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Old 10-15-2017, 04:15 PM
 
1,286 posts, read 756,804 times
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I lived for a while in Atlanta without a car. It wasn't too bad, but I certainly wasn't able to get to know the city as much until I did get a car. I took the MARTA to and from work each day (train line was right near my apartment and a block from my old office). Atlanta is definitely a city where having a car is almost always a necessity unless you live, work, and play right in the immediate downtown/midtown core.

I lived in Albany, NY without a car for some time as well. It's a much older city and it's a lot more dense than other cities. The neighborhoods are all compact and flow nicely. Getting around on a bicycle was a lot easier than it would have been in Atlanta (I never dared bike there - the drivers were nuts). The only thing that sucks is the winters there, which make it near impossible to bike unless you want to spend money on the extra gear.

Small cities outside of Albany are manageable to live in with just a bicycle as well. Cohoes, Watervliet, Amsterdam, Johnstown, and Gloversville come to mind.

I currently live in Raleigh and plan on getting a new bike soon. Definitely not possible to be without a car in the area where I live, but if I lived downtown it'd be possible.
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
47 posts, read 36,942 times
Reputation: 135
With the advent of Uber/Lyft you can theoretically live car-free anywhere the apps service, assuming you can afford to use them regularly.

That being said, the vast majority of major cities with what is considered 'bad' public transit (LA, Houston, Atlanta, most sunbelt cities, etc) are still easily suitable for a car-free living. Most of these cities have some form of rail/subway, buses, designated bike routes, walkable-districts, etc. In fact, I would put these cities right behind the major metros with good public transit (New York, Chicago, DC, etc) in terms of best places to live car-free. Bigger metros will always have alternative transportation options, although the quality/accessibility of these methods may differ on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis. By contrast, smaller/rural cities may not have any sort of public transit, save a few bus routes concentrated around the city core/center or something similar.
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:25 AM
 
4,491 posts, read 2,683,576 times
Reputation: 4104
Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
Sure, that part is convenient. But if your idea of hll is being sardine-canned among people night and day, it tends to cancel out the convenience factor.

I am glad people like different things, because it would be absolutely horrible to have everyone converging in one ginormous ball of humans.
I find highrise living to be very relaxing. On the interior of the block there's very little noise. If a dog is barking we can crack down on it. No lawn mowing, ever. No bars have their back doors on our alley. I can almost literally just shut my door and leave for two weeks with no preparation or worry. Parks are two blocks away in two directions. Corner stores and restaurants are everywhere.

I've lived in houses before. If a barking dog was next door I'd quickly go insane. Sitting on the back porch is great in very specific weather and when it's quiet, but (a) how often do those conditions exist, and (b) when would I be home to experience them with a long commute?
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
25,095 posts, read 23,986,585 times
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Living in a SFH doesn't necessarily mean a long commute.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:08 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,145 posts, read 2,833,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
You forgot #7:

You feel comfortable bumming rides from friends who own cars.

Because public transit does not go everywhere you might want to go.
#8. You feel comfortable being turned down for dates. Being carless limits the social scene.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:09 AM
 
Location: East Coast
678 posts, read 694,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KodeBlue View Post
I'd assume that you can live without a car in any major city.
/thread
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
956 posts, read 1,777,073 times
Reputation: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by westbymidwest View Post
With the advent of Uber/Lyft you can theoretically live car-free anywhere the apps service, assuming you can afford to use them regularly.

That being said, the vast majority of major cities with what is considered 'bad' public transit (LA, Houston, Atlanta, most sunbelt cities, etc) are still easily suitable for a car-free living. Most of these cities have some form of rail/subway, buses, designated bike routes, walkable-districts, etc. In fact, I would put these cities right behind the major metros with good public transit (New York, Chicago, DC, etc) in terms of best places to live car-free. Bigger metros will always have alternative transportation options, although the quality/accessibility of these methods may differ on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis. By contrast, smaller/rural cities may not have any sort of public transit, save a few bus routes concentrated around the city core/center or something similar.
Chicagoland is pretty good, but on the outskirts it for sure can be a pain in the arse to travel without a car. Good luck getting to places car-free if you don't have a bike, or either have a friend with a car or own one yourself(i.e. to Richmond, IL, Marengo, IL, DeKalb, IL, Hampshire, IL, Wauconda, IL, Minooka, I could go on and on). Don't forget places that are along Metra(commuter rail) lines with less than 7 day service that only run on weekdays, too(i.e. Lemont, IL, Antioch, IL, Lake Villa, etc). It's why I really badly want to repair my bike, so that I can bike to outskirt places of Chicagoland like I used to be able to do.

Also in the outskirt/outer neighborhoods of the city of Chicago, bus service can get limited late at night. Which is why I'm REALLY glad that Uber and Lyft now exist, since too often traditional cabs wouldn't properly serve those areas. And why I'm not sorry, that local cab drivers whine their business is much lower than it used to be. To the point where many taxi medallion licenses are no longer in use, vs. before Uber and Lyft started to serve Chicago.

Don't get me wrong, for most destinations local public transit(CTA, Pace(suburban bus), Metra(commuter rail)) is decent. But it can be tricky to travel there, for those more out of the way parts of Chicagoland. I desperately wish those few Metra lines that only run on weekdays or run Monday-Saturday(i.e. Southwest Service to Manhattan, Metra Electric Blue Island branch), would run 7 days a week. But sadly with funding issues the way things are, and railcar and train engine maintenance issues, I doubt that'll happen anytime soon. Not to forget at least with the Heritage Corridor and North Central Service lines, the freight company that owns both those lines(CN) will probably block any attempts to establish weekend service. It was a big miracle, that Metra and CN did come to an agreement to allow a 4th outbound train(and pre-rush hour) to be added to the Heritage Corridor schedule.
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,319 posts, read 6,987,783 times
Reputation: 3504
If you're worried about traveling to the outskirts of any big city you will probably find it far more convenient to have a car, not just Chicago. This is actually a case when I think zipcar or similar carsharing becomes the best alternative.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,072 posts, read 3,399,662 times
Reputation: 7722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewcifer View Post
I lived without a car for years in both Minneapolis and St Paul. Much of it before the LRT was built or when there was only one line that was nowhere near where I lived. If a city has a good bus system it is do-able. The only issue with buses is that urbanism perfectionists look down on them, but if they get you where you are going that is what is important.

I wouldn't want to live without a car in a city where the bus system was significantly worse than Minneapolis'.


Don't ever live in Miami then lol My vote for bus bunching capital of America.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,072 posts, read 3,399,662 times
Reputation: 7722
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
I find highrise living to be very relaxing. On the interior of the block there's very little noise. If a dog is barking we can crack down on it. No lawn mowing, ever. No bars have their back doors on our alley. I can almost literally just shut my door and leave for two weeks with no preparation or worry. Parks are two blocks away in two directions. Corner stores and restaurants are everywhere.

I've lived in houses before. If a barking dog was next door I'd quickly go insane. Sitting on the back porch is great in very specific weather and when it's quiet, but (a) how often do those conditions exist, and (b) when would I be home to experience them with a long commute?

I got "best of both worlds" so to speak. I live in a pretty urban area by a busy street but in a house. I walk down one way there's foot traffic and auto traffic. Lots of bars and really busy on hockey nights. I walk down the other way it's nice tree lined streets and single family homes. I used to work a 5 minute walk from my house but now I work a 20 minute drive away in the suburbs which DOES suck but it's more pay and hours.

I do use both porches a lot. We got a fire pit in the backyard that we use in the summer. Yesterday was really warm I was eating a popsicle in the back porch. Plenty of days that are good for porch sitting. Even in winter, plastic wrap the screen porch, bundle up and watch the snow fall while drinking a cafe con leche. Yum! Oh, and barking dogs? Yeah that's MY house, and yes they get annoying!

I do wish I had a job in Saint Paul again especially walking distance like before.. but we gotta go where the money is.
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