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Ways to make car-free life more efficient

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.

Ways to make car-free life more efficient

Old 03-08-11, 08:25 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by anastrophe View Post
In my area (where there's lots of farming) the local food movement has gotten big. This is great for many reasons but for me, the best is that I can get good local stuff delivered. There is a CSA and a dairy farm both that will deliver to your house. Vegetables and milk are both bulky and heavy, since we started doing this I have stopped bringing the trailer to the store.

It's more expensive but hey, these are the luxuries I get for not babysitting a car. And many of my neighbors on my street get it, so I liken it more to a bus (still uses gas, but doesn't make individual trips for each passenger) than having your friend drive you places.
Interesting... delivering produce is a great idea. I don't see it here too often and it makes buying local more of an ordeal. Frequently you can buy in bulk but you generally have to make a long trip to a farm or try to meet the farmer at a parking lot somewhere where they are distributing to a number of clients.
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Old 03-09-11, 09:59 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Also taxis are cheaper, and the hospital is probably closer, so you will only need 4$ or 5$ for taxi fare.
In the small towns I know there aren't any taxi companies. And there isn't a hospital for like 50 miles. I don't know what rural areas you've ever been to!
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Old 03-09-11, 11:13 AM
  #53  
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You cannot beat the xtracycle for groceries. It's basically a car.
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Old 03-09-11, 01:50 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by anastrophe View Post
In the small towns I know there aren't any taxi companies. And there isn't a hospital for like 50 miles. I don't know what rural areas you've ever been to!
I was thinking of a town with a couple thousand people. They usually have a small hospital and a cab service, at least in the Midwest.
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Old 03-10-11, 05:38 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I was thinking of a town with a couple thousand people. They usually have a small hospital and a cab service, at least in the Midwest.
Around here (Deep South) the break point for small towns with emergency medical cares seems to be around 6k, but the towns are not as spread out as they are in the Midwest. Taxis are a crap shoot.

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Old 03-10-11, 03:12 PM
  #56  
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My own two feet have become my grocery getters since the new apartment has 4 grocery stores within walking distance. I'd feel silly biking to them.
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Old 03-10-11, 03:12 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Around here (Deep South) the break point for small towns with emergency medical cares seems to be around 6k, but the towns are not as spread out as they are in the Midwest. Taxis are a crap shoot.

Aaron
These are definitely things you would want to research before you uprooted and moved to a new town!
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Old 03-10-11, 07:18 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
These are definitely things you would want to research before you uprooted and moved to a new town!
I research them and I have no plans to move any time soon...

I find demographics interesting along with quite a few other things. My having to travel for work introduces me to many differences in demographics and living conditions around the US. It also gives me a feel for places I would consider living and places I am not interested in ever seeing again.

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Old 03-11-11, 01:52 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
My having to travel for work introduces me to many differences in demographics and living conditions around the US. It also gives me a feel for places I would consider living and places I am not interested in ever seeing again.

Aaron
I'm curious: based on your observations, which places do you like well enough, and which ones do you like less?
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Old 03-11-11, 04:36 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
I'm curious: based on your observations, which places do you like well enough, and which ones do you like less?
The Midwest has excellent infrastructure for the most part, both cycling as well as general in the small towns. The winter weather leaves a bit to be desired for my southern blood. The towns are quite often laid out on a grid (at least the older parts). You have vibrant cycling in places like Minneapolis/St Pauls, Madison, Iowa City and Lincoln, NE. I am sure there are many more. And regardless of what you may think Iowa ain't flat! Some areas are economically depressed, but the infrastructure is still in place. I liked some of the midsized towns in Ohio, but there is little to no economic activity there right now and they are taking a beating financially. Circleville, Akron and Mansfield are the ones I worked in.

The west (CO, AZ, NM) is catching up fast and has decent weather, winters in the areas I have worked have been dryer and not as severe as IA, MN or IL. Denver is really investing in their light rail system and it will soon be much better for getting around the greater Denver area. They also are taking cycling seriously, they have a bike route that runs to the airport...not that I would want to ride that far out.

Deep South has no cycling infrastructure to speak of, but the weather (if you can tolerate heat and humidity) is usually suitable for cycling year round. The small to medium sized towns are hit or miss for transit, you have to pick and choose carefully. The one about 25 miles from me, where we had a retail store for 5 years, was about 10k, it had everything you needed...except access to interstate bus or Amtrak. For that you had to drive 30 miles, otherwise it had everything else. The larger town just to the south of where I live has 4 Amtrak trains a day as well as Greyhound/Trailways service. But the town itself is not particularly cycle friendly, and the local bus service is a joke.

The PNW has a lot going for it if you can handle the gray drizzle...I don't like it I am a solar powered person.

I haven't worked in the NE other than in the Lancaster, PA area. That was interesting. The non motorized infrastructure is hit or miss depending on the exact town. Lancaster has a tolerable bus service, access to multiple Amtrak trains a day that will get you to Philly in just over an hour. Head an hour north and that starts to fall away. I spend time in Boston and found the transit system to be very good compared to what I normally see. I know housing is much more expensive up there, but if you live in some of the smaller towns further out it may be acceptable. Then they have snow...and more snow...But in the spring, summer and fall you can grab a train and do tours all the way up to Maine.

DC area drives me crazy. Some areas are okay others are dysfunctional.

Just a few observations and generalizations. If I had to go car free today, I would try to do it from where I live because I am most familiar with that area. If I had to choose a part of the country to live in besides where I am now? Boston or Colorado (Denver area most likely)

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 04-06-11, 02:35 PM
  #61  
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Iím an art bum and donít worry about appearances, but I do all my shopping on days that are not totally miserable and seldom go any where at night. If I could afford a car I would probably build a pedal electric hybrid.
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