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View Poll Results: Going Car-lite?
Thinking about it 2 9.09%
I'm car-free 0 0%
I've minimized my car use 6 27.27%
No way I'm giving up my car 14 63.64%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-25-2014, 11:56 PM
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 33,940,672 times
Reputation: 28419


Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
You are not one of the anti-car fanatics and you are intelligent; I respect you and I believe it's possible to have a rational conversation with someone like you. What you are doing is very reasonable, and the only conceivable reason for anyone to give you flak about it would be if you are coming across as holier-than-thou, which you do not.

I, too, look for opportunities to walk. However, my motivation comes from the opposite side from yours; I am motivated by my enjoyment of walking and by my desire to get more exercise. I am not particularly motivated by a desire to reduce my car usage per se. I am 70, and I frequent an art house movie theatre about four miles away. Sometimes, but not all that often, I walk there (about one hour), watch the movie, then walk home. That gives me two hours of physical activity which I find very enjoyable because half of the route is along tree-lined, shaded streets with an almost semi-rural feel. I am fortunate to live exactly where I do.

I walk to the post office, library, grocery store, barber shop, and many restaurants (all much shorter trips than the art house movie theatre.) I consider one mile away (one-way) to be VERY EASY walking distance.

However, in the poll, I voted that I would never give up my car, because that is the true and accurate answer. Being a car-guy does not necessarily mean one is not also a walker of sorts.
Sounds like you live in a really convenient area.

I think most of us could leave our cars parked at home sometimes. I generally have a rule to walk if it is less than a mile unless there are mitigating circumstances. Now I've upped that radius to 3 miles (via bike). It helps the planet and my health.

I am likely a little more militant than others as I belong to a group that promotes walking, biking and transit. Mostly to give people choices they can afford. Those options are cheaper than a car. As a kid, and mini environmentalist, I said my first car would be solar. Obviously that hasn't happened yet....now I am headed in the opposite direction. Using the car-less.

My beef is that we have made infrastructure choices all over the country that make it impossible for you to make the choice to walk a mile instead of driving it.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:57 PM
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 33,940,672 times
Reputation: 28419
Two car-free stories:
The #1 factor that has allowed me to live car-free easily and pleasurably for 10 years : TreeHugger
Car-free living with a partner & kids : TreeHugger

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Old 04-02-2014, 02:52 AM
Location: Sector 001
12,332 posts, read 9,310,473 times
Reputation: 12612
It's impossible to give up a car in this climate. Simply put, it's dangerously cold in the winter, plus I'm fairly independent.. I like to go where I want, when I want, not having to rely on the schedule any public transit might offer. Like it or not, travel in the US is designed with cars in mind. That's not really that bad a thing, since cars don't pollute that much.

Gas mileage however has not improved that significantly unless you step up to a hybrid. Car safety is way up and cars are much more safe and heavier though... if they were as unsafe and light as the old geo metros they'd probably get better mileage.

It's simply impractical to live car free, and I don't believe people should have to rearrange their schedules around public transit... maybe I could go car free in central or southern Florida... maybe.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:07 AM
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 33,940,672 times
Reputation: 28419
There is a much higher societal cost for using cars for every trip. Road space isn't unlimited and congestion can easily happen if everyone gets in a car by themselves. But my biggest issue in designing our cities only for cars means it makes things less safe for everything and decreases our health. Places where there is a lot of congestion and highways have higher rates of asthma and other breathing disorders. Driving everywhere engineers the activity out of our days.

There are some things that are best accomplished by car, but if we designed things more compactly people could choose an alternate mode for other errands. You typically don't need to lug a trunk full of stuff to meet a friend for coffee, or go to the post office or library or dry cleaner. Stuff like that is ideal for not using your car....if we plan for it.
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