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Old 08-27-2008, 09:15 PM
 
3 posts, read 14,216 times
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I realize there are already threads on the subject of being car-less in L.A., but I'm looking for a more specific answer.

I'm moving from the East Coast to west L.A. next month for two jobs and I'm trying to decide what to do about my car. I seriously doubt my 94 Toyota is up for a cross-country trip. I'm looking into shipping it or perhaps going car-less for a few months. There's also an option of buying a car when I arrive.

I'll be working from home mainly, but will need to visit offices on a bi-monthly basis in northern El Segundo and Santa Monica around Colorado Ave. I have no problem with public transportation or even biking a ten mile distance.

I also don't give a hoot about exploring L.A., for the moment. As long as I have a grocery store, restaurants, a few shopping centers and the beach within walking distance, I'm all good. I've been inputting Craigslist listings into Walkscore and seem pretty impressed with the results in certain areas.

Anyway, I've been searching around Santa Monica, Venice Beach and the Marina to find something in the middle. Is this doable or do I need to burst my car-less in L.A. bubble?
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:59 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,417,215 times
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you would be fine in any of these areas. since you'll need to get to el segundo, i would definitely consider living not to far from lincoln blvd. so you can use the #3 big blue bus. the #5 big blue bus runs along colorado and just about all the big blue bus lines converge near the pier, so you'll probably never need to make more than one transfer. besides the bus, you could probably do all of your commuting via bike as well, especially along the beach trail. as long as you're close to a grocery store, you'll probably have no use for a car for the time being. it will start to get chilly into november, but not too cold. there may be some rain, but it is very limited. enjoy your stay here, the westside is a great place!
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:59 PM
 
Location: West LA
2,318 posts, read 6,840,201 times
Reputation: 1090
If you're ok with being somewhat limited in the areas you have easy access too, then Santa Monica is the place for you to be car-less. The Big Blue Bus is an excellent public transportation system, cleap, and clean. It will get you all over Santa Monica, take you downtown, or take you down to the Green Line station in El Segundo. You can also load bikes on the busses to get around after you exit.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:24 PM
 
2,516 posts, read 7,548,358 times
Reputation: 2394
consider your bubble burst!

i really don't understand why anyone moves here and tries to avoid owning a car. there are plenty of places to live live car-less, but this is NOT one of them. i didn't have a car in college, and lived in san francisco immediately afterward, where i also didn't have one. however, once i decided to move back home, buying a car was my first priority, and i wouldn't dare try to live in LA without one. i don't have a daily commute, but i do have client visits, personal errands, and social engagements, none of which i would consider attempting to accomplish on public transportation. i like coming and going on my own schedule, not the local transit authority's. if i had some financial or ethical/fanciful objection to the idea of operating and maintaining my own vehicle, i would live elsewhere, but i wouldn't try to wedge my square peg into LA's round hole.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Burbank
1,204 posts, read 3,909,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katenik View Post
consider your bubble burst!

i really don't understand why anyone moves here and tries to avoid owning a car. there are plenty of places to live live car-less, but this is NOT one of them. i didn't have a car in college, and lived in san francisco immediately afterward, where i also didn't have one. however, once i decided to move back home, buying a car was my first priority, and i wouldn't dare try to live in LA without one. i don't have a daily commute, but i do have client visits, personal errands, and social engagements, none of which i would consider attempting to accomplish on public transportation. i like coming and going on my own schedule, not the local transit authority's. if i had some financial or ethical/fanciful objection to the idea of operating and maintaining my own vehicle, i would live elsewhere, but i wouldn't try to wedge my square peg into LA's round hole.
I agree with that. You really should get a car in LA.
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs, AR
5,612 posts, read 13,237,860 times
Reputation: 3740
Burst the bubble! This has nothing to do with exploring LA. I lived in Venice (Pacific and Venice) without a car and was miserable. The only stores in walking distance were over-priced convenience stores. In order go shopping I'd have to ride the bus (Thank God it was the Culver City bus) all the way to Lincoln and Washington (about 20 min with moderate traffic) and then carry my groceries (on the bus) back to the beach. If you insist on being car-less, Santa Monica would be the least inconvenient.

add a big "ditto" on everything katenik said.
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:33 AM
 
32 posts, read 142,248 times
Reputation: 17
dont have experience in LA yet, but have a lot of experience with car-free so thought id share my thoughts based on my limited research of LA so please take it with a grain of salt.

I Am moving to the same areas as you and am planning bike commuting to work which seems reasonable on the routes I have explored so far. When looking in these areas I found several apartments that were walking distance to grocery stores/restaurants. So I think it would be very practical if you wanted to.

When looking for places enter the address into Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address to get a good idea of whats around and how walkable it is. They also have a neighborhood map of LA, and 15 neighborhoods rank 80+ "very walkable". Los Angeles's Most Walkable Neighborhoods - Walk Score Neighborhood Rankings

I personally have decided to get a car when I move so I can more easily visit the cool stuff to do near LA on the weekends, and because im guessing my social network will be more spread and it will make it easier, but I plan on using it very little and you could always rent a car/carshare for this, and as far as the basics of work+necessities go it doesn't seem absolutely necessary if you pick your place to live well.

I will be putting it to the test in about a month anyhow so I can let you know then


edit: I also reccomend checking out this forum on car-free living (not LA specific) http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=226

Last edited by Lima_beans; 08-28-2008 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:33 AM
 
938 posts, read 3,569,096 times
Reputation: 767
Why would you move to LA car-less?

It's not like we have some uber-efficient mass transit system that would make it worthwhile, or killer density where everything is within a few minutes of your residence. There are many cool things about LA, but attempting to live a commune-style car-less lifestyle isn't one of them.

If you want to be at the mercy of rude, unabashed bus drivers and their haphazard, shoddy service...then by all means go for it.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:42 AM
 
4,007 posts, read 9,885,827 times
Reputation: 1792
I think this is a valid question if you haven't been to LA and experienced it. LA is a car city, there is some history about the car companies ripping out rail ties in the early turn of the 20th Century, but I am not sure of the details.

I would try to get a car of some sort, just something to get around. It will be very difficult without a car anywhere in LA.

Dawn
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:45 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,417,215 times
Reputation: 3323
I rode the bus in Santa Monica and all over the westside for 6 months before buying a vespa. From experience, I can tell you that it is not as bad as these people make it out to be. There is obviously some inconvenience, but its not that bad. Plus, if you are a person who really enjoys the beach, you'll really have no reason to leave the coastal areas. I don't purposefully avoid other parts of town, but besides my commute to work, I rarely go east of the 405. I'm not trying to sound like a snob, but every store, shop, restaurant, bar, etc... that I like to visit is all within a couple miles of my apartment. a trader joe's is still a trader joe's regardless of what part of town it is in.

my best advice is to give it a shot, especially since you said your truck probably wouldn't be able to make it all the way out here anyways. the status quo of LA is that you HAVE TO HAVE A CAR. there are thousands (if not millions) of people in LA without them that manage to get around everyday. there is also a growing number of people who are going carless who could otherwise afford a car. peronsally, i think you'll be fine. as long as you don't mind the exercise and adventure that come along with riding the bus or a bike, you might even enjoy it.

also, feel free to PM me if you have any more specific questions. i am avid cyclist and very familiar with the bus system, which i still use from time to time, so i can probably be of some help if you decide to go carless.
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