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Old 06-03-2013, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,331 posts, read 3,058,698 times
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I lived in St Paul without a car, I wouldn't recommend it but it can be done. I lived in Minneapolis without a car for seven years, it isn't too hard as long as you live in one of the inner neighborhoods and work in the city (or Downtown St Paul or the Mall of America). The bus system in Minneapolis proper is pretty good, it is not as good in the rest of the metro. Actually not having a car in Minneapolis makes the winters seem easier in a weird way - I think you acclimate to the cold more, and because you are outside more you get more sun which helps minimize SAD; also you don't have to drive in the snow or figure out where to park your car during snow emergencies.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:11 AM
 
985 posts, read 1,088,306 times
Reputation: 1265
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon22 View Post
I want to move to a city where I definitely don't need a car and can live comfortably without one. So what are my options?

You can write off sunbelt cities like Houston,Dallas,Atlanta. You're best bet might be DC or Chicago. If you wanna head west then San Francisco.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:51 AM
 
1,547 posts, read 2,353,866 times
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Seattle is becoming very well connected with billions of dollars in investment in subways and light rail. I lived in Seattle for four years without a car . I found I had no problems getting around to the neighborhoods . I did like living in the city center best though I found i could walk to several grocery stores , malls , and entertainment options close to my condo. Downtown Seattle is an great place to be with out an car just because its compact only about three square miles. Yet about 70,000 people live there with dozens more towers under construction. Theres several supermarkets, a couple great malls
over 35 movie screens, a massive year round public market, and Several department stores. Seattle also has great city center urban parks and when I lived Downtown the west Seattle water taxi was only a few minute ride to Alki Beach. The city center for public transport has a monorail , Two street car lines , a subway line with 2 more lines under construction , A large ferry terminal , BRT to urban outlying neighborhoods , and two commuter rail lines.
And thats why Im transfering with my company to Seattle again Im looking at apartments now on Capitol Hill and I wont take my car.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Maryland
4,269 posts, read 5,491,694 times
Reputation: 4600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almont1 View Post
Chicago does have a very extensive bus system, but it's much less extensive, and has much lower ridership (both per capita and total) than in NYC and LA.

One could go car-free in Chicago, but it would not be my preferred alternative, especially if I were over 25 or not broke. The city is most convenient with a car (at least for daily shopping and the like). The big box stores along Clybourn all have free parking lots, and the various arterials, like Ashland all have free parking for the various CVS stores and Jewel/Oscos or Whole Foods or whatever.

If you can afford it, doesn't seem to make sense to rely on buses to take you to stores that were built for cars to begin with.
I'm actually not sure if the first statement is true. At least regarding LA v. Chicago and bus ridership per capita:

List of United States local bus agencies by ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chicago normally comes out well on top with people per capita using public transit v. Los Angeles.

New York? Well of course not, but no city in the U.S. "bests" NYC.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:58 AM
 
2,426 posts, read 3,624,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Almont1 View Post
NYC is the only U.S. city where a huge number of non-poor are car free, so I would say only NYC is truly where you do not need a car (if you are middle class and higher, and not just out of college, so no obligations).

Places where once could conceivably could live fine without a car (but again, not many middle/upper class) would be, probably in order, DC, SF, Boston, Chicago and Philly.

You can always do it, but do you want to do it? Would it impact your dating life, your grocery shopping, your weekend plans? Probably yes, unless you're in NYC (where car free is so common that it's actually the exception to own a car - people assume you don't have one unless you say otherwise).
I would definitely put Chicago in the top three of the top 5 cities to live without a car, not at the bottom.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:01 AM
 
2,426 posts, read 3,624,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Almont1 View Post
Chicago does have a very extensive bus system, but it's much less extensive, and has much lower ridership (both per capita and total) than in NYC and LA.

One could go car-free in Chicago, but it would not be my preferred alternative, especially if I were over 25 or not broke. The city is most convenient with a car (at least for daily shopping and the like). The big box stores along Clybourn all have free parking lots, and the various arterials, like Ashland all have free parking for the various CVS stores and Jewel/Oscos or Whole Foods or whatever.

If you can afford it, doesn't seem to make sense to rely on buses to take you to stores that were built for cars to begin with.
Those big box stores along Clybourn can also be found in other areas of the city meaning you don't need a car. I live two blocks away from a Best Buy, 10 minute bus ride from Whole Foods, three blocks from Jewel, Two blocks from Aldi, four blocks from CVS.

So yes many of those stores having parking lots, but don't make it seem like they aren't all over the city and easy to get to without a car.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:53 AM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,931 posts, read 11,815,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcopolo2000 View Post
You can write off sunbelt cities like Houston,Dallas,Atlanta. You're best bet might be DC or Chicago. If you wanna head west then San Francisco.
I can assure you that there are many people living in these cities without a car. I did it for years.

Without the OP clarifying what they mean by "comfortably", no one should be able to give an answer.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:06 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,017 posts, read 102,674,652 times
Reputation: 33083
You could live in Denver w/o a car. Many do. You can go up to the mountains, and even skiing (Eldora) on the RTD.

A lot depends on one's daily schedule. If you have a real "day job", no prob. If you work irregular/unusual hours, it could require a lot of planning and be a hassle.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:41 AM
 
3,723 posts, read 3,884,781 times
Reputation: 2782
Thanks to Zipcar, a lot of people in various cities with at least decent mass transit and decent density can easily live without owning their own car.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
5,961 posts, read 7,331,199 times
Reputation: 3739
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgm123 View Post
Chicago and San Francisco are lower than I'd expect. Buffalo and Baltimore are higher. Interesting, though.
Those two cities have high poverty rates. Its definitely because of that more than hipsters.
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