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Old 01-26-2013, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Heck, I'm glad I spend more on my car than I do on health care ...
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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For me, it is a restriction. I prefer the lower cost of mass transportation.

For my wife, it is freedom. She needs a vehicle to get to work and is not so much a fan of mass transit.

Of course, I do ride in my wife's car sometimes. And one day, I will convince her to take a trip on Amtrak with me.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,094 posts, read 16,138,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Heck, I'm glad I spend more on my car than I do on health care ...
Is that including or excluding your employer's contribution?

My insurance is pretty cheap, but has a deductible that's higher than a year's worth of car payments. So I do come out spending less on insurance than my car. And I'm quite thankful about that =D If I had more conventional insurance, it'd probably be a toss up.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:41 PM
 
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One reason people speak of "car dependent" is to juxtapose it against the phrase "transit dependent." Transit dependent is, intentionally or not, a stigmatizing phrase. "Transit dependent" people are seen as weak, passive, lacking in initiative.

"Car dependent" starts as a description of place. If you can't live in this place without a car it is a car-dependent place. If you live there, unless you have a very unusual lifestyle, you are car dependent. Its freedom is lesser compared to a place where one can live without a car. I'm not interested in the typical City Data semantics games about "restriction." Nobody lives in perfect freedom with or without a car, such a state is not possible since life is social, is with other people.

Many people on this forum talk about the flexibility the car gives them etc. But think about all the hours you're working just for the care and feeding of the car. If you averaged in that time with your travel time you might find that you're not going so fast after all. But if your hometown and life are truly car dependent, you don't have much of an alternative, at least in the short run.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,071 posts, read 102,800,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Not everyone has a major procedure every year, some go a lifetime without one.
You are incredibly naive if you believe that. I know few people who haven't had at least ONE major procedure by the time they are say, 50. My then 14 year old daughter had melanoma in a place on her body where the sun doesn't shine, literally. My older daughter skied into a tree at age 26 and had a severe concussion. My husband broke his foot twice, including once while working on the little DD's car. Maybe that's a hazard of driving, eh?

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 01-26-2013 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:52 PM
 
9,524 posts, read 14,885,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
"Car dependent" starts as a description of place. If you can't live in this place without a car it is a car-dependent place. If you live there, unless you have a very unusual lifestyle, you are car dependent. Its freedom is lesser compared to a place where one can live without a car.
Again, this last statement is fallacious. If living without a car means depending on something else, you cannot say that freedom is lesser in an absolute sense.

Quote:
Many people on this forum talk about the flexibility the car gives them etc. But think about all the hours you're working just for the care and feeding of the car.
My area in general is car dependent. But I can commute with or without a car. I save 1 hour on my commute, every day, by using my car instead of a bus. (and that's not counting the times the rather unreliable bus leaves me stranded). So that's something like 230 hours a year. Unless my time is worthless, that pays for a lot of car. That's without getting in to flexibility arguments. Five hours saved every week.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,094 posts, read 16,138,912 times
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Again, this last statement is fallacious. If living without a car means depending on something else, you cannot say that freedom is lesser in an absolute sense.


My area in general is car dependent. But I can commute with or without a car. I save 1 hour on my commute, every day, by using my car instead of a bus. (and that's not counting the times the rather unreliable bus leaves me stranded). So that's something like 230 hours a year. Unless my time is worthless, that pays for a lot of car. That's without getting in to flexibility arguments. Five hours saved every week.
At $20/hour, you've pretty much paid for a moderately inexpensive but maybe not brand-new car on commute time saved. Not that you might value the car for any other reason, right?

Mines a little harder as I don't work a regular job. I actually only worked two days last week. Both took around an hour one-way by car. Taking transit would have taken 4 1/2 hours to get to and 4 hours to get back for the first. The second would have taken 3 1/2 hours to get to and back. Unfortunately, that one went late so I would have had to get a hotel for the night. Time saved in a two-day work week, 11 hours and one hotel stay. The week before I was on a job for three days. Five hours by transit each way, can't get there by 8 a.m., so that's three $80 per night hotel stays. Or a 1 1/2 hour drive. $240 saved on hotels plus meal expenses, and an hour on travel time.

The definition of car-dependent depending on place doesn't work for me. I could live in San Francisco and still need a car simply because my work basically requires one.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:51 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,449,841 times
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Another vote for "both" -- we once had a car, and I wasn't sure how we'd feel when the donation truck came to take it away. What I felt was a sense of freedom. No more car bills. No more worrying about parking. No more car insurance. On the other hand, it also meant that going somewhere that requires a car suddenly required a bit more advance planning. And living without a car does mean that there are fewer places one can realistically live and potentially some limitations on jobs, which is a loss of freedom.

I know I sound like the biggest car-share booster around, but this is why I so love programs like Zipcar, etc. -- they seem to offer the best of both worlds for those of us who don't use a car on a frequent basis. A car in the neighborhood ready for when you need it (with a minor amount of planning), and no worries when you don't.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:53 PM
 
9,524 posts, read 14,885,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
At $20/hour, you've pretty much paid for a moderately inexpensive but maybe not brand-new car on commute time saved.
At $20/hour, I could buy a moderately-priced used car every three years, or lease a moderately-priced new one. I bought my car new... in 2000. It's fully depreciated by any rational schedule. I think the hour covers gas and upkeep quite well. Also I'd like to think my time is worth a bit more than $20/hour.

Hmm, might be time for a new car, now that I realize the car practically pays for itself :-)
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:32 PM
 
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its funny because i am going through a bit of this tussle right now.
i had been without my car for almost a year. i had driven cross country back to GA from CA, and then decided to move back to los angeles 8 months later. i left my car in GA, where it was til christmas. actually, it isn't a car, its a 3/4 ton van, with bookshelves, a sink, and a bed. me and my uncle just drove it across and so now i have a car again, as well as all the rest of my belongings.

thing is, i learned to love- ADORE- living without a car. i work at home, and go to school, and i can walk to the train station, go to union station (a building i adore) and then take the train to school. i live in a great neighborhood where my bank, grocery stores, dollar stores, etc are all within a few blocks of each other. i don't HAVE to go anywhere else. and i have learned to love it. nothing better than just setting off on foot knowing you don't have to worry about parking, traffic, or anything else. lugging your groceries home is a small price to pay for that.

now that i have my car i never drive, just move it to one street or another on street cleaning days. i like taking it out for a joyride, but i have no interest- ever again- in having a job where a car is needed. i want to maintain this sort of lifestyle. the idea that a car is a LUXURY feels right to me. i know not everyone can live like this, but i am lucky to say that i can. and i like the idea that a car is just for fun, that it is a privilege, almost like owning a boat. you don't NEED a boat, but its fun to have. that's where i am with car ownership. i can't think of anything more ghastly than getting that lazy again where i hop in my car and drive a few miles just to go to a particular store. i LOVE walking and am stronger and in better shape than ever. walking is just way more fun. and there is something about shopping more often (because you can't do a big shop and carry it all home) that feels almost european to me. if i had a car i would have just done a big shop once a week or two weeks and that be it. now i shop every 3 days or so. and i walk to do it. it just feels right to me and i am blessed that i had no car for 10 months so i could learn to live like this. it is truly the best.
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