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Old 12-07-2012, 08:26 PM
 
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It's well known that people can live happy fulfilling lives car-free in some major American cities, like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. But how about in your town--in Cincinnati or Charlotte or Denver? Have you done it--lived without a car in your household? How easy or difficult has it been/would it be?
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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I was car free in Chicago. A breeze. I was car free in Portland OR up until about five years ago when they began drastically cutting out bus service. Now, not so breezy.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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I did it in Oakland, which had BART & bus but still not nearly as much public transit as SF. I could also do it in Columbus if I lived along the N. High Street corridor, but once you get to the further reaches of the city it would be a hardship, given the lack of late-night service or any light rail.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:01 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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I lived car free in Seattle for a year in my early twenties. The neighborhood I lived in (Capital Hill) definitely made it doable. I never needed a cab home after a night out at the bars. There were grocery stores to walk to like Safeway and Trader Joes, and I was able to walk to downtown in 25 minutes. I was probably in the best shape of my life then and I remember it fondly.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 12-07-2012 at 09:18 PM..
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:36 AM
 
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I was car free in Washington DC and found it very easy. DC is a walking city with an overall WalkScore of 73 and neighborhoods like mine (Dupont Circle area) have a WalkScore of 98. Pretty much every convenience is easily available there via walking or the excellent subway system (Metro), including access to suburban malls and the airport. If one needs a car for errands, trips to Home Depot or daytrips out of town they now have a car-sharing service called ZipCar. Car Sharing, an alternative to car rental and car ownership – Zipcar It's a terrific asset and allows one to rent a car for an hour (or longer) with gas and insurance included. They're in umpteen major cities now and would encourage anyone living the urban lifestyle to check them out. Also, by the way...I calculated by not having a car of my own that I was saving about $500 a month, which made the housing budget go quite a bit further.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Atlanta & NYC
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Atlanta is too darn spread out to be car free. It blows.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:11 AM
 
Location: The City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I was car free in Washington DC and found it very easy. DC is a walking city with an overall WalkScore of 73 and neighborhoods like mine (Dupont Circle area) have a WalkScore of 98. Pretty much every convenience is easily available there via walking or the excellent subway system (Metro), including access to suburban malls and the airport. If one needs a car for errands, trips to Home Depot or daytrips out of town they now have a car-sharing service called ZipCar. Car Sharing, an alternative to car rental and car ownership – Zipcar It's a terrific asset and allows one to rent a car for an hour (or longer) with gas and insurance included. They're in umpteen major cities now and would encourage anyone living the urban lifestyle to check them out. Also, by the way...I calculated by not having a car of my own that I was saving about $500 a month, which made the housing budget go quite a bit further.
Are the circulator buses in DC free?

Also just curious on the 500 savings? Is that after PT - Did you use a monthly pass or pay as you go?

Dupont and working DT could be done pretty easily it would seem. Probably one of the better areas for a car free lifestyle especially if you workin the city core

For my hometown there are many nabes where its a breeze (actually easier than a car) and others where a car would make life easier. Depends on a specific location. Even places like NYC have this dynamic though the footprint of car free with more ease is probably larger than any other city or at least number of people that live in these spaces.


On things like Zipcar. I coukld imagine that most cities like say a Houston could offer this lifestyle but in more select areas and if planned meaning live and work on the light rail with access to a car share if it exists.

For me car free (even a car share) just isnt practical. I travel for work a few days a week and mostly between Wilmingotn DE and North Jersey and the locations are mostly suburban office complexes so I still need my car for this, though many weeks I use my car solely to get to client meetings and most of my other excursions are by foot, cab, or subway
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,860 posts, read 7,809,283 times
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Having a car in Center City Philadelphia is actually more of a hassle than an asset. Not only do you have the costs of ownership, parking is expensive and difficult to find. I know quite a few folks who go carless in Philly. Nevertheless, we keep a car, though many weeks I take it out only once to drive to and from a facility 6 miles away where I do a weekly volunteer stint. I could get there by PT with a transfer or two, but the main reason we keep the car is that I have family two hours way and we like making spontaneous day trips around the area.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Although I am compeltely car free in Portland ( I have never had a license) and rely on cabs more and more these days as mentioned, I have a few neighbors who are also car free but they keep their drivers licenses and rely on zip cars to get them around as the the public transportation system diminishes. It works quite well for them and they still feel they do not need to buy a car.

You hear a lot about people using bikes in Portland and while that is very true, I do not know anyone who has a bike who also does not own a car.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:33 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,815 posts, read 54,503,450 times
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Impossible where I am in a small city of 55,000. There is a bus stop 3/4 mile away but it only runs at commute times on the weekend. I would have to walk over a mile down and back up a steep hill to get to a small shopping center with limited shops, most are more like 6-8 miles away. I do take the bus to work in Seattle, and walk another mile from the bus station there to my office, so I get along with no car at work but have 3 at home. In the even of snow the bus can't make it up here so I have to drive one of the 4x4s to work. With two of us driving we probably log 10,000 miles a year total on all cars.
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