Author Topic: Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers  (Read 3118 times)

Ricky

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Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers
« on: July 08, 2015, 08:19:12 PM »
I have a few questions for those that live without a car (or those that have a car but use infrequently*), as I'm curious:

1. Where do you live?
2. Do you live close to the city center or not?
3. What's your income?
4. Car-free or car-lite?
5. Do you have or have ever had a driver's license?

Hopefully this will help let others know where living car-free is perfectly feasible, even in car-centric America. Also, I'm sure it will definitely defunct the myth that only the poor or homeless use public transit or bike.

*To qualify as an infrequent car user, most of your errands (groceries, work, etc...) are made without a car. You still use a car occasionally for trips, spice of life, convenience, etc, but not your primary mode of transportation.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 09:16:33 PM by Ricky »

frompa

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Re: Questions for all car-free dwellers
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 08:30:34 PM »
I have been car-free in the past and am heading in that direction again.  Currently, I am what I'd call "car-lite" -- I own a car, but it sits unused in front of my house for weeks at a time. 
Where do I live? In a small city (population @ 80,000) within a couple of hours by public transportation of both NYC and Philadelphia.
I live close enough to my center city that I can (and do) walk and bike to most locations, including work, social activities, groceries, and the library.  Unfortunately, our in-city transit is practically non-existent (buses run infrequently and not to places I generally go), so other than using public transportation to get to the bigger cities from time to time, I use our local public transit rarely -- maybe three or four times per year.
My income? Hmmm... is too personal a question for me to answer even anonymously.  But if you say why this matters, perhaps I'd reconsider. In lieu of specifics, I assure you I am neither poor nor homeless -- I own my own home and other real estate as well. 

I'd also be interested in your answers to the questions you pose.  Are you car free or car-lite? or heading in those directions?

briandougherty

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Re: Questions for all car-free dwellers
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 08:31:46 PM »
1. East coast city
2. 1.5 miles from CBD
3. $110,000

4. Driver's license the year my state allowed
5. $300,000 house
6. Savings rate of just over 75%.

There are million dollar houses all around me and just about everyone lives here because of the things you can walk to.  Car ownership is a big issue since people want a great walkable place, but they also want car parking to be super easy. It's just not an issue when you don't have a car. My area only has buses right nearby so you do get some bus snobbery.

If anything, I'd say my area isn't particularly mustachian because of the cost of housing. I could live a perfectly decent life a bit farther out in a neighborhood with fewer restaurants for significantly cheaper.

Ricky

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Re: Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 09:07:58 PM »
Good call on not excluding those who own a car but really don't use it much at all. I edited.

frompa - I included income as a question only because I feel like it would motivate those that think they need their car for work, or some other unfounded reason, to potentially move towards a carless lifestyle. I also think most would agree there is a pretty bad overall stigma towards not owning a car in America in the majority of American cities. Living without a car in dense Western European countries is obviously not that uncommon or big of a deal. The only place in America it seems that living without a car is entirely accepted is in NYC based on what the masses think. So, I think including income is important just to prove that you can live car free and be successful and happier. I also want to live a car-free or car-lite lifestyle eventually, and I have this mental hangup telling me I would only hold myself back by doing so. I feel like a lot of people think this way due to an overarching societal pressure.

abiteveryday

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Re: Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 05:00:47 PM »
When I was single and 24, I lived in a pretty far outlying suburb and still rode my bike everywhere.    Did not own a car.     My family now lives in the city, and while we bike a lot as a family, having a car is a very nice convenient luxury with small kids.    So we have one.    Probably drive about 3000 miles a year, nobody is commuting in it, but it's really nice to have.

mozar

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Re: Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 05:21:52 PM »
1. Where do you live?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:02:22 PM by mozar »

Tris Prior

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Re: Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 05:26:10 PM »
1. Where do you live?
Chicago

2. Do you live close to the city center or not?
I am in the city proper, near an el stop. But I wouldn't say I'm "close" to the Loop (which I guess would be our "city center)? I'm on the north side, and I work in the opposite direction from the Loop.

3. What's your income?
Rather not say specifics; significantly less than most folks on this forum. But I got rid of my car when I was making 3x what I'm making now.

4. Car-free or car-lite?
Car-free.

5. Do you have or have ever had a driver's license?
Yes, have had one since I was 17. :)

KMMK

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Re: Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 06:46:03 PM »
1. Winnipeg
2. Quite close the centre - 10-15 minutes by bus or 45  minutes of walking gets me downtown. It's a very walkable area with lots of amenities nearby.
3. Zero to almost zero, depending on how you look at it.
4. Don't own a car, but drive occasionally - car-share, rental, etc.
5. Yes, have a license. It's really easy to keep a good driving record when you barely drive.


midweststache

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Re: Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 07:06:33 PM »
1. Where do you live? Chicago.

2. Do you live close to the city center or not? No. We're in Rogers Park, the northernmost neighborhood in the city. However, we are less than two blocks from the Red Line, an express bus downtown, and two western-bound buses.

3. What's your income? Gross household income is just under six-figures.

4. Car-free or car-lite? Car free

5. Do you have or have ever had a driver's license? Yes. (In fact, this is a good reminder to have it renewed ASAP--it expires at the end of the month!)

We do occasionally rent cars for trips home, and we couple that with a big grocery run on our return, stocking up on non-perishables. This happens perhaps twice a year. Otherwise, we're in walking distance of a number of groceries, and a short bus/train ride from larger stores (Mariano's, Trader Joe's, Jewel, etc.)

I would love to get a bike, but I'm uncomfortable biking most places in the city (people here be crazy); I know I could remedy this by taking a plunge, but until I have a place to store it (we're a third-floor walkup) I'm going to stay off craigslist. (DH actually cannot ride a bike...)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 08:43:30 PM by midweststache »

letired

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Re: Questions for all car-free or car-lite dwellers
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 07:10:24 PM »
I'm on the heavier end of car-lite. Some errands aren't conveniently bikeable due to highway issues, but I bike to work most of the time.

1. Central Texas
2. yes. Not downtown, but in one of the immediate neighborhoods.
3. over 50K. I also biked more when I was making under 40K. That was when I had an 8+ mile round trip commute to work.
4. Car-lite.
5. licensed since I was 16.