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Old 02-23-2013, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 975,106 times
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Living without a Car : Is it possible in Missoula?


I have lived happily without a car for many years, and in some great cities.

I am now considering a move to the Missoula area.


I do not want to waste $8-10,000 per annum on a vehicle, if I can avoid it.


Have you got any suggestions for places to live in the area?
A nice Walkable neighborhood is what I am seeking, and one which also has some decent transport links.
So far, I have been eyeing the areas in Downtown areas in other cities.


BTW, I am self-employed, and normally work from home, and so I do not need to commute every day.


Surely, there must be people in the area, who enjoy the wonderful freedom of living a car-free life, and are willing to share some of their secrets.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:44 PM
 
18,845 posts, read 34,651,702 times
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Yes. You can live without a car in Missoula. Many people will say it is MANDATORY to have a car in Montana. No, it is not. There is even bus service to other towns in Montana. Missoula has a bus service.

It is inconvenient to not have a car in Missoula. But...that is something that can be worked around. Live close to work, close to shopping, rent a car once in awhile if you need it. You will be fine.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
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Thanks.
Missoula has a walkscore of 52 - that's Somewhat Walkable

Missoula Neighborhoods | Walk Score

Do you think that is accurate ?
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:07 PM
 
18,845 posts, read 34,651,702 times
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Again, you need to have an address, then determine the walkability factor.

After all, if that is your criteria...live in Boston.

You can live in Missoula without a car. I personally know many people who do. They don't live in the suburbs. They live close to the University Area, or downtown. Many have bikes.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 39,041,353 times
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Back East the City's have transit systems because the city's are so crowded that in some places, owning a car is actually a real chore. Public transit is actually set up as a necessity and as such is designed to give the maximum amount of coverage for people to use it.

Out West, public transportation is an after thought. People are more independent and if they do use public transportation it is because it is convienient to exactly what they need to do. City's know that so they set up transportation just enough to give very minimul coverage.

The best way to describe it is back East, transportation is set up for the convienience of the people. Out West, transportation is set up for the convienience of the company providing it. They set up their routes to get the maximum amount of people to ride, by making one general swoop through town. haha

People are very independent and having a car is almost mandatory, in their thoughts. You simply cannot survive without a car. Only old people and students don't have cars and they live across the street from every where they want to go. That is the thought, but not the reality of the situation. In some town, public transportation has been thought out and is actually becoming much better than it was, say 30 years ago. In a lot of towns you'll find Park and Ride lots on the edge of town so that people that live in bedroom communities can get in their car and drive to the park and ride, and then ride public transportation to get to the main city hub. It's not like the busses run up and down every street.

So if you find a place to live that is located close to the bus route, you can do everything you need to do. But you need to locate yourself close to their desired routes.

Towns are located great distances from each other, so people, from early ages (14-16 yrs old) have great expectations of owning their own car so they can be independent and be able to explore other towns, the country, the parks, camping, fishing, etc... Public transportation is an afterthought.

If you write to the Chamber of Commerce, they would probably be happy to mail you a package and in there will be bus routes, maps of the town, a list of business's, apartment complexes, etc.... Specify in your letter that you are interested in the public transportation and they will make sure they include information on it. Then choose where you would want to live based on their routes, location of parks, shopping, etc...

Good luck. As long as you set up properly, you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:42 AM
 
Location: A Very Naughtytown In Northwestern Montanifornia U.S.A.
1,088 posts, read 1,773,040 times
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ElkHunter summed it up very well, many folks use bicycles all year long and the smart folks put ice tires on their bikes for safety.
I have a feeling that after being in Missoula for a while and after looking up at the mountains everyday, you may change your mind about having a nice little 4X4 to go enjoy the best parts of the state.
For us the best part of living in Montana is being able to get away from town and go up and enjoy nature.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 975,106 times
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Very good advice, ElkH. Much in line with my own thinking.

In all the cities where I have lived, I have tried to live within 5, maximum 10 minutes walk of transit stations, and I pay particular attention to what activities are in the area in which I might want to live.

I tend steer towards downtown areas, or if further out, I want to very close to a station with quick transport
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:35 PM
 
Location: The Emerald City
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Easily doable with the Mountain Line bus system and or using a bicycle, lots do it. Just watch out for drivers A DO NOT act like you own the damn road while biking and ignore the basic rules, we drivers are really sick of that crap
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:39 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 975,106 times
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Winter?

How much snow? Can you "bike" through it?
I lived in Chicago for three winters, so I suppose it is no worse.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:11 AM
 
Location: The Emerald City
1,065 posts, read 1,679,311 times
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Lol, our epic winters are long since gone up here. If you braved through Chicago worst, you'll have no trouble up here. Lots of bike shops will have special tires for winter use but an easy tip is deflate you tires so it grips better in the cruddy and random weather we get, and I do mean Random. We have some of the most unpredictable and changing weather systems on the planet, even being here all my life, it still surprises me the weird crap we get.

Our winters basically now consist of freezing cold temps and winds along with days long gray overcast and smog when there is no wind to blow out the pollution and wood smoke.
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