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 10-19-18, 11:22 PM
  #26  
Happy Feet
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Group shrink sessions to go without a car? What is that all about? It can only happen on the interwebs. Our society is doomed.
The program is for those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Hopefully you don't judge their adjustment needs too harshly.
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Old 10-20-18, 01:08 AM
  #27  
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It got me wondering what my university might have, and I found this ...

Decide Your Ride - Infrastructure Services & Development | University of Tasmania
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Old 10-20-18, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
The program is for those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.
That's why this program is irrelevant and unnecessary for most people. Any person who is physically healthy and doesn't have traumatic brain injuries should be able to go car-free without having to take special courses and work shops. It's all common sense, and the best way to learn how to navigate your way through life without a car is through experience by actually doing it. If you make mistakes along the way, so what ??...learn from it...LCF is not some highly skilled activity which requires special education and special courses.
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Old 10-20-18, 09:57 AM
  #29  
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Says you - from your perspective... But not everyone comes at things from the same life experience. I guess at 55 I've just learned that about people.

I also noted that riding a bike seems pretty simple to me because I've done it all my life so such a course seems basic but I also talk to lots of other people who struggle with wrapping their heads around the concept. When I ride my bike to work in the rain some people simply don't understand how that is possible without looking like a drowned rat. So I explain how fenders and boots and rain capes work. Even when we look at fenders there is a lot to learn about good design and crappy design. Why look negatively on a program that offers to help them? I can tell each person individually or a bunch of them collectively. It's a positive thing. If my employer (700 staff) wanted to implement a bike friendly program and asked me to facilitate it I would gladly do so. I wouldn't look down my nose at how lame they must be for not figuring it out themselves.

Other supposed irrelevant courses:
Cooking , art, guitar, mechanics, welding, pottery, writing... all of those activities will have people in them who basically just picked up the material and learned by doing instead of formal education so the courses must be unnecessary.

To compare. I learned to drive by working on a prairie farm at 15. I basically spent 12-14 hours a day going around in circles in a field and back and forth on gravel roads. My learner vehicles were a 1Ton Ford 4speed and a 4640 John Deere tractor and, other than a cursory "what to push and pull", no one taught me anything. However, these days we have enrolled all our kids in driver education courses complete with defensive driving modules and road lessons. I don't regret that at all. To me it s money well spent if it pays off in them being better/safer drivers.

If someone needs to take a course to become car free/lite and it results in them doing so what's the downside exactly?

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Old 10-20-18, 04:52 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Says you - from your perspective... But not everyone comes at things from the same life experience. I guess at 55 I've just learned that about people.

I also noted that riding a bike seems pretty simple to me because I've done it all my life so such a course seems basic but I also talk to lots of other people who struggle with wrapping their heads around the concept. When I ride my bike to work in the rain some people simply don't understand how that is possible without looking like a drowned rat. So I explain how fenders and boots and rain capes work. Even when we look at fenders there is a lot to learn about good design and crappy design. Why look negatively on a program that offers to help them? I can tell each person individually or a bunch of them collectively. It's a positive thing. If my employer (700 staff) wanted to implement a bike friendly program and asked me to facilitate it I would gladly do so. I wouldn't look down my nose at how lame they must be for not figuring it out themselves.

Other supposed irrelevant courses:
Cooking , art, guitar, mechanics, welding, pottery, writing... all of those activities will have people in them who basically just picked up the material and learned by doing instead of formal education so the courses must be unnecessary.

To compare. I learned to drive by working on a prairie farm at 15. I basically spent 12-14 hours a day going around in circles in a field and back and forth on gravel roads. My learner vehicles were a 1Ton Ford 4speed and a 4640 John Deere tractor and, other than a cursory "what to push and pull", no one taught me anything. However, these days we have enrolled all our kids in driver education courses complete with defensive driving modules and road lessons. I don't regret that at all. To me it s money well spent if it pays off in them being better/safer drivers.

If someone needs to take a course to become car free/lite and it results in them doing so what's the downside exactly?
Lovely post.

As further explanation, I suffered a serious head injury in a farming workplace accident. This was with a piece of mechanical machinery within a fairly slope cherry orchard with anti-bird netting that I was checking.

After my admission to hospital, based on a medical observation, my driver licence was forced to be hand over to the authorities until some judgment enables its return eventually. The accident, on 22 March, did not involve anything to do with driving, and it is, as I found found, unlikely that it will be returned to me until December of next January. This is despite me holding a licence unchallenged for over 45 years.

I have had to rely on both Machka and my day carer for access to and back from the hospital and other activities in their vehicles because I also had been deeply advised medically to avoid riding any of my bikes on roads. In the past few months, that hasn't stopped me from riding on Hobart's best bike path facility, gradually increasing distance as my fitness and riding skills have improved (and bearing in mind that I have ridden bike for over 20 years, over half of that while car free).

And next weekend will be a new development, despite the concern of some of my treaters, in that Machka and I will be riding our bikes on sections of Northern Tasmanian roads we have enjoyed in the past because of their relatively light motor vehicle presences.

While it is simple for some people to think they are behind any sort of outlook that challenges their ability to even live, let alone ride a bike, it is also gives them what they think in an entitlement to say everyone else should learn from the mistakes they make... but if those mistakes -- which often involve someone else's poor judgment -- kill you, then there isn't any hope left (and just read the link in the Long Distance forum here in BF for the thread on an inquest to check that out).

Last edited by Rowan; 10-20-18 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 10-20-18, 06:39 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I drive a car and probably will as long as I own a house. I have improved the 26 yo house I bought 20 years ago radically (insulation, heating bills, comfort. interior layout, walls, new roof, etc. Many, many sheets of plywood, paneling and drywall. Usually one, two or three sheets at a time. I will not take 4' x 8' sheets on a bike. Just not that hardcore. (I did carry a 2' x 4' sheet of 1/4" aluminum on my UO-8 40 years ago. That was an adventure!
It's fun to find ways of doing household projects that don't require driving. E.g. I had to deal with siding last summer and I was considering using fiber cement, but I ended up opting for vinyl because I could carry it by hand. It was really fun to realize you could build entire cottages by carrying a few 2x4s at a time and vinyl siding, aluminum roofing, etc. If I had a project involving plywood, I would either bring it home in smaller pieces or I would figure out how much I needed for the entire job and then pay the store a delivery fee to bring the entire stack of plywood in one trip.
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Old 10-25-18, 04:33 PM
  #32  
JoeyBike
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Stopping driving does not have to limit your life and freedom. Stay engaged in all your important activities out and about in the community.
Well, this blanket statement is only true for city dwellers with narrow interests. If you live in a Kansas corn field, you better have a car or REALLY like the taste of corn. Otherwise, just the difference between New York City and Los Angeles for the car free individual is like Mars vs. Jupiter.
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Old 10-25-18, 10:51 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Well, this blanket statement is only true for city dwellers with narrow interests. If you live in a Kansas corn field, you better have a car or REALLY like the taste of corn. Otherwise, just the difference between New York City and Los Angeles for the car free individual is like Mars vs. Jupiter.
If I didn't want to live in a corn field, why would I live there? I think you are viewing this through the narrow lens of someone who doesn't have choices because of your economic situation. For those who can live where the amenities they want are available and accessible without a car, the statement is true. And, since she said being car free doesn't HAVE to limit your life, the fact that it's true for some makes it a true statement.

Even those who choose to use cars for their every transportation whim don't have everything possible available to them. If you're in Los Angeles or Florida, it's a bit of a trip to the snow. If you're in Kansas, good luck with that oceanfront thing. Within reasonable parameters, a bit of luck, cleverness and determination can allow most, but not all, people to create very nice car-free lifestyles.
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Old 10-26-18, 11:57 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
If I didn't want to live in a corn field, why would I live there?
Because you're a farmer. There are so many scenarios where a car-free existence is impossible, or extremely difficult, that blanket statements about "not giving anything up" only applies to people who don't have much and don't do much in the first place. If all you do is watch TV and order pizza then going car-free doesn't make much difference. But if you are a regional sales rep and travel five states, you likely would be giving up your JOB for one. Just sayin'. Easier for some than others.
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Old 10-26-18, 02:58 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
There are so many scenarios where a car-free existence is impossible, or extremely difficult, that blanket statements about "not giving anything up" only applies to people who don't have much and don't do much in the first place. If all you do is watch TV and order pizza then going car-free doesn't make much difference ...
Easier for some than others.
Also easy for someone able to envision an "objective reality" car-free existence through vivid imagination, and through creative thinking believe that a car-free lifestyle dreamed up by this process is suitable for anybody/everybody not corrupted by the machinations of a wicked and immoral "culture" foisted on the public by the so-called automotivist conspiracy.
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Old 10-26-18, 06:33 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Have you heard about this program?

Home - Car Free Me

How does it work?

"CarFreeMe is a 6-week, workshop style, small group program facilitated by a professional Car Free Me coach. Each weekly session will provide you with the building blocks to becoming car free, and they are tailored to meet your individual needs and goals. You won’t be alone on this journey; your Coach and your small group of peers, will provide you with guidance and support."



Why CarFreeMe works

"CarFreeMe works because it is based on an effective, evidence-based, and client-centred approach to enabling people to continue doing what they love,car free. Since 2008, a multi-disciplinary team from The University of Queensland have been developing and evaluating the Car Free Me Program (formerly known as UQ Drive), in collaboration with the community."



I particularly like this ...

"Stopping driving does not have to limit your life and freedom. Stay engaged in all your important activities out and about in the community."


I think that's a very important aspect of making changes such as adopting a car free lifestyle -- being able to continue to do all the things we love doing. Because, after all, why should we have to make sacrifices and become hermits?!? I know that during the years I was car free, I continued to do what I liked doing. Even now, 5 days a week I'm car free, but that doesn't hold me back.

Personally I'm glad that an organisation like this, and the others mentioned in this thread, exist and I hope they gain traction.


Are there any organisations like this, or like the university ones mentioned in other posts, in your area/country?
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Old 10-30-18, 01:19 PM
  #37  
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We have this program in Oregon. It does have links to resources in the area like van pools and stuff.

Home - Drive Less Connect
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Old 11-10-18, 03:50 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
That program looks great. Working with the elderly I encounter the topic of when they had to give up their license, often with an accompanying loss of independence. It's a milestone with repercussions similar to retirement (loss of purpose).

I also think programs that teach able bodied people how to live car free/lite would be helpful. Many times I get reflexive statements like "oh that's a great idea but it wouldn't work for me" when discussing cycling even though I know the people and can see how it would work.

To me it all seems overtly simplistic but that's because in this area I am fairly independent in thought. Others really do need help "normalizing" an activity before trying it.

In a large corp setting I could see a Health and Wellness committee hosting a workshop for employees and adding incentives like secure parking/showers. If say, 6 people went through as a cohort they could provide long term peer support to each other.

personally, I would get behind making something like that happen in my workplace.
Tying a carefree program onto the workplace is a great idea! Companies spend enormous amounts on construction, maintenance, and security for parking facilities. Allocation of a small percentage of the parking budget to a carefree program could easily pay for itself. Also, it could be connected to employee wellness efforts.

Any thoughts on how workers could get something like this started?
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Old 11-10-18, 12:15 PM
  #39  
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I can only speak from my experience working at an Extended Care Campus that employs aprox. 600 people so...

Every project needs what we call champions. These are the worker bees that believe in the project and are willing to do the work to see it through. This is not the same as people who talk about what others ought to do. I would be the "champion" for the Duet Therapeutic Cycling program here and did the research to develop SOP's, training material, shopped for accessories etc... but even before that I have done two major fund and awareness raising cycling campaigns so I'm well known both for knowing about bikes and seeing projects through.

Don't expect the employer to do the work. Do your own research, look for similar programs/design, cost it out etc...

Make a project board (like in school) and post pictures, quotes, data, design. People like to see what you are talking about as a bunch of words can be confusing. This helps you to focus and is a great visual tool for management and staff.

Don't be confrontational - ever. Even if you hit a wall for some reason just keep it positive and expect a long term commitment to making it work and also be willing to accept some compromise. Your job would be to educate and win over people who may not see the need or value in it. I have carefully crafted a certain persona at work that is friendly and cooperative, even if I don't always feel that way. That's because I want to influence decisions and move my agenda forward. It's old fashioned diplomacy.

Show how it benefits the employer either directly or indirectly. A bike program can be spun to make an employer look progressive, green, concerned for workers etc... Our Duet bikes cost over 12K so far but the employer sees a lot of positive return in regards to optics (as well as benefits to the residents).

Have a definite plan with specific goals. If secure parking is an issue look at the space, draft it out, consider what elements you need and what elements you may already have in some form (card/code lock entry, chainlink fencing, security camera, panic button). For example; at our facility we have cards to swipe/open doors. A lock up just needs that lock system installed and access can be programmed into individual cards by those who want access via HR.

Get involved in the committee that over sees that area. We have JOHS and Health and Wellness. I'm on the JOHS but have a good working relationship with management and the H&W people so things overlap.

Consider a staff fundraiser with matching employer contribution. Don't just ask management to make all the commitment. If it isn't money perhaps staff can commit to a work party to build or something. If management does pony up don't forget to reward that with positive reviews like maybe a letter to the editor of the local paper or bragging about them at trade events etc...

I don't know if any of that helps but it's a start I guess. I tend to map out projects visually like a flow chart and define on paper what each step or part entails and that becomes my template for action. It helps to organize effort in a logical sequence and to keep me on track and also gives me something to work on if I hit a snap in one area. For example; if infrastructure isn't immediately possible perhaps more effort can be made on education. My experience is that when people really commit to ideas and are willing to stick with them long term others see that and buy in.

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Old 11-10-18, 07:30 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Have you heard about this program?

Home - Car Free Me

How does it work?

CarFreeMe is a 6-week, workshop style, small group program facilitated by a professional Car Free Me coach. Each weekly session will provide you with the building blocks to becoming car free, and they are tailored to meet your individual needs and goals. You won’t be alone on this journey; your Coach and your small group of peers, will provide you with guidance and support.



Why CarFreeMe works

CarFreeMe works because it is based on an effective, evidence-based, and client-centred approach to enabling people to continue doing what they love,car free. Since 2008, a multi-disciplinary team from The University of Queensland have been developing and evaluating the Car Free Me Program (formerly known as UQ Drive), in collaboration with the community.

Interesting.

Programs like Carfreeme should not be limited to those with disabilities or who suffered from dementia. I like the fact they offer workshops and coaching to become independent of motor transport. However, we need organizations like this for everyone!

I also find it interesting they are not teaching bicycle dependency as alternative to motor dependency. The overwhelming majority of those who are carfree will never become bicycle commuters or even own one. We are part of a very, very small minority who use human powered machines as transport.

A personal custom workshop with live instruction to get you out of your car! Wow!
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Old 11-11-18, 09:55 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
\

However, we need organizations like this for everyone! ....

A personal custom workshop with live instruction to get you out of your car! Wow!
I think you would need to develop the demand first. Creating workshops isn't going to drive a sufficient number of people to attend. They're not going to come just because you built it. The desire must somehow be instilled in people before such workshops would have value.
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Old 11-27-18, 05:39 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Group shrink sessions to go without a car? What is that all about? It can only happen on the interwebs. Our society is doomed.
You've never been to the Netherlands, have you? I'll leave this here for you. : https://www.youtube.com/user/markenlei/videos
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Old 12-01-18, 01:59 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Sorry if this sounds new agey or religious or otherwise offends you...
I am impossible to offend here. All advice is appreciated. It is very easy for me to accept what is offered, in full or part, and ignore the rest. Thanks for the input. I know posting takes valuable time.
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Old 12-01-18, 02:01 PM
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JoeyBike
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Group shrink sessions to go without a car? What is that all about? It can only happen on the interwebs. Our society is doomed.
The whole universe is doomed. Eventually.
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