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Old 09-19-2012, 10:53 PM
 
554 posts, read 899,699 times
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I know there are some attempts at car-free/lite communities, but nothing substantial or more than a glorified subdivision surrounded by cars, or wilderness.


Let's say a young family was looking for a community that was car-lite, to be safe, healthy, pleasant, sustainable. Where would that be? There has been a very small up-cropping of people in this country who are interested in such a lifestyle, but the fallacy is that they still live in the pollution and dangerous roads of personal automobiles. It's a catch-22. To feel safe, you need to be part of the problem and impose danger/risk on others. Drive instead of being vulnerable on a bike. Pollute the air instead of breathing in polluted air.

Is the closest thing just a small town in the countryside? Low density, few people, few cars?

Do I just need to more to Copenhagen/Amsterdam/some other foreign place?

I currently live in Austin TX and ride an electric bicycle I built for myself for transportation, (which is amazing), but I still own a car that I drive about 500 miles a year (almost always due to gf). I feel a lot safer on a faster "moped" than a pedal only bicycle, but of course still dislike being in car land. I dislike driving my car in the 'city' and would leave the house much less often if it weren't for my bike. I hate traffic and parking, and love the freedom of my bike.

For anyone suggesting cities where you don't need a car, like NYC - the pollution and traffic danger there is the worst I've ever experienced. No thanks.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:07 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,705,729 times
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Portland Oregon would be perfect, they have busses, light rail and street cars.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:19 AM
 
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Smaller green cities like Boulder CO or Burlington VT would be a good focus point.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:57 AM
 
56,538 posts, read 80,847,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Smaller green cities like Boulder CO or Burlington VT would be a good focus point.
Yup and I'd add Ithaca NY and perhaps Ann Arbor MI as well.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,231,932 times
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Come on down here to Victoria, Texas. Only 120 miles away. Nice, level ground and residential streets on a grid, where even a pedal bike is safe and comfortable to ride clear across town. Nothing is more than 5 miles away (except cows). But a big enough city you never need to go to "the city" for anything.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:58 AM
 
1,981 posts, read 3,171,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Portland Oregon would be perfect, they have busses, light rail and street cars.
Portland is awful without a car during the rainy season.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:35 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
Portland is awful without a car during the rainy season.
Are you gonna suggest a city?
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:46 PM
 
1,981 posts, read 3,171,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Are you gonna suggest a city?
I live near Portland so I can tell you that it is best to have access to a car, especially during the rainy season there.

Just educated local info FAIW.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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I live without a car in my town without any trouble. It's pretty easy, IMO. It would be a lot harder with a family, I'm guessing.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,264 posts, read 6,343,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veloman777 View Post
I know there are some attempts at car-free/lite communities, but nothing substantial or more than a glorified subdivision surrounded by cars, or wilderness.


Let's say a young family was looking for a community that was car-lite, to be safe, healthy, pleasant, sustainable. Where would that be? ...
For anyone suggesting cities where you don't need a car, like NYC - the pollution and traffic danger there is the worst I've ever experienced. No thanks.
Don't write off NYC so quickly. It sounds like you're thinking Manhattan, in which case you'd be right. But there are other parts o the city where its NOT crowded and dangerous to ride a bike, and where its walkable to most everything you need to do (though you may choose to ride a train or bus if you work in Manhattan). Lots of neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and some in the Bronx fit this description. And yes, even in Manhattan lots of people still ride a bike to work in all but the worst weather. That should increase when a bike-sharing program starts next spring.

But you can find those quiet bike-friendly nabes I think in every city with developed mass transit. They're certainly in Washington DC, San Francisco and Chicago, e.g.

The trick is to look at the NEIGHBORHOOD, not the city in general. Mistaking Manhattan for all of NYC, or The Loop for all of Chicago is a mistake too many people make. There are places in all these cities that are low-key and bike friendly.
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