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  • Mary Leigh Burke
    Feb 3, 2014
       1. Which of the following best describes you? Please check one.
      _x_ I do not presently own a car though I have owned a car previously.
      __ I am car-free and have never owned a car
      __ I own a car but use other forms of transport frequently

      2. How long have you been either car-free or used non-automotive       transport as your principle means of transportation?
      4 months

       3. What inspired your decision to reduce or end your reliance on the
      I retired (at 61) to a bike-friendly town and then got in a car accident where my car was totaled, at which point I decided not to replace it.

       4. What factors have either impeded or inspired your decision to reduce your reliance on automotive transport?
      Inspired: free bus service here; tons of support for car free life; living near everything I need; desire to live a simple life in alignment with my Buddhist spiritual practice.
      Impeded: not much except that my immediate neighborhood is full of car-dependent people, so I feel somewhat alone day-to-day.

       5. Has your transportational choices had any discernible effect on your family and friends?
      A few people (none here where I live, but family/friends from my former life in Silicon Valley, CA) think I'm being an extremist, but most congratulate and/or admire me.

       6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being car-free and/or getting around without using a car?
      advantages: Your fitness arises naturally from your day to day life (although I still do go to the gym, I don't drive to the gym to then attend cycling class!).  You live lightly on the earth.  You experience your surroundings more directly and joyfully when you're not hiding behind 2 tons of steel.  You meet the neighbors.  You find creative solutions to needs a car used to fill (e.g. getting heavy cat litter delivered from Amazon).
      disadvantages: You can't just jump in the car and head out - you have to plan ahead for getting from A to B.  Kitty needs the vet = call a cab.  You need to be careful not to depend on friends for rides and create annoyance.

       7. Do you typically feel comfortable recommending car-free living to your friends and/or relatives? Why or why not?
      Absolutely, although it does depend on where they live and how open minded they are.

       8. Have you experienced any adverse consequences of reducing or eliminating your automotive dependency with regard to time and finances?
      Not so far.

       9. Have there been any benefits?  (already answered)

      10. In an ideal world, what role should the car play in the general transportation system?
      It would be great if cars could be shared resources.  I like the car share program here but it's way too limited and the two locations are not walking distance from my house.

       11. Do you have any other personal or general thoughts you've care to share on this topic?
      It's a whole, vast new world out there to be discovered!

       12. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
      Corvallis, Oregon, USA
      (Moved here from Mountain View, CA, USA, last April.)