Very true. I'll confess that my family isn't poor, but we're also not particularly well-off - owning and maintaining a decent, reliable vehicle would mean giving up many other things we enjoy (such as cycling, making music, and eating better food.)

In real life, I've known more than a couple individuals and families that are homeless, according to the HUD definition, yet still own and maintain a vehicle. In most cases, these were people who doubled up with other family members, though I've know a few that lived out of vehicles after eviction.
What is the cost for you of making music? Instruments? Lessons?
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Old 07-18-18, 12:11 PM
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I'm downunder... cars are king, bicycles are seen as recreational toys (other than the food delivery army )

Would be great to live in city where the Convenience & Safety of riding a bicycle beats that of a motorcar, but it ain't happening anytime soon down here - got kids, too time poor. Doing what I need to do everyday *is* possible by bike, but would take 3-4X longer.

Which leads to the ironic situation this week, I'm battling city traffic with 3 bikes in the boot just to get to the supermarket but boot's full so all the groceries gotta go on the seats. Crazy.
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Old 07-18-18, 12:29 PM
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Uncommon. Town of 10,000+ where I live.

Winters are too harsh. Too much humidity in summer to arrive at the office without being a sweatball. One Taxi cab service, which more or less serves old disabled people and drunks at the bars at night and one bus service which only serves the elderly.
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Old 07-18-18, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
What is the cost for you of making music? Instruments? Lessons?
Instruments, but even more so, amps, speakers, and pedals. You'd be amazed that the dozens of different kinds of guitar pedals and the amazing variations of noises that they can produce, especially when stacked over one another. The world of rock music equipment is just as much of a rabbit hole as e.g. road cycling, and inspires the same kind of upgraditis.

It's a minor hobby of mine but a passion for my significant other. I joke with people (including the mailman) that whenever I order bike parts, he gets a new pedal, and vice versa.
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Old 07-22-18, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I've lived in a few different places, and noticed that living car free is common in some communities...and less so in others.

What is it like where you live? Is living car free or car light common in your community, and if so, how do people get around?
Town is built over a hill that's rather steep, but,
those houses can have a great view. so most drive.. or Taxi.

In the early part of the 20th century, the public transit in the US
was better than it is now,

because there are major corporate economic, interests it be that way,
privatizing transportation, to extract profit.

the busses, infrequent as they are, have a rack for 2 bikes on the front.



....
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Old 07-23-18, 01:45 PM
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Haha! That's a funny question. Living car-free is common to a large percentage of population everywhere! Most of the world is servant class or peasant class and many cannot afford even bicycles.
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Old 07-23-18, 07:10 PM
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Uncommon. Too much barbeque ribs, fried chicken, macaroni, tv, smart phones, seconds.
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Old 07-23-18, 07:24 PM
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Common... intentionally? Not really. Commuter town, 500,000+ people in the greater metro area. From my 'burbs, 7 miles to the Costco, 9 miles to the mall, 14 miles to the college, 24 miles to the "big" mall, etc, etc. My wife works 26 miles away, and that's close relative to many of her coworkers-- many have 60 miles each way.

We have plenty who ride a bike because it's that or the bus. Living car free as a result of driving under the influence.
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Old 07-24-18, 08:06 AM
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Well, anyways, lots of cars here...even more trucks, lots of SUVs and many many obese people...very few bike riders though. There was a bike shop open for about half a second and it shut down. Gas stations are booming!
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Old 08-18-18, 02:50 AM
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I can't imagine life without a car, like just about everyone here. I also can't imagine life without a bicycle. I have, however, made conscious effort to bike more. Since then I probably only fill the tank on my car once every 3 months. Biking more also has demonstrated how much automobile traffic is about and made me an advocate of biking.
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