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Old 04-18-2010, 12:27 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,537,258 times
Reputation: 4494

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We're all vulnerable to becoming trapped by our own assumptions. It takes a great deal of gumption to leave behind a car-dependent lifestyle. People think you're poor or nuts, and many aren't shy about telling you so! After all, what sane person would give up something they can easily afford?

The thing is, the options are easy to miss. Car owners are essentially blind to them. I know. I was, too, until we made the commitment to live a car-lite lifestyle and had no other choice but to look for alternatives to move around our community. Then, an entirely new world opened up to us. The biggest surprise of all was that we thought we were making a sacrifice, but we gained so much more than we lost.

It took several years of planning. First, we had to find a community that would allow us to live our vision. While our exurban community did offer a free shuttle service that allowed us to get around and connected to the regional transit system, it was very time-consuming and complicated. So, we had to move. After a year of research, we found a house about a mile from my spouse's workplace, located near a commercial district and a short bike ride from our light rail system. My spouse began advocating for changes at work that eliminated to see clients outside the office. We put the second car in storage and shared the remaining one. Our annual fuel bill dropped over 60%, but we wanted to see even more of a decrease. After a year of making that work, we donated the second car. Next, we began combining trips and gradually began integrating totally car-free days into our week, one at a time. As our self-imposed, car-free lifestyle took over, we became more and more aware of public transportation options and local businesses. We began having some of our groceries delivered and planted a garden. We walked to and from school and work, even when it was cold and/or rainy. We installed baskets on our bikes, and trips that seemed uncomfortably long in the beginning became less daunting. We became healthier and more community-oriented. We became politically active, advocating for more crosswalks, pedestrian bridges, and extensions of our regional transit system.

We still have a ways to go, and I'm not sure that I'd be willing to go completely car-free, but these changes have been wonderful. I would never have believed it was possible for a suburban family of four, but it's working for us.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 04-18-2010 at 01:07 PM..

 
Old 04-18-2010, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,548 posts, read 8,234,459 times
Reputation: 5817
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Am I the only person who enjoys having a vehicle?

I'm not against bicycling but it's quite difficult to commute to work on a bike where I live! I enjoy having cars, they've always been a hobby of mine. Nothing like driving on the freeway in my Corvette convertible on a nice spring day !
I would never want to go without a car. I hate driving in urban areas, and I use public transportation to get to work. But I live in the suburbs, and to live without a car here would be very limiting.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 04:53 PM
 
16,301 posts, read 24,319,474 times
Reputation: 8267
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
That says it all!

The rest of what you're using are excuses for your choice to live a car dependent lifestyle. You live on a big hill, and that was your choice. You don't live near a store, and that's another choice. You haul home bottled water instead of filtering tap water and that's another choice.
Yep, troll you nailed it. I wish I were young and fit enough to peddle up to my house, but I ain't. Plus it would really suck in the snow (4x4) only them, or rain or hot or -10 wind chills, NFW.

Plus this ain't a big city with a bus every 5 - 10 minutes, and per my earlier post, 3 hour round trips for a 10 mile round trip, hell no, it ain't going to happen, cause I don't want to

PS the view up here is great

OBTW, those 24 bottles will last all summer, as we refill them, it is just a cheap source of 24 water bottles.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 05:38 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,537,258 times
Reputation: 4494
Default To each, his own

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Yep, troll you nailed it. I wish I were young and fit enough to peddle up to my house, but I ain't. Plus it would really suck in the snow (4x4) only them, or rain or hot or -10 wind chills, NFW.

Plus this ain't a big city with a bus every 5 - 10 minutes, and per my earlier post, 3 hour round trips for a 10 mile round trip, hell no, it ain't going to happen, cause I don't want to

PS the view up here is great
I'm having a hard time understanding why somebody who isn't trying to live a car-free or car-lite lifestyle feels the need to join a thread and defend his driving. So, you live on the side of a mountain and drive a car. Good for you! Now, please allow the rest of us who are motivated to live a less car-dependent lifestyle discuss how to go about accomplishing it, and you can join others in discussing the benefits of bulk buying.

Every discussion doesn't have to turn into a battle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
OBTW, those 24 bottles will last all summer, as we refill them, it is just a cheap source of 24 water bottles.
Stainless steel water bottles will last for years. My husband gave me one as a Christmas present. I love it!

Last edited by formercalifornian; 04-18-2010 at 05:59 PM..
 
Old 04-18-2010, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
2,165 posts, read 7,513,885 times
Reputation: 2906
formercalifornian, what area did you & family find that provides decent public transport and decent conditions for using a bike for local transportation? I don't mean to pry for personal info, but I'd like to know what general area is working OK for you in a car lite situation. I plan on working at my present job here in Orange County for a couple of more years, but am considering a few other locations after that. I will have retirement medical benefits and enough income to live comfortably, and would prefer a place that is OK for bike riding to get around the city, and a decent public transport system.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 07:32 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,537,258 times
Reputation: 4494
Currently, my family lives in an older suburban neighborhood near the Denver Tech Center in Colorado, but we've lived in other areas of the country, too. Most recently, we lived outside Baltimore. Before that, we lived just north of San Francisco. Strangely, Colorado is the place where it seemed easiest to find what we were looking for at a price we could afford, which I never would have imagined, but here we are.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 08:33 PM
 
9,965 posts, read 11,884,950 times
Reputation: 13288
Georgia, it might come as a surprise to learn O.C.G.A. 40-6-331 specifically allows golf carts on city public streets if the town allows. Don't be silly, would never work in Atlanta, Macon or Savannah but most little towns either turn a blind eye or have ordinances specifically allowing golf carts.

As an example take the little town of Hahira, Georgia which is located right in I-75 approximately 25 miles north of the Florida state line. It's a lovely little small southern town and a perfect place for retirement. Actually the town is booming with retirees escaping from the high cost of living in Florida.

Welcome Sign Off I-75


Downtown (this is the state highway but side and back streets are fine)

Typical Side Street (told you they're prettier than the state highways anyway).

Not only are golf carts tolerated they are legal on city streets and their use is encouraged.

CHAPTER 9 MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC

Quote:
Section 9 - 6. Purpose and Intent.
The purpose of this Ordinance is to protect, maintain, and enhance health, safety and general welfare of present and future citizens of the City.
It has come to the attention of Mayor and Council that the use of motorized carts on city streets creates a potential traffic hazard for other vehicular traffic as well as a danger to the occupants of motorized carts.
Therefore, the intent of this Ordinance is to regulate the use of motorized carts within the corporate limits of the City of Hahira as authorized by O.C.G.A. 40-6-331.

Section 9 - 7. Definitions.
Motorized Carts Electric and gasoline - powered pleasure carts, commonly known as golf carts. These carts have not less than three (3) wheels and cannot be operated typically at more than twenty (20) miles per hour.

snip
Basically you pay a one time fee of $25 that lasts forever.

Quote:
Section 9 - 9. Registration.
Before any Motorized Cart may be operated within the corporate limits of Hahira, the cart must be registered and receive a decal from the City Clerk signifying its registration. A person desiring to register a Motorized Cart shall bring documentation setting forth a description of said cart to the City Clerk’s office and complete an application for registration of said cart. Upon registration, the Clerk shall issue a decal to be applied to the rear of such cart so as to be plainly visible. There shall be a fee of twenty (25) five dollars for such registration. The decal, issued, shall be non-transferable from the cart for which it is issued. The registration shall be effective until such time as the Cart is sold. New owners must register a cart within ten (10) business days within change of ownership at a cost of ten (10) dollars. If the registration is not transferred within ten (10) business days, a twenty (20) dollar penalty will be applied in addition to the ten (10) dollar transfer charge.
Rules are in the ordinance and they are all common sense rules. You must be 16 years old with a drivers license, you must obey all traffic laws like stop signs and you can not travel on any state highways. You can cross a state highway but you can not travel on it. All the rules are really common sense rules. Drive on the right side of the road, stop at all signs and lights and the biggest one is just don't be stupid.

Looking at the road map you can see there isn't anyplace you can't go and you can be anywhere in town inside 10 minutes.

A number of retirees dropped their car altogether in favor of having a golf cart. Think if it, 25 miles for fifty cents worth of electric, few repairs and no expensive insurance. They are enjoyable and you actually look forward to getting out and gong somewhere. They are an adventure.

Some of these things are geared to go 30 mph and they scoot! Yeah, the ordinance says no more than 20 mph but that is the slow ones around here. There are golf carts that have turn signals, full lights and for bad weather (we never get snow) they have weatherization or clear wrap arounds with zippers. Some even have radios and a few have CD players.

The best reason to have one is you actually look for reasons to run errands. I love going to the store it's about two miles away and I get there in about six minutes. I park right in front closer than handicapped parking, people always wave and if they are in a golf cart both usually stop and a friendly conversation ensues.

I can be anywhere in town inside 10 minutes.

Other towns around the area that specifically allow golf carts are Ray City, Adel, Sparks and Lake City. Has to be a small, friendly southern town and they are readily tolerated and even encouraged. Our mayor has one.

I haven't really looked into it but what I would like to do is obtain a set of solar panels for recharging the golf cart. What a wonderful way to stick it to the oil companies.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 11:03 PM
 
1,501 posts, read 5,107,898 times
Reputation: 1115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Am I the only person who enjoys having a vehicle?!
In this particular thread (No Car-No Problem, Benefits of Car Free...), I'm surprised you aren't.

Another benefit is going to 25 year High School reunion and people asking if I'm a size two when I still eat like a pig. I'd rather walk than accept a ride or catch the bus I know will be coming along -- especially in nice weather!

I get a real kick out of people who say something must be "wrong" with me because I also don't mind the snow or rain. The people who circle the parking lot at work five times looking for a closer parking spot are always the ones with something snide to say -- as though I asked their esteemed opinions on my daily doings....
(Ice, Lightening, torrential downpours, different stories -- I'm hoppin' the bus!)

Roads are not bike-friendly here, unfortunately, or I'd be biking to-fro work weather permitting.

To the drivers crashing this thread -- don't wanna leave you out entirely beings you're here:
Please share the roads The other side of that white line is ours
 
Old 04-19-2010, 10:52 AM
 
5,019 posts, read 12,502,312 times
Reputation: 6952
Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
It means fewer opportunities to buy crap we don't need.
One of the often over-looked benefits of walking or riding to do errands:

No more impulse shopping!
 
Old 04-19-2010, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,319 posts, read 15,381,258 times
Reputation: 7065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travel'r View Post
To the drivers crashing this thread -- don't wanna leave you out entirely beings you're here:
Please share the roads The other side of that white line is ours
And from someone who is both a driver and serious recreational cyclist- please ride conscientiously and don't screw it up for the rest of us. Remember to drive defensively and follow all traffic laws like you would in a car.

Last night we were doing a car run down to the grocery store for the weekly supplies trip, and a family of two adults and two young kids on bikes totally blew through the stop sign at the corner without looking for cross traffic. If we hadn't been watching the body language of kid #1 not even attempting to slow down, it could have been bad.

So many times, cyclists are their own worst enemies out there.
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