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Have you ever been in a truly carfree place?

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Have you ever been in a truly carfree place?

Old 03-08-16, 03:41 AM
  #51  
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Not many cars here.

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Old 03-09-16, 08:59 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
IMO, places like Mackinac and Santa Catalina Islands, while maybe “totally” car free, though ultimately dependent on an automotive civilization, are destinations. Nice places to visit, though I would not want to live there.
The amount of commerce fostered by ubiquitous automotive transportation is higher than when large portions of populations live car-free, which means there's always going to be economic dependency on the automotive economy as long as it exists. It's the same with any economy where larger sums of money change hands. E.g. if you live in a city where people spend more and shop more on one side of town than the other, more jobs and income opportunities are going to be available on that side of town than on the side with less spending.

It is basically like inflation and currency-value differentiation. Imagine you travel to a European area where commerce in art and culture create a large volume of economic trade, spending, and income. There, people are dependent on maintaining that level of cultural commerce to protect their jobs, maintain property-values and other prices, boost wage-levels, etc.. If the culture industry suddenly disappeared, many restaurants, hotels, and other businesses dependent on the money would either have to find new sources of income or shut down. In automotive economies, automotive commerce serves the same function as art and culture in the previous example, so people are economically dependent on it.

Anywhere in the world that is car-free is thus going to be dependent on the rest of the global economy to provide it with income to be spent on imports. Unless the area is completely economically independent and requires no imports whatsoever, there is dependency, and since the global automotive sector is a big part of what keeps money flowing in the global economy, there is dependency on that sector.
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Old 03-09-16, 02:10 PM
  #53  
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There's an island in Lake Erie in Ohio, South Bass Island, that is not car free, but given that it's only a few miles long, and it's much more expensive to take your car on the ferry than to leave it behind, there are a lot of car-free visitors and possibly some car-free residents. And some people keep a car on the mainland, rather than on the island. But it the bay of South Bass Island is a littler island, Gibraltar. It has no cars. Maybe one golf cart. But it also has no year-round residents, I think. It houses dormitories and classrooms and a mess hall for a small, satellite campus for the Ohio State University. I lived there for a couple of summers while I worked for the university bookstore. It was interesting living on car-free Gibraltar and working on South Bass because I got to commute to work each day by row boat. Gibraltar itself is so small that I don't think people bother with bikes there. I had my bike with me, but kept it on South Bass. I remember someone once bringing their bike over to Gibraltar, and promptly taking it back after, having biked the length of the island in a matter of minutes, they realized the bike was much more useful on the other island.
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Old 03-09-16, 02:19 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
The amount of commerce fostered by ubiquitous automotive transportation is higher than when large portions of populations live car-free, which means there's always going to be economic dependency on the automotive economy as long as it exists.
Not when the cheap energy runs out.
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Old 03-09-16, 03:33 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Not when the cheap energy runs out.
Even while it is running out, some people will maintain income levels that allow them to drive while others won't. Then, investors will invest in those people and areas because there is more money to be made there. It's not like the automotive economy will all collapse at once. It's more like, "united we stand, divided we fall."
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Old 03-09-16, 03:52 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Have you ever visited or lived in a carfree area? Tell us your impressions. Also, what are your opinions about efforts to make areas carfree?
Yes.

It's called Wilderness.

There are no roads in any Wilderness (with a big W, as defined by the Wilderness Act). Also, bikes are illegal in Wilderness, all forms of mechanized transportation are.

My impression is that it's wonderful and we need more of it.

Here's Black Lake, in the Pasayten Wilderness. We spent the night.



Lake Ann, in the Mount Baker Wilderness. I went for a frigid swim the next morning.



My tent in the North Cascades Wilderness. Maybe you've noticed a pattern by now, all of this involved overnights, because travel is slow on foot.



This hike took three days. No cars here!



No wheels allowed beyond this point.



I'm all for keeping Wilderness wild and primitive. I'm sad that means no bikes, but so be it.
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Old 03-09-16, 04:01 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Yes.

It's called Wilderness.

There are no roads in any Wilderness (with a big W, as defined by the Wilderness Act). Also, bikes are illegal in Wilderness, all forms of mechanized transportation are.

My impression is that it's wonderful and we need more of it.
Thanks for sharing that. Beautiful pictures!
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Old 03-09-16, 06:52 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Yes.

It's called Wilderness.

There are no roads in any Wilderness (with a big W, as defined by the Wilderness Act). Also, bikes are illegal in Wilderness, all forms of mechanized transportation are.

My impression is that it's wonderful and we need more of it.


I'm all for keeping Wilderness wild and primitive. I'm sad that means no bikes, but so be it.
Yes ... beautiful. Reminds me a little of the hike Rowan, my cousin and I did up Mt Cheam in BC.

And one of my hopes is to do a longish hike in the Canadian Rockies one year soon. My family used to do a lot of hikes in that area when I was growing up. I'd really like to go back and do some of them again.
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Old 03-10-16, 01:13 PM
  #59  
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Thanks folks.
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Old 03-12-16, 06:02 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
The amount of commerce fostered by ubiquitous automotive transportation is higher than when large portions of populations live car-free, which means there's always going to be economic dependency on the automotive economy as long as it exists. It's the same with any economy where larger sums of money change hands. E.g. if you live in a city where people spend more and shop more on one side of town than the other, more jobs and income opportunities are going to be available on that side of town than on the side with less spending.

It is basically like inflation and currency-value differentiation. Imagine you travel to a European area where commerce in art and culture create a large volume of economic trade, spending, and income. There, people are dependent on maintaining that level of cultural commerce to protect their jobs, maintain property-values and other prices, boost wage-levels, etc.. If the culture industry suddenly disappeared, many restaurants, hotels, and other businesses dependent on the money would either have to find new sources of income or shut down. In automotive economies, automotive commerce serves the same function as art and culture in the previous example, so people are economically dependent on it.

Anywhere in the world that is car-free is thus going to be dependent on the rest of the global economy to provide it with income to be spent on imports. Unless the area is completely economically independent and requires no imports whatsoever, there is dependency, and since the global automotive sector is a big part of what keeps money flowing in the global economy, there is dependency on that sector.
I was reading this thread, but could not get past your post. I'm not sure you understand commerce. I am sure you understand fascism. Hypothetically, If i have a piece of art that you want, and you must walk to my store after crossing a sea, hiring a caravan, moving overland for days, then arriving at the gates of my town, Hypothecres, to see that you must walk in, is my art worth less than if you drove there in a car? The locals won't buy it.. they're trading garlic for potatoes, or heroin... whatever. Your whole post is based on people needing something they don't have. Europe survived for 1500 years before they had black pepper. Having a parking lot, or even a parking spot, doesn't improve commerce. At best it guarantees a less unique experience, followed by a purchase of something made in Taiwan. If you're in Taiwan, then that's a local product, so... long story short, I disagree.
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Old 03-12-16, 07:40 AM
  #61  
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Next month I'll spend three days camping in Okefenokee swamp.. The swamp has "day use" canoe trails. But thru rapid phone dialing at 7 a.m. for a few mornings, I've managed to reserve one of several canoe-camping trails for our trip. Overnight Camping Permits - Okefenokee - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Most of the camping in the swamp occurs on wooden platforms built for that purpose. But one of our destinations is Floyd's Island, which is an island in the middle of the swamp that includes a small one-room cabin and an out house - no electricity or running water. The Boy Scouts stock the place with firewood

On Floyd's Island we'll be about 10 miles from the nearest car or house for that matter. That's pretty remote for the eastern side of the Mississippi. I'm hoping for a clear sky that night, as the remote location causes the night to truly come alive. It's incredible what a song you hear from the birds and amphibious creatures in the night. During the day the flocks of water fowl, alligators, huge cypress trees make you feel you've been transported to a remote jungle in the distant past.

I can't wait! The cost is $15 dollars per person per night. That's half what I'd pay for the cheapest motel anywhere. And we get all this splendor to enjoy as though we own the place.

Last edited by Walter S; 03-12-16 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 03-12-16, 08:06 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Lil Bear View Post
I was reading this thread, but could not get past your post. I'm not sure you understand commerce. I am sure you understand fascism. Hypothetically, If i have a piece of art that you want, and you must walk to my store after crossing a sea, hiring a caravan, moving overland for days, then arriving at the gates of my town, Hypothecres, to see that you must walk in, is my art worth less than if you drove there in a car?
I don't understand what you're trying to convey with this example. What I'm talking about is when you go to cities like Amsterdam or Copenhagen, which are largely LCF-friendly, or look at the many many people around the world who live car-free, they consume imports that are paid for with money. Yes, there is trade. Maybe someone makes art but what happens to art sales if the global economy slips into negative growth, governments uniformly resist stimulus programs to maintain GDP, and everyone is looking for safe items to cut from their budgets? Art is one of the first things to get put on the "waiting for better times" list.

Driving would, too, if there wasn't an economy of spending-driven growth where people can miss out on opportunities by failing to drive. Consider, for example, if all markets were direct sales markets where all driving traffic was for the sake of bringing goods to market and not for the sake of attending meetings, interviews, seeking job and business opportunities, etc. In that case, an immediate cooling of market activity would result in people driving to the market less, because they would immediately know that the drive would be a waste of money as the sales would not be worth it. At that point, people would either re-order their priorities to driving only necessary commodities to essential markets, or they would burn through their driving budgets quickly and no longer have money to engage in commerce.

So to the extent that local car-free economies are not this tight in terms of what they afford and don't afford, they are subsidized by the global automotive economy. What the global automotive economy does is basically produce a given amount of cars, tires, fuel, parts, etc. and dump it into the market to be used, the same as the US farm bill guarantees a certain amount of food will be dumped into the global market to prevent shortages. Then it is up to everyone to decide how to put all that surplus to use. Do we sell it and attempt to get long term payment contracts from buyers? Do we offer it as incentives for people to do other things we want them to? Do we use as little as possible and attempt to lower the level of economic consumption and waste per capita, even if it results in unused surpluses building up?

Because many people choose to buy and sell all the cars that get 'channel-stuffed' into markets, there is surplus money floating around in the economy. That money can be spent on art or video arcades or county fairs or cosmetic surgery or insurance or construction projects or tuition or whatever. Then all the people who get the money can spend it further on car payments, filling up the gas tank, bicycles, spandex shorts, buying up parcels of natural land they refuse to develop, etc. etc.

Regardless of how you look at it, however, if you take out all the revenues coming into the global economy from automotive commerce, or any other sector, budgets cuts reverberate throughout the economy causing other cuts and so you can say that any economy is dependent on any significant sector of the global economy. In other words, it's pure status-quo defending. If any sector carries a significant amount of global GDP, critics arguing for downsizing of that sector will hear the response, "but GDP growth and jobs would be lost if that sector shrinks." If we avoided downsizing everything bad because GDP growth and jobs would be lost, we would have a nasty global industrial economy with lots of jobs and money-making but without sufficient moral restraint . . . which is exactly the kind of global economy that has evolved.

Sorry if you still believe that all economic activities is the nice, non-fascist productive kind you mention in your post. I think this is the good kind of trade that is still entirely possible in principle if everyone was fully aware of the evil kind and morally committed to avoiding it, but we live in a world where media industries and other ideological producers devote big effort to rationalizing and whitewashing what isn't good instead of identifying what should be stopped and what should be done instead. Until we embrace correction and reform over whitewashing and self-aggrandizement, you can hardly expect fascism to disappear.
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Old 03-12-16, 08:14 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Next month I'll spend three days camping in Okefenokee swamp.. The swamp has "day use" canoe trails. But thru rapid phone dialing at 7 a.m. for a few mornings, I've managed to reserve one of several canoe-camping trails for our trip. Overnight Camping Permits - Okefenokee - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Most of the camping in the swamp occurs on wooden platforms built for that purpose. But one of our destinations is Floyd's Island, which is an island in the middle of the swamp that includes a small one-room cabin and an out house - no electricity or running water. The Boy Scouts stock the place with firewood

On Floyd's Island we'll be about 10 miles from the nearest car or house for that matter. That's pretty remote for the eastern side of the Mississippi. I'm hoping for a clear sky that night, as the remote location causes the night to truly come alive. It's incredible what a song you hear from the birds and amphibious creatures in the night. During the day the flocks of water fowl, alligators, huge cypress trees make you feel you've been transported to a remote jungle in the distant past.

I can't wait! The cost is $15 dollars per person per night. That's twice what I'd pay for the cheapest motel anywhere. And we get all this splendor to enjoy as though we own the place.
There are a lot of these kinds of amenities in less-developed areas, which are usually affordable. I wish places like this were the mid-range of overnight options along all travel routes so that, maybe 30% of lodging was car-friendly hotel/motel type accommodations, 30% primitive cabins like this for @$15/night, and 30% would be free camping on nearly pristine natural land with only hiker/biker access. Then there would just need to be places where you could pay for showers, laundry, cooking, etc. and you could travel pretty comfortably without spending practically any money. It would be very low-key economy but there would be almost no need for land-development and habitat destruction and if everyone would find a way to participate in getting the work of the economy done while engaging in travel and recreation, it would be the leisure-life of the 21st century that futurists of previous centuries imagined would come true by now.
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Old 03-12-16, 05:13 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Next month I'll spend three days camping in Okefenokee swamp.. The swamp has "day use" canoe trails. But thru rapid phone dialing at 7 a.m. for a few mornings, I've managed to reserve one of several canoe-camping trails for our trip. Overnight Camping Permits - Okefenokee - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Most of the camping in the swamp occurs on wooden platforms built for that purpose. But one of our destinations is Floyd's Island, which is an island in the middle of the swamp that includes a small one-room cabin and an out house - no electricity or running water. The Boy Scouts stock the place with firewood

On Floyd's Island we'll be about 10 miles from the nearest car or house for that matter. That's pretty remote for the eastern side of the Mississippi. I'm hoping for a clear sky that night, as the remote location causes the night to truly come alive. It's incredible what a song you hear from the birds and amphibious creatures in the night. During the day the flocks of water fowl, alligators, huge cypress trees make you feel you've been transported to a remote jungle in the distant past.

I can't wait! The cost is $15 dollars per person per night. That's twice what I'd pay for the cheapest motel anywhere. And we get all this splendor to enjoy as though we own the place.
Sounds great! Sounds sort of similar to Maria Island where we were a couple weekends ago ... I was rather surprised at all the wildlife there.
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Old 03-13-16, 12:17 PM
  #65  
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Its odd, but I had been to Zermatt several times back n the 80's for skiing when I was stationed in Germany, yet being car free isn't something that stands out about it to me any more than the Innsbruck, Hochkonig, or Garmisch areas which aren't car free as far as I know. I suppose Its because I didn't have a civilian drivers licence, or car until after I left the service, so they simply weren't part of my reality at that time.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:04 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Next month I'll spend three days camping in Okefenokee swamp.. The swamp has "day use" canoe trails. But thru rapid phone dialing at 7 a.m. for a few mornings, I've managed to reserve one of several canoe-camping trails for our trip.
Is the swamp bug-infested at all? Most places in Canada, certainly in the east, anyway, you wouldn't normally canoe in a swampy area except just to pass through it to deeper or more open water, as the mosquitoes, black flies and so on would be too bad.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:53 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Is the swamp bug-infested at all? Most places in Canada, certainly in the east, anyway, you wouldn't normally canoe in a swampy area except just to pass through it to deeper or more open water, as the mosquitoes, black flies and so on would be too bad.
Lot's of mosquitos in the summer. That may or may not be a factor next month but probably no biggie. Okefenokee is a splendid and unique destination. The swamp is fed by a river and the water is very clean. It's quite unique and has a facinating geologic history and is so beautiful to enjoy. It's like nothing around it. The alligators and snakes and birds are really something to watch, this is as up close and personal as it gets.

Waking up after the first night can be special. At that point we've paddled ten miles into the swamp, and passed the end of the day-use area several miles back. Since then, the place is ours. Setting out in the canoes the next morning, we can take it pretty easy. We only have about four miles we need to cover all day. So we let the canoe glide very slowly with our ores raised and we're totally silent for several minutes at a time. What we see in those conditions is amazing. We frequently get so close to the wildlife in a way you don't experience if you're the 50th canoe to come by in the last ten minutes.

Last edited by Walter S; 03-13-16 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 03-14-16, 12:54 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Next month I'll spend three days camping in Okefenokee swamp.. The swamp has "day use" canoe trails. But thru rapid phone dialing at 7 a.m. for a few mornings, I've managed to reserve one of several canoe-camping trails for our trip. Overnight Camping Permits - Okefenokee - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Most of the camping in the swamp occurs on wooden platforms built for that purpose. But one of our destinations is Floyd's Island, which is an island in the middle of the swamp that includes a small one-room cabin and an out house - no electricity or running water. The Boy Scouts stock the place with firewood

On Floyd's Island we'll be about 10 miles from the nearest car or house for that matter. That's pretty remote for the eastern side of the Mississippi. I'm hoping for a clear sky that night, as the remote location causes the night to truly come alive. It's incredible what a song you hear from the birds and amphibious creatures in the night. During the day the flocks of water fowl, alligators, huge cypress trees make you feel you've been transported to a remote jungle in the distant past.

I can't wait! The cost is $15 dollars per person per night. That's half what I'd pay for the cheapest motel anywhere. And we get all this splendor to enjoy as though we own the place.
I like a (free) smartphone app called Google Sky Map. You can't see more than a handful of stars from Seattle, there's too much light pollution, so the night sky is a treat whenever I go camping. I don't usually bother with electronics but it can be nice to have in the backpack when I want to know if that bright point is a star or a planet, etc.
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Old 03-14-16, 01:05 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Lot's of mosquitos in the summer. That may or may not be a factor next month but probably no biggie. Okefenokee is a splendid and unique destination. The swamp is fed by a river and the water is very clean. It's quite unique and has a facinating geologic history and is so beautiful to enjoy. It's like nothing around it. The alligators and snakes and birds are really something to watch, this is as up close and personal as it gets.

Waking up after the first night can be special. At that point we've paddled ten miles into the swamp, and passed the end of the day-use area several miles back. Since then, the place is ours. Setting out in the canoes the next morning, we can take it pretty easy. We only have about four miles we need to cover all day. So we let the canoe glide very slowly with our ores raised and we're totally silent for several minutes at a time. What we see in those conditions is amazing. We frequently get so close to the wildlife in a way you don't experience if you're the 50th canoe to come by in the last ten minutes.
Sounds good.
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Old 03-20-16, 05:44 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Sounds great! Sounds sort of similar to Maria Island where we were a couple weekends ago ... I was rather surprised at all the wildlife there.






I finished posting the Maria Island photos here ...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...54742114/page4

and ...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...54742114/page5


There's an amazing feel about the place ... almost like you've got this whole island to yourself. There are other people there, of course, but not many and we're all scattered around, walking or cycling, just taking it all in.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:47 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post

What kind of mammal is that in the lower right of the photo? It looks a little like a capybara, but not quite.
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Old 03-20-16, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
What kind of mammal is that in the lower right of the photo? It looks a little like a capybara, but not quite.
Wombat
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Old 03-21-16, 08:48 AM
  #73  
maxine
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Smith Island, Maryland. (Actually, it's not fully car-free -- but cars are rare among the residents, and there is no way for a visitor to come over in one.)

But: Not much there. Inhabited by only a few hundred people. Rapidly eroding.

A few years back, the s/o and I put ourselves and our bikes on the mail boat at Crisfield and spent a few hours riding around Smith Island, visiting the museum, and getting lunch at Ruke's.

It was a lovely day in a unique place.

Visit Smith Island, MD. How to get there, things to see.

Life in Maryland's last island community
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Old 03-21-16, 06:40 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
The amount of commerce fostered by ubiquitous automotive transportation is higher than when large portions of populations live car-free, which means there's always going to be economic dependency on the automotive economy as long as it exists. It's the same with any economy where larger sums of money change hands. E.g. if you live in a city where people spend more and shop more on one side of town than the other, more jobs and income opportunities are going to be available on that side of town than on the side with less spending.

It is basically like inflation and currency-value differentiation. Imagine you travel to a European area where commerce in art and culture create a large volume of economic trade, spending, and income. There, people are dependent on maintaining that level of cultural commerce to protect their jobs, maintain property-values and other prices, boost wage-levels, etc.. If the culture industry suddenly disappeared, many restaurants, hotels, and other businesses dependent on the money would either have to find new sources of income or shut down. In automotive economies, automotive commerce serves the same function as art and culture in the previous example, so people are economically dependent on it.

Anywhere in the world that is car-free is thus going to be dependent on the rest of the global economy to provide it with income to be spent on imports. Unless the area is completely economically independent and requires no imports whatsoever, there is dependency, and since the global automotive sector is a big part of what keeps money flowing in the global economy, there is dependency on that sector.
I tend to agree any where that jobs are coming from ..even if u are not directly linked to it u may be inderectly dependent on it. I have always wondered even if humans know that a particular field of industry is destroying vas natural resources we still continue blindly in a direction because our jobs our livelihood depends on it.. At least for the moment.
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Old 04-17-16, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I had a bit of a chuckle about Rundle Mall, Adelaide. I'm not sure why they would include it ... it's a mall. Same with the other malls mentioned, like the one(s) in Melbourne and Brisbane. And if you're going to include malls, why not include Elizabath Street Mall in Hobart?
I think they do include Elizabeth Street Mall now ... and Brisbane Street Mall, Launceston, and Rooke Street Mall, Devonport. And we've been to all of them. I'm in Elizabeth Street Mall almost every day.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_car-free_places



But anyway, Rowan and I explored the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane when we were there just recently:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_...Mall,_Brisbane
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