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HOW do you survive without a car?

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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.

HOW do you survive without a car?

Old 05-18-16, 06:25 PM
  #101  
rossiny
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maybe we are in the Matrix never thought of it like that. A few days ago I road to a friends house . I have since moved an hour drive away for work quite a few years ago. I looked up the train schedule and found u could leave Saturday morn and come back at nine. brought my bike . I found out they had a green bike lane that was on the main street and easy access to the metra train. It was in Evanston IL where I was commuting to . I found it very relaxing and was able to read on the way back home to Wisconsin. One time before coming back, I almost fell asleep while driving . So decided no more driving an hour there and back,,with the train and bike I got some exercise,, felt refreshed the next day,, and did not feel jet lag , like I feel some times from a long drive.. I realized if we as a society wanted to,, cars can be eliminated over nite. Just that they are connected too much to our economy. But I really feel cars are helping to destroy our souls.
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Old 05-18-16, 08:58 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
maybe we are in the Matrix never thought of it like that. ...So decided no more driving an hour there and back,,with the train and bike I got some exercise,, felt refreshed the next day,, and did not feel jet lag , like I feel some times from a long drive.
You get jet lag from an hour's drive there and back; in the same day? How fast and far did you you drive?
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Old 05-19-16, 09:41 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Driving is super stressful!
Only if you insist on living packed in like sardines. Out here, driving is quite pleasant. A typical trip to Dallas doesn't get stressful until I get about a third of the way into Fort Worth. Cycling, the difference is less dramatic, but I can VC most streets around here with my earbuds in and less worries than when I rode in Dallas. I didn't have to take any 75mph highways on the bike there, but here, the ones with enough traffic to be a real issue have a wide enough shoulder to stay out of the traffic.
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Old 05-19-16, 10:09 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
You mean people who slave away at minimum wage jobs and struggle to survive and pay their bills and put enough food on their table ??.
Income is relative to costs. Many people 'slave away' at higher-paying jobs to afford costs at a much higher level of pressure from debt and professional expectations of how much revenue they must bring in.

Could you possibly show a little respect for someone who chooses to invest time in a low-paying activity for the sake of contributing to a larger enterprise and having some security against being a big-game target when budget cuts are pressing?

Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Do others [say]... give up golfing because they would have to drive to the course. Or pass up concerts because of transportation hassles. Or not attend a new store grand opening... even though it sounded like fun... but wasn't a needed activity. Does being car free sometimes turn into a form of self-flagellation.
Sometimes people take a step back from life and realize that so many activities are just bait luring them around for the sake of stimulating economic expenditures. If you really loved golf, a concert, or some other activity, you could plan a car-free trip and the activity would become that much more meaningful because of the effort and time you put into getting there. On the other hand, if you are attending concerts and playing golf just because you feel a sense of emptiness that needs filling because you have time on your hands not spent walking or biking for transportation, LCF might be the solution more than golf or random cultural events marketed to you by profiteers.
Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Help me out here: what is the connection between car-free living and drug addiction?
I thought the same thing at first but then I realized it's just a story from a person he talked with recently. Unfortunately, too many culture-manipulators use more-or-less random associations like this to put a negative spin on something they dislike, such as LCF.

Another aspect where drug- and other addictions are concerned is the privacy and power gained to indulge by driving. How many people get their windows tinted for the sake of shielding private and often illegal indulgences from public view? Try engaging in such illicit activities on a bike without seeking private refuge first and you will quickly understand how handy cars are for that purpose.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
If a person is car-free for ideological reasons then there a lot of similarities between the two: They will both limit the persons employment opportunities, they will both limit travel opportunities and you're basically stuck in your neighbourhood, they will both limit enjoyment of life, they will both prevent the person from living their life to it's fullest potential, they will both prevent the person from advancing and making progress in life. Ideologies can be as harmful as addictions...
Consumerism is full of ideology produced purely for the sake of hooking people and milking them for money. If anything, LCF gives more of an opportunity to resist all the temptations of consumerist ideology pumped at you via media channels. In biking or walking to a concert or other cultural event, you might find that the ride or walk added more happiness to your experience than the event itself. You could end up thanking God for the event just because it motivated you to take a good bike ride or walk.

Last edited by tandempower; 05-19-16 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 05-19-16, 02:47 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
I looked up the train schedule and found u could leave Saturday morn and come back at nine. brought my bike . I found out they had a green bike lane that was on the main street and easy access to the metra train. It was in Evanston IL where I was commuting to . I found it very relaxing and was able to read on the way back home to Wisconsin. One time before coming back, I almost fell asleep while driving . So decided no more driving an hour there and back,,with the train and bike I got some exercise,, felt refreshed the next day
Yeah, I found a similar effect. And as a consequence of having to schedule my travel within restrictions of things like bus or train schedules, I end up with MORE time doing the activity I was intending on. When I had a car and a girlfriend, I remember going to a concert. We were out for 5 hours - 4 of which were spent driving around - some of it picking up people, dropping people off but not all of it and somehow. Now? I go to a show on the train. If I'm out for 5 hours, it's a half hour there and a half hour back. I'm not rushing around meeting other expectations.

And as you say, being able to relax and read, no worries about being fatigued, and if you can fit in a ride as part of the journey it feels great.

Last edited by P_M; 05-19-16 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 05-19-16, 10:51 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
Only if you insist on living packed in like sardines.
I don't insist on anything. But the reality is that there are six BILLION humans on the planet. Where would YOU have them live?
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Old 05-20-16, 05:41 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
I don't insist on anything. But the reality is that there are six BILLION humans on the planet. Where would YOU have them live?
If the world?s population lived like? ? Per Square Mile
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Old 05-20-16, 06:52 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
I don't insist on anything. But the reality is that there are six BILLION humans on the planet. Where would YOU have them live?
Don't be surprised if someone comes back at you claiming that that is a hoax.
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Old 05-20-16, 12:47 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
This is one of the things that I think a lot of the population just doesn't understand, because they've never tried it, or never had the opportunity to try. It's like in the Matrix . . people have this feeling . .. there is something wrong with the world. Then, when you start taking mass transit, you figure it out. Driving is super stressful!

The "How" was getting a bus pass. But the elimination of GT in the stressful drive is the hook that keeps me going, even though transit may at times take longer.

White knuckle drive, with everyone trying to cut you off, tailgating, texting, nobody using their signal, nobody letting you in when you need to change lanes, the worry that some idiot is going to crash into you - and they are ALL idiots! - and I can get home in 45 minutes.

OR, I get some exercise, walk 20 minutes to the bus stop, then relax on the bus for 40 minutes.
I drive for 8 to 10 hours a day in the Seattle metropolitan area. Naturally it can get frustrating at times, which is why I ride to commute, and don't own a car, but it's not that bad either.
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Old 05-20-16, 03:49 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I drive for 8 to 10 hours a day in the Seattle metropolitan area. Naturally it can get frustrating at times, which is why I ride to commute, and don't own a car, but it's not that bad either.
I think professional drivers find it much less stressful than commuters. First of all with the hours you put in, you adapt to it and get desensitized to the stress - or in other words, you learn to chill while driving. Secondly, you're not rushing to work or struggling to get home after work - it is your work, so it's not something that is interfering with you living you life and doing you job like commuting is or an extra burden on top of work; and finally, of course, you are paid to do it, while commuting costs you money, and that's got to make it feel better.
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Old 05-20-16, 05:03 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
This is one of the things that I think a lot of the population just doesn't understand, because they've never tried it, or never had the opportunity to try.
How about you ??...Have you tried living car-free in a car-centric area ??...I have.
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Old 05-20-16, 05:19 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
I don't insist on anything. But the reality is that there are six BILLION humans on the planet. Where would YOU have them live?
126 billion acres of land area means 21 acres per person. A little over 30 people per square mile. ~360 people in the area of my town, which currently has 18,000 in it.

That's hardly crowded enough to necessitate stacking people up like cordwood.

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Old 05-20-16, 05:54 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
126 billion acres of land area means 21 acres per person. A little over 30 people per square mile. ~360 people in the area of my town, which currently has 18,000 in it.

That's hardly crowded enough to necessitate stacking people up like cordwood.
Does that include the Antarctic and the Canadian Tundra? I wouldn't mind living there, but I'm from Minnesota, so the weather might be an improvement. Other folks might not be so enthusiastic.

Seriously though, 21 acres per person? Even though I support cities, on a global scale, that is not that much land. My sister used to own 32 acres in the northwoods of Minnesota, and while it is a nice parcel of land, it hardly means that you never see your neighbors.

Personally, I'd be all for reducing that 6 billion number, as long as it is not a result of war, famine or disease.
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Old 05-20-16, 06:15 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
How about you ??...Have you tried living car-free in a car-centric area ??...I have.
"Car light".

For example, today I drove halfway across town. It was my day off, but I had to pick up a new work uniform shirt - and the approved uniform vendors only have two locations in the entire Minneapolis metro area.

In my mind, I had planned a nice bike ride to pick up the shirts. In reality, I wanted them by Monday for a work event. I had the day off, so technically I could have biked up there, but I chose to bike with my son to his school instead. Which meant I had a deadline to bike BACK to school in the afternoon to pick him up.

But, I thought, what the heck. I'll drive up there in the middle of the day on a Friday. Driving a Prius, so the cost of gas is almost negligible. There shouldn't be much traffic, right? WRONG!!!

Super stressful drive. Stop and go traffic. Even in the middle of the day, on a weekday, traffic came to a full standstill on a major artery, for no apparent reason. At one point I was going the speed limit, but a semi towing an OVERSIZE mobile home, taking up a lane and a half, felt the need to pass me. And of course, looking around at my fellow drivers, a significant number of them are looking down at their laps. Not sure what they find so fascinating down there - but their eyes are not on the road.

My wife came along to keep me company, and she even commented how she thought that the drive would be relaxing, but it was NOT.

If I had to do a commute like that (During rush hour! Much worse than the middle of the day!) I'd lose my mind. In the end, both I and my wife were cursing my decision to do a simple errand by car today.
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Old 05-20-16, 06:24 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I drive for 8 to 10 hours a day in the Seattle metropolitan area. Naturally it can get frustrating at times, which is why I ride to commute, and don't own a car, but it's not that bad either.
Well, the vehicle you drive makes a big difference in how others treat you. I imagine if you are driving a semi, fewer people mess with you.

I realized this about a year after I had purchased (and crashed) my first car, a 1976 Chevy Vega. No way was that thing going to to a body shop to get repaired - I managed to duct tape a front head light in to the smashed front end to make it street legal.

It seemed like when I encountered other drivers, they looked at my smashed up car, and thought to themselves . .. "he's already hit SOMETHING. I wonder if he'll hit me. Better give him some room!"
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Old 05-20-16, 08:15 PM
  #116  
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Coming from OKlahoma to the Salem area I have made the transition to making trips on my bike during the week/weekend and riding the bus/walking to work. I did it because I am cheap! I never had to pay for parking in Okla but all around where I work in Salem its pay parking. If I wanted to drive it would cost me close to close to $200 a month for parking and gas.. The bus costs me $45 a month and has a rack on the front of it to place your bike .

I actually can get most places in Salem that I go faster on a bike than I can in my car, and they have a bike room at my job . Basically I really do not miss the traffic all that much and I enjoy the rides which is one of the reasons I started cycling 2 years ago. Yeah I had to buy a pannier for the rain and a grocery pannier for store runs, but it has been worth it to me. When I move back to Oklahoma I would love to try and continue the trend assuming I am close enough to work I can make commute without being soaked in sweat.

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Old 05-21-16, 12:16 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
When I was car free, I didn't just survive ... I thrived.

The term 'survive' suggests existing despite hardship ... survive definition and synonyms | Macmillan Dictionary ... but that wasn't how it was for me. Being car free was the preferable choice, not a hardship at all. And I lived a full and enjoyable life ... working full time, gaining further education, cycling long distances, travelling ...
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Old 05-21-16, 12:35 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
... I go faster on a bike than I can in my car....
This is often the case here also. People who feel sorry for us carfree/carlight folks don't understand that we actually don't spend much more time in transit than they do in their cars! For years, I had a four mile commute to work. By the time I got the car out of the garage, and parked it at the other end, it took just as long as riding the bike--about 15 minutes. But people at work would often say something like, "I could never ride a bike to work like that...OMG, four miles!!!" I tried to explain that four miles is just not a very large distance on a bike, in terms of time or exertion, but I don't think they were ever convinced.
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Old 05-21-16, 06:55 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I tried to explain that four miles is just not a very large distance on a bike, in terms of time or exertion, but I don't think they were ever convinced.
This is absolutely correct. Before I started riding a bike / etc.. I would never have believed it was the case. Don't get me wrong I love my car, but I also love all the extra money I am able to save by not driving every single place.
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Old 05-22-16, 12:08 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Well, the vehicle you drive makes a big difference in how others treat you. I imagine if you are driving a semi, fewer people mess with you.

I realized this about a year after I had purchased (and crashed) my first car, a 1976 Chevy Vega. No way was that thing going to to a body shop to get repaired - I managed to duct tape a front head light in to the smashed front end to make it street legal.

It seemed like when I encountered other drivers, they looked at my smashed up car, and thought to themselves . .. "he's already hit SOMETHING. I wonder if he'll hit me. Better give him some room!"
The Chevy Vega,,, when GM was making a car that would have been going in the right direction, instead of the SUV/ Truck direction. 10 miles per gallon.
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Old 05-22-16, 01:07 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
How about you ??...Have you tried living car-free in a car-centric area ??...I have.
Me too...Lansing, Michigan. I believe that more cars are built here than in any other city in the world. So people are pretty supportive of the auto industry...and believe it or not, I am supportive also. I survive (and thrive) as a carfee person in this center of car culture by being smart and adaptable, and taking some time and effort to actually think about good ways to become less reliant on cars.

Two other things I haven't mentioned yet that help in carfree survival:

1. Learn about the public transit in your area by actually trying it to ride a few places. Many people (Who haven't even tried it) tell me that our transit is "horrible" but actually it's pretty good, and has even won national awards. I think many people would be surprised to discover that they have adequate transit in their area that would at least be one part of carfree living.

2. Get on your bike and explore your area. You'll discover many routes and shortcuts that work well for bikes. Google Maps can help with this also, especially the satellite view. Using the the satellite picture, I found a short cut on an unmarked trail that cut 1/2 mile off my work commute, for example.

I know that you have many years of experience using the bike for basic travel. Did you learn any "tricks" that might be helpful to newer riders?
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Old 05-22-16, 11:03 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
The Chevy Vega,,, when GM was making a car that would have been going in the right direction, instead of the SUV/ Truck direction. 10 miles per gallon.
Car talk ala LCF motor car experts! Lots of Vegas were good for zero miles per gallon.

See Chevy Vega Turns 40 - How the Chevy Vega Nearly Destroyed GM for more details if interested in how owning a Vega could provide motivation to become working car free. Vega going in the right direction? The owner of such a lemon was lucky to be moving at all and often HAD to survive without a working car until he/she replaced it with something else, anything else.

Except:
By the end of the 1970s, the once-ubiquitous Vega was already disappearing from America's roads. With such a crummy reputation for reliability, the Vega's resale values soon dropped down near zero. Legend has it some salvage yard even put up "No Vegas" signs to announce that they weren't even bothering pulling usable parts off the cars before crushing them.
Now back to surviving without a car
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Old 05-22-16, 11:19 AM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Car talk ala LCF motor car experts! Lots of Vegas were good for zero miles per gallon.

See Chevy Vega Turns 40 - How the Chevy Vega Nearly Destroyed GM for more details if interested in how owning a Vega could provide motivation to become working car free. Vega going in the right direction? The owner of such a lemon was lucky to be moving at all and often HAD to survive without a working car until he/she replaced it with something else, anything else.
I guess that means that if you own a vega you can still consider yourself car free
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Old 05-22-16, 11:58 AM
  #124  
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Been car free my whole life. Started out getting around by bus and when I learned they were killing the route near where I live, I switched to bicycle. It's simply a matter of learning to leave early, and make more frequent, smaller trips to the market. One also has to plan around the weather more too. If it's going to be sunny one day, and stormy the next, do everything on the nice day, and stay in on the rainy one.
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Old 05-22-16, 12:00 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I guess that means that if you own a vega you can still consider yourself car free
If someone has a Vega that still works, he should immediately rush down to the nearest convenience store and stock up on lottery tickets due to his extraordinary good luck.
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