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Old 04-12-2013, 09:13 AM
 
12 posts, read 13,756 times
Reputation: 14

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Hello!
I'm moving to Portland in about a month, and I'm trying to make some decisions about whether or not (and if so, when) to sell my vehicle. I currently live in Tulsa, OK, which has pretty much zero public transportation, so I know nothing about it other than what I have learned from my research, but from what I've heard/read, I may not even need a car at all in Portland. I will be living near the intersection of NE Fremont and NE MLKJr Blvd, and working at one of the local Walmart stores, at least until I find something better (I am transferring internally from a Walmart I work at here).

I feel like it would be nice to not have to worry about a car payment, insurance, and gas, and instead just buy a monthly TriMet pass (at least I think that's how it works, from what I've read - is it really that simple?) and possibly use a car sharing program like zipcar for things like grocery trips, etc. But my daughter is just over a year old, and I am worried about things like taking her to the hospital in the middle of the night if she's suddenly sick, or the daily struggle of having to carry her and/or a stroller on public transportation.

I would love to hear from other parents of young children who have been through the experience of not having a car and what the advantages and disadvantages might be of both situations.

And of course, any other related advice or suggestions about moving to Portland are definitely welcome!

Thank you in advance to any helpful responses. =)


(Edit: Well I just noticed from the map that apparently I'll be living practically across the street from a hospital, so I guess that's not quite as big of a concern now... LOL)

Last edited by pisces81; 04-12-2013 at 09:47 AM..
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,990 posts, read 20,567,401 times
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Where is the Walmart you will be working at located? I don't know of any that are close to where you will be living and none, to my knowledge, are served by transit. Oh, i see that the store on SE 82nd has a MAX stop several blocks away but golly, your housing isn't a reasonable commute from there by transit.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:08 AM
 
12 posts, read 13,756 times
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The closest I found was 4200 Southeast 82nd Avenue; I haven't committed to any of them just yet, we are still working out the details of the transfer. The others I saw were farther east and south: Happy Valley, and Gresham. Although I haven't looked in the other direction yet, either.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:17 AM
 
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Yes, I see what you mean, the TriMet website says trip time is 53 minutes... and that doesn't include the fact that I have no idea where my daughter will be going to daycare, either. =(
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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Google Maps says to get to 4200 SE 82nd will take you 18 minutes by car, and 46 minutes by bus. Yes, bus, not MAX, it's the 24 east on Fremont and the 72 down 82nd, pretty cut-and-dried. GM also says 47 minutes by bike! They also caution that that estimate is still in beta, so take it with a grain of salt. Supposedly 6% of commutes in Portland are by bike.

The 72 always seemed pretty packed at rush hour when I was using transit exclusively 10 years ago. Doubt that's changed.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,855 posts, read 11,931,928 times
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The Walmart in Portland is at 52nd and Holgate. The 72 bus takes you practically to the front door. Google says the 24 Bus stops right at the o.p.'s corner and it is a straight shot up Fremont to 82nd and a transfer to the 72. Personally I support the o.p.'s intention to try being car free in Portland. That being said. I really could not consider being car free without use (heavy use) of a bicycle. Her commute is a no brainer on a bike. It might actually be shorter than the bus in time and will certainly be cheaper in the long run. A years worth of Trimet is around $1500. A commute bike can be obtained for $500... that would be a VERY nice commute bike... like Specialized Sirrus nice. Half that will get you something decent and ... there being no shame in my game whatsoever... my current go to commuter cost me $150 at the bike co-op in Hillsboro. It is a very nice commuterized Schwinn touring bike that probably cost ~$700 when new.

I really cannot get excited about Zipcar. When I need a car. I call Enterprise (not the airport counter) and they come to my house and take me to the office, and I head out in a very lightly used economy car for ~25/dy. A full day Zipcar rental is $83. Enterprise also rents by the hour at $9/hr same as ZipCar, but you do not need a $60/yr. membership (and $25 application fee) adding overhead to the transaction. You pay your own gas and insurance. Really, I come out way ahead of Zipcar. I've never found renting by the hour practical, any errand worth the name will take longer than that to complete AND get the car back to the rental station in time. Two hours is uncomfortably close to the price of a full days rental.. it's never even been a consideration. I carry only the insurance that my credit card offers on rental cars. Enterprise tells me that that isn't much and it probably won't save me if I cause the accident. So I don't. In Oregon that isn't hard. Others might disagree, but take it from this ex East Coast resident. Oregon drivers are, hands down, some of the best in the country. You have to work at getting into a wreck here and I have never quite managed it, despite being, for most intents and purposes, an inexperienced driver every time I go out, being that I do it so rarely, and also being right at the cut-off limit for vision acuity.

H
BTW one year old's and bicycles go together better than one would think. Ditch the stroller (some of the time) and strap her into a child seat. She is at no more (or less) risk than momma is.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,990 posts, read 20,567,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
The Walmart in Portland is at 52nd and Holgate. ...
That store doesn't show up on Google search nor on Walmart's corporate site. Are you sure you are not thinking of Walgreen's on Holgate and 39th?

IMHO the OP should live in St. Helen's or Woodburn, there are large Walmarts there, housing is less expensive. I am not a fan of the neighborhood around the store on 82nd.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: SE Portland
254 posts, read 442,635 times
Reputation: 138
I haven't done transit in PDX with kids, but I have in L.A. plenty. I would add, that you should probably buy an Ergo or Beco carrier or something similar for your little one to ride public transit and ditch the stroller. Strollers are a huge pain in cities and folding and unfolding them trying to get into a crowded bus or train is insane, not to mention getting all the crap out from under them.

Combine your purse to diaper bag or put a tiny purse in your diaper bag (a couple extra diapers, wet bag (if you cloth diaper), wipes, a snack, easy outfit change).

I second that biking with a one year old is great. Throw a seat on the bike and you're all set. We have a double Burley trailer, but I have a feeling it will get little use after we move to PDX as they seem to be out of favor there (I could be way off - we just didn't see a single one). Be sure to get an infant size helmet (they're under $30). We use Giro or Bell helmets for our kiddos when they're teeny, but recently have had problems with the adhesive on the infant Giros. If you have some nice racks and a basket for your bike, you can do day to day grocery shopping without any need for a car. Heck, you'll be working at a store. Bring something home with you daily. You'll hardly notice.

Living in Hollywood, we had one of those tall metal cage baskets with a handle and wheels that we would put groceries and laundry in when we'd go to the store/Laundromat. If you wore your baby, you could swing that without a problem.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:28 AM
 
12 posts, read 13,756 times
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Thanks for the input so far everyone...

And Leisesturmld, thank you for the input on the rental option, I had done very limited research in that area so I'm glad to know there is another valid option.

As for taking a bike to work; to be honest I'm not sure I'd be up for biking for an hour both ways, and that's assuming that I could find a daycare I could afford that is on that route. I'm not in very good shape, and while I do plan on getting a bike and riding it on a fairly regular basis for small errands and such, and had even looked into a child seat or trailer, I would have to work my way up to an hour's ride twice a day, especially after being on my feet at work for 8 hours. Maybe that makes me sound lazy, but I"m just trying to be realistic from what I know of my current lack of fitness.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:31 AM
 
Location: SE Portland
254 posts, read 442,635 times
Reputation: 138
Biking is low impact. Get a bike and start out riding it to work and stowing it on the bus on the way home and go from there. Certainly, you're fit enough to just ride around town with your daughter. Don't sell yourself short.
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