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Car-Free Living and New Urbanism

Home Car-Free Living and New Urbanism

Nice group! I love not having a car.

  • Banned (44 posts)
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    Nice group! I love not having a car.

    Granted, I live in San Francisco so it’s easy not having one.

    silverweb likes this

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6 replies
  • nxylas (297 posts)
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    1. I'm very aware that most Americans don't have that choice

    I used to live in Columbia, SC. It was both the state capital and the biggest city in South Carolina, but like much of the southeast, it only has a skeleton bus service (Light rail? Forget it) , and outside of downtown, you’re lucky to even find a sidewalk. It contributes to the depressed economy, since the buses very often don’t go where the jobs are.

    "Slavery followed, even voluntary slavery; the weak eagerly submitted to the strong, on condition that the latter aided them to subdue the still weaker. Then there were saints who came to these people, weeping, and talked to them of their pride, of their loss of harmony and due proportion, of their loss of shame. They were laughed at or pelted with stones." - Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
    • Banned (44 posts)
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      2. Nothing will be done to improve the situation until the citizenry demands it.

      In addition to improvements to our mass transportation system (bus only lanes, rapid service, expanded restriction on left hand turns), our bicycle infrastructure has improved tremendously and will continue to do so, but mostly has a result years of hard work of activists who have never given up.

  • jdpriestly (5877 posts)
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    3. I have a car, but I prefer to walk and ride public transportation when possible.

    I do not enjoy driving.  I really, really, really do not like to drive.

    I’m in Los Angeles and no longer young so there are times when I have to drive.  But I do not enjoy it.  Maybe on country roads.  But not in the city.  And certainly not in Los Angeles.

    I am a cart lady, one of those old women you see coming home from the grocery pulling a cart of food.  I’d rather do that than drive when I can.  But I often have to drive to the store because I am coming or going from someplace too far to drive to and not accessible without a car.  I can go to my doctor’s offices without driving.  That is great.  I can also walk to the train.  A great advantage.

    Longer trips are wonderful on the train. I take a book or my knitting.  If you time your trip just right, there will be lots of room on the train for your feet and for comfort.  Go on weekend nights or late afternoons and it may be standing room only.

    No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
  • silverweb (11 posts)
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    4. Ditched the car in '07, right along with the TV.

    Haven’t missed either a bit. Granted, I make a point of living in the city near easy transit access and work from home, and I know most people don’t have that luxury, so I count my blessings. 

    On the rare occasions that a car is absolutely necessary, I have the option of borrowing, renting, or taking a cab, so it works. Once my electric trike is back on the road, that will be even more rare.  :-D 


  • jwirr (4132 posts)
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    5. I have not owned a car for many years but often ride with someone. But for a

    rural community we have a good transportation system. We have a small city bus that goes door to door and is available to everyone. It costs $1 for a ride one way to anything in our community. The local tribe also owns their own system and they serve the people in the rural areas of the community – both Native and other.

    The biggest problem is that only those of us who do not have other transportation will ride it. Their excuse is that it takes time – which is true and that it is “only for the old people” which is not true.

    The buses are clean, usually on time, have friendly drivers and are cheap because the community helps to pay for them.

    That means a bit of urbanism in the rural areas.

  • Dira-cho (166 posts)
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    6. I miss being carless.

    Grew up in the Boston area and until I was in my late twenties, I took it for granted that my bike (and the T, in a pinch) were how to get around whatever the weather.  That was before I moved away to the midwest, and before I had kids, and before I got a job I was expected to carry stuff to and look professional for.  Used to wear long crinkly skirts with bike shorts/rowing shorts underneath, and I’d just tie the skirt up in a knot to commute from my apt to sports at sunrise, and then to my job, then night school, then sometimes home in the snow or rain after midnight, where my cat would usually be waiting to rush out and meet me a block from home.  It’s all very rosy-glowy in my memory now.

    My current city is trying to be bike-friendlier.  The new bike lanes downtown look dangerous to me – and I can’t tell if that’s because they’re not well-designed or (more likely) that I’ve gotten older and have lost my fearlessness.

    Sadly, one of my colleagues was killed on a bike recently, and another was brain-injured in an accident last year.  Again, I don’t know if that’s the fault of dangerous roads around here, or a statistically insignificant blip.    But it’s hard to ignore.