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Old 01-21-2009, 08:32 AM
 
4 posts, read 12,967 times
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1. It depends on the area really. Iowa City and Des Moines are the most expensive, but they also have some of the best job opportunities. I have paid in the past about $500 a month for rent on a three bedroom in a great area.
2. Crime is pretty well non-existent in most areas, but it does happen.
3. Iowa City is probably one of the better places to live if you don't have a car. A good chunk of peope there actually use the bus, walk, or bicycle everyday. And there are plenty of things to do there so you don't have to worry about that.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,835,621 times
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People like to live with out cars for all kinds of reasons, and I get that. But I think it's worth mentioning that it's very easy to get a car in Iowa.

1. There's no state vehicle inspection, so you can drive a cheap oil burning junk bucket if you want to.

2. Insurance rates in Iowa are among the lowest in the country, especially if you just meet the state required minimums.

3. Gas prices are usually right at or a little below the national average, especially with the ethanol subsidy. No super-inflated gas prices as seen in California.

4. The DOT accepts most out of state licenses without making you take extra tests.

5. Parking in most cities in Iowa is reasonable, as are license fees and taxes.
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:55 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,097 times
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Living car-free in Iowa is PERFECTLY possible, certainly so in the Iowa City/Coralville area. I grew up in Cedar Rapids, which tends to be more spawling, but I think it would quite do-able. Although I don't have personal expeirence, I also would think that Debuque and Des Moines are worth looking into. I know Des Moines has a pretty big cycling culture, although it tends to be more recreational.

Anyhow, I would strongly urge you look at the Iowa City area if you are car-free. There are many people, myself included, who get around by bike, come winter and all, and it's really quite easy. If you live in Coralville, it's pretty easy to hop on a bus, any of which will take you to downtown IC.

Additionally, there are significant indications of passenger rail activity coming to Eastern Iowa, in particular Iowa City. There is a drive by Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Iowa City, and several other surrounding communities, as well as the DOT, to get the CRANDIC (Cedar Rapids And Iowa City) rail line running with passenger service (was discontinued in the 50's) as an alternative to adding another lane to 380. They are basically trying to raise the 65 million or so to upgrade the tracks to accommodate passenger rail at 80mph (as opposed to the estimated 220 million to add another lane to interstate 380), as well as to recondition some cars. They have been working on this for two or three years now, and this number is suspiciously close to the funding set aside for passenger rail in Culver's 700m stimulus package, so there may be some hope yet.

Further more, there is the Midwest High Speed Rail Initiative, which is being pursued aggressively by the state of Illinois, which would use Chicago as hub, and would run service out to the Quad Cities, with the state of Iowa planning on continuing service from the Quad Cities to Iowa City, then eventually out to Des Moines and finally terminating in Omaha. I believe this system will also extending from Chicago to Minneapolis, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Green Bay. There is a high probability of this receiving funding from the federal stimulus package, as the planning has been completed.

So, despite what others would have you believe, you can currently get by just fine with out a car in Iowa, and the future for mass transit in the region is looking pretty bright.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Central Iowa - Ankeny
337 posts, read 1,421,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesasone View Post
So, despite what others would have you believe, you can currently get by just fine with out a car in Iowa, and the future for mass transit in the region is looking pretty bright.
You obviously put a lot of effort into this, but it's all over exaggerated and pretty much a lie. Not to totally slap you in the face or anything, but I just find it important to be honest. 99.9% of people agree having no car in the state of Iowa would suck ... I can only think of one thing that would be worse, not having a car in North Dakota.

Also, who is going to want to stay in the small town of Iowa City all the time? And Cedar Rapids is not sprawling.

Maybe I'm in a mood today.. O well
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,137,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Traveler View Post
You obviously put a lot of effort into this, but it's all over exaggerated and pretty much a lie. Not to totally slap you in the face or anything, but I just find it important to be honest. 99.9% of people agree having no car in the state of Iowa would suck ... I can only think of one thing that would be worse, not having a car in North Dakota.

Also, who is going to want to stay in the small town of Iowa City all the time? And Cedar Rapids is not sprawling.
I sort of agree with you on the first part. While all that mesasone said is true, I'd be surprised to see that Amtrak line to Chicago in the next decade, and I'd be equally surprised to see them turn CRANDIC into passenger rail. I'd love to see both happen, but I just don't think it's realistic in the near future, especially considering Iowa's current budget woes.
However, I agree with mesasone that living car-free in the IC area is possible if you choose your neighborhood wisely. It's not the most convenient way of getting around by far, and you won't be able to get to some places easily, but you could get everything you need and be able to enjoy what Iowa City has to offer for the most part. I'd still recommend having a car, even if you do want to ride the bus or bike, (we do have bike trails) just in case you want to leave town or go somewhere not near a bus route.

I disagree with the second part of your post though, I think there's plenty to do in Iowa City. (We're not that small, either...) I'd argue that there is just as much if not more to do here than there is in Des Moines. For Iowa, there are a lot of concerts, we have a few festivals each year, gallery walks, a couple of museums, plenty of shopping, parks, the occasional theater performance, etc. If you need to leave the city, you can take a Greyhound bus, or take a taxi up to CR and fly.

And Cedar Rapids is sprawling enough. It's certainly not a dense, urban city by any means.
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,586,895 times
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I could see the Iowa City-QC-Chicago Amtrak line up and going within 5 years. We'll see though, as it does involve Illinois, after all...

As far as living without a car in Iowa urban areas, its certainly possible, because many people do it. It may not be as effortless as it would be for someone living in downtown Chicago, but it can be done. A combination of public transit, walking and biking, and frequent small shopping trips make it doable.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Central Iowa - Ankeny
337 posts, read 1,421,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowegian View Post
I disagree with the second part of your post though, I think there's plenty to do in Iowa City. (We're not that small, either...) I'd argue that there is just as much if not more to do here than there is in Des Moines. For Iowa, there are a lot of concerts, we have a few festivals each year, gallery walks, a couple of museums, plenty of shopping, parks, the occasional theater performance, etc. If you need to leave the city, you can take a Greyhound bus, or take a taxi up to CR and fly.

And Cedar Rapids is sprawling enough. It's certainly not a dense, urban city by any means.
I wasn't comparing IC to Des Moines ... I think Des Moines is too small not to have a car as well.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Marion, IA
2,796 posts, read 5,659,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadCityImages View Post
I could see the Iowa City-QC-Chicago Amtrak line up and going within 5 years. We'll see though, as it does involve Illinois, after all...

As far as living without a car in Iowa urban areas, its certainly possible, because many people do it. It may not be as effortless as it would be for someone living in downtown Chicago, but it can be done. A combination of public transit, walking and biking, and frequent small shopping trips make it doable.
That would be cool, but what I've heard in the news last few years is that the Chicago Rockford Dubuque line will come first.
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,586,895 times
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The folks pushing for it (The QC Passenger Rail Coalition) believe that the Chicago-QC part could happen in the next 2-3 years. I'm a little less optimistic than them, but I think its looking good.
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 27,197,309 times
Reputation: 6320
Amtrak is quirky. It always has been.. It pulled out of Peoria years ago and stopped in Bloomington. I don't know if it still stops there or not but it does stop in Lincoln, Springfield and Galesburg. And I am sure it probably goes into St. Louis. The last time I was on this train, drunks and druggies were sitting on the floor behind me drinking wine and popping goof balls. And th toilets did not work. They can keep it. I remember what a real train was, Amtrak ain't it.

Passenger trains used to be a safe and wpmderful way to travel and see America. I can't say. I never set foot on Amtrack again, and I don't plan too. I hope you get your train, and I hope your experience was not like mine. With this economy I would be surprised if Amtrack put more cars into service or added new routes in 10 years. It would be nice to revive true passenger service, though.

I spent a lot of time in Iowa. It is in the heart of the beef and corn belt. I don't know if Iowa City or even Sioux City has city buses, but I can name a few that do not. I can't imagine livin in Iowa without a car.

Last edited by linicx; 02-05-2009 at 06:13 AM.. Reason: edit
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