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Re: [CF] rural car-free families

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  • Terry Mehlman
    ... It is also the case, at least from ancedoctal evidence in central Indiana, that at least some Amish are far from car free. The testimony of the faith does
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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      On 6/5/05, SHYRLEY WILLIAMS <shyrley.williams@...> wrote:
      > but havnt they got the land to own horses to pull
      > thier carriages? There's not enough land in the UK for
      > horses to be a viable alternative.

      It is also the case, at least from ancedoctal evidence in central
      Indiana, that at least some Amish are far from car free. The
      testimony of the faith does forbid them from *owning* cars, but
      certainly not from riding in them. My father-in-law spends quite a
      bit of his time ferrying Amish families and individuals to
      appointments and on errands. The community in that area has a network
      of paid and volunteer drivers who can be summoned via the single phone
      in the community, which is sort of in the yard on a pole.

      I live about 10 miles out of my small city by choice and have
      part-time care of a 4yo. It's my ambition to be car-lite, at least.
      I think this would be much, much easier without my son in tow. Then
      the limiting factor would be mostly that it would take me
      significantly longer to do my work commute and errands. However, I
      just think of that as time I'm exercising, which many people devote to
      the gym. So, that's fine.

      The problem, as I see it, with young children is that the rural roads
      are not set up for bikes. No bike paths, curvy roads, inattentive
      drivers. That makes biking or towing a trailer unacceptably risky for
      me with my son. Others might make a different assessment.

      I use the first available park 'n ride lot and try to do my errands
      while in town. I have things shipped and take advantage of my land to
      provide some of my own needs - large garden, firewood. But it is
      difficult to figure out the alternatives in a semi-rural area with
      small children.

      If I was child-free, however, I don't see any reason I could not be
      car-free in this location.

      best,
      Terry
    • SHYRLEY WILLIAMS
      ... Yup. I think rural and car free is very feasible without kids. We chose to live in a city because we have 4 children. The idea was to be car free. I d love
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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        --- Terry Mehlman <tdmehlman@...> wrote:


        >
        > I live about 10 miles out of my small city by choice
        > and have
        > part-time care of a 4yo. It's my ambition to be
        > car-lite, at least.
        > I think this would be much, much easier without my
        > son in tow. Then
        > the limiting factor would be mostly that it would
        > take me
        > significantly longer to do my work commute and
        > errands. However, I
        > just think of that as time I'm exercising, which
        > many people devote to
        > the gym. So, that's fine.
        >
        > The problem, as I see it, with young children is
        > that the rural roads
        > are not set up for bikes. No bike paths, curvy
        > roads, inattentive
        > drivers. That makes biking or towing a trailer
        > unacceptably risky for
        > me with my son. Others might make a different
        > assessment.
        >
        > I use the first available park 'n ride lot and try
        > to do my errands
        > while in town. I have things shipped and take
        > advantage of my land to
        > provide some of my own needs - large garden,
        > firewood. But it is
        > difficult to figure out the alternatives in a
        > semi-rural area with
        > small children.
        >
        > If I was child-free, however, I don't see any reason
        > I could not be
        > car-free in this location.
        >
        > best,
        > Terry
        >


        Yup. I think rural and car free is very feasible
        without kids. We chose to live in a city because we
        have 4 children. The idea was to be car free. I'd love
        to live in a rural place without the pollution and
        noise. Unfortunately, child no. 4 is severely disabled
        so we had to get a car. However, living in the city
        means I can be car-lite. I do all errands by bike when
        hubby gets home from work in the evening. The older
        kids take the bus when they go out. The car is only
        used when I have to take the disabled one places and
        even then I agonise about it.
        She was offered a place at a physio group but it was
        13 miles away which in Bristol would take about an
        hour to get too so I turned that down. Her OT and PT
        now come to us. We've recently been offerd a place on
        a conductive education course for toddlers with severe
        cerebral palsy but its 35 miles away. Thhis one I will
        take. Long term, if it help =s her be less disabled
        there will be a less polluting effect.
        Which reminds me, an article in the BBC today
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4610755.stm
        This is about pay-as-you-drive but strikes me if
        there's a falt rate per mile, there's no incentive for
        drivers to use efficeint cars. A hummer would be
        charge the same as a mini. My view is that tax on fuel
        should act as pay-as-you-drive but mototrists get
        narked by that. Also, the rich then pollute at will
        cos they can afford it whilst the poor who are forced
        to live far from work because of obsene house
        pricesthen have to pay the tax and have less money for
        food etc.
        Dunno the answer really.

        Shyrley

        Bush : "We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans."—Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000





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      • Brett Breitwieser
        What s the world coming to? Amish who accept rides in cars? Cowboys who have traded their horses in for pickups? I guess part of the reason my ancestors left
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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          What's the world coming to?
          Amish who accept rides in cars?
          Cowboys who have traded their horses in for pickups?

          I guess part of the reason my ancestors left the old world for the new was
          the quest for living-space,
          we could still use horses in some areas of this country (rural country I
          mean) and I think some people still do, though I haven't seen them in
          awhile...

          I did live in the Appalachian mountains for three years without a car (I
          WALKED by gosh!)... would hike into town to buy groceries (10-15 miles), I
          was young and vigorous.... I also lived in the Rocky Mountains in a fairly
          remote area... got around on cross-country skis in winter, hiked in the
          summer... most of my "neighbors" (as Lincoln's father said, "if you can see
          smoke from your neighbor's fireplace, it's time to move") didn't own cars
          either, as they were squatting on federal lands...

          And of course a more suitable model for carfree rural life for the old world
          might be the carfree village I lived in in Africa for two years.... they had
          horses and oxen somehow though (ox cart, now there's a slow ride!)
          Brett Breitwieser (brett@...)
          Internet Technician, Hypnotherapist, Green, Buddhist, HPV3er
          http://HPV3.US
          http://www.trikke.com/usa/arizumabrett


          -----Original Message-----
          From: CarFree@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CarFree@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
          SHYRLEY WILLIAMS
          Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2005 2:04 AM
          To: CarFree@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [CF] rural car-free families


          but havnt they got the land to own horses to pull
          thier carriages? There's not enough land in the UK for
          horses to be a viable alternative.

          Shyrley


          --- Brett Breitwieser <brett@...> wrote:

          > The Amish...
          >
          > Brett Breitwieser (brett@...)
          > Internet Technician, Hypnotherapist, Green,
          > Buddhist, HPV3er
          > http://HPV3.US
          > http://www.trikke.com/usa/arizumabrett
          >
          >




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • De Clarke
          ... interesting case. iirc the amish have an (unwritten I think) policy that if you work off the farm, you shouldn t work any further away than you can walk
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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            Brett Breitwieser (brett@...) wrote:
            > The Amish...

            interesting case. iirc the amish have an (unwritten I think) policy
            that if you work off the farm, you shouldn't work any further away than
            you can walk home from for lunch. the radius of work travel is
            constrained by the imperative to keep family mealtimes intact. and
            of course, the ban on automobiles.

            much of the logic of the amish rule is about valuing social capital
            (a phrase which troubles me) more highly than "efficiency" and the
            like. the life of the family and community is paramount, and technologies
            which erode or degrade that life (tending to encourage solipsism,
            selfishness, withdrawal from the social fabric) are banned. amish
            teenagers, however, have a great deal of liberty before they make the
            decision to commit to the amish community permanently; and many of
            them drive cars, party, drink, etc. these things they give up (putting
            away childish things, as you might say) if/when they decide to make a
            lifetime commitment to their community. I find it interesting that in
            amish culture, the car therefore becomes a "kid thing" which adults are
            too serious to own or play with.

            anyway, one interesting thing about the amish is that despite putting
            "efficiency" last on their list of priorities, theirs are some of the
            most efficient and profitable farms. as "english" (non-amish) farmers
            whine about weather and markets and sell off their land, amish quietly
            buy up the "failed" farms and generally make a success of them. or
            at least that's the pattern that my friends in central PA observed over
            a period of years.

            de

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            :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
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          • Kurt Jensen
            I don t have a lot of experience with utility bicycling in rural areas, but my sister-in-law lives in a small town in central Pennsylvania with lots of Amish
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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              I don't have a lot of experience with utility bicycling in rural areas, but my sister-in-law
              lives in a small town in central Pennsylvania with lots of Amish neighbors with whom she
              is friendly. On a visit there, my family was given a ride in one of their horse-pulled
              carriages over to a house for an Amish dinner. On the way there, on one of the small
              roads that paralleled the main route through the valley, we were approached from behind
              by a car that was gaining on us quickly. They'll start slowing down anytime, I thought, as
              the car grew closer and closer, still going too fast. Finally, at the point where I was
              starting to brace for an impact, the driver hit the brakes hard.

              I assumed, but don't know, that the driver was a local, since we were on a small, side
              road that served only the farms in the area. I assumed that the driver had to be aware of
              the carriages that were on the roads frequently. They're abundant in that area. And yet,
              on a small side road in a small community, this driver was either stupidly aggresive or
              stupidly inattentive. From what I was told subsequently, collisions between cars and the
              Amish buggies are not infrequent. Given the light, wooden construction of the buggies,
              those collisions are devestating.

              I pulled my children in bicycle trailers all though their early years, starting with a
              Cannondale Bugger, and then a Burley. On those narrow rural roads in central
              Pennsylvania with those kinds of drivers, it would have been a scary thing to do.



              Kurt
              Eugene, OR


              > On 6/5/05, SHYRLEY WILLIAMS <shyrley.williams@b...> wrote:
              >
              > The problem, as I see it, with young children is that the rural roads
              > are not set up for bikes. No bike paths, curvy roads, inattentive
              > drivers. That makes biking or towing a trailer unacceptably risky for
              > me with my son. Others might make a different assessment.
              >
            • Simon Baddeley
              These are interesting reflections. As someone who has come to dislike cars and car travel I recall having some of my happiest childhood moments in cars with my
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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                These are interesting reflections. As someone who has come to dislike cars
                and car travel I recall having some of my happiest childhood moments in cars
                with my family. What I most recall (and which was constantly written about
                and filmed) is the accessibility to places all over Britain that we got from
                having a car. I realise now that we lived what most people see only in
                absurdly unrealistic advertisements.

                We had the means to drive (both my parents were successful writers and
                journalists through the late 40s and 50s and owned cars as part of their
                salaries). We would arrive at places where there would be no other cars for
                miles ­ or very few. You could park next to beaches, cliff tops and high
                ridges with mighty views (see what I mean about advertising). We
                reconnoitred long lightly metalled rural lanes ending in cul-de-sacs where
                after a word with a local farmer we set up tent, fished in clear trout
                streams. We ate our catch fried in butter. I was often very happy. I
                remember my father saying when I was going on once about the ³beauties of
                the countryside² (I was quite a literary child) that this sort of thing
                wouldn¹t last. ³We¹re doing things that only the very rich could do and soon
                everyone will be doing it! We¹ve started the rot². In later years my father
                observed that the central dilemma of socialism (quoting Bertrand Russell)
                was that ³you can ruin anything by making it available to everybody².

                From the mid 60s onwards life on the open road became progressively more
                unpleasant as more and more understandably sought access to a possession we
                had enjoyed more exclusively. I started travelling abroad to get away from
                the crowds in my own country ­ often walking and relying on trains and buses
                going to lonelier places that were still ³places². We seldom returned more
                than twice because we could always see material prosperity spreading - as it
                rightly should - but at the same time blighting the quietness and slowness
                of more self-sufficient economies we had visited as guests rather than an
                important part of the new local economy. We saw fishing boats laid up and
                replaced by marinas and yachts. We saw heritage signage spreading as places
                became consumer items. (Yes we too had been consuming but we¹d usually
                enjoyed the only table in the house!)

                I am not proud or ashamed of these things ­ just increasingly aware though
                of what was going on. In his old age my father said ³the only places left
                for us are in the cracks between the concrete. I advise you always to choose
                to live in places already ruined. Maybe you will find the wisdom to make
                them better in some new way none of us understand.²

                I¹ve told this story before but I did not revisit my childhood experiences
                of motor touring until 1995 when with my young children we toured the
                Peloponnesus in a hired car. We had had special help from the Greek half of
                my family identifying still isolated areas of the peninsular. The motorway
                south west from Athens was still under construction. We drove en famille on
                almost empty roads stopping whenever we wanted and having picnics, strolling
                together through ancient ruins. Stopping high in the mountains one Sunday
                evening and hearing silence under a black sky pierced by a million stars
                (never seen under the yellow vomit of light polluted Birmingham at night)
                except for the cooling cracking of the car hot from ascending a narrow zig
                zag road where we encountered no other vehicle for half hours at a time. I
                took joy seeing my little daughter and wife who unlike me had never been to
                Greece walking among the remains of a civilisation I associate with my roots
                as well as my present family. The car took us right up to tavernas where we
                could park and walk to a table. Only once an ill-judged detour ³to see the
                sea² jammed us into the narrow walking streets of an ex-fishing village
                grid-locked by visiting motorists ­ foreign and the new expanding Greek
                middle classes, and us!

                Back in England I saw this holiday as an anachronistic replay of my motoring
                childhood and realised I could not keep trying to stay ahead of people with
                the same aspirations as myself but slightly further back in the rat race. I
                had to start thinking about my father¹s old age advise. I still have a car
                but drive it less than 3000 miles a year. My favoured way of getting about
                is on my feet, on a bicycle and by train or bus. I have indeed found joy in
                the gaps between the cracks in the concrete. I have watched wild fowl,
                inland seagulls, herons, urban rats and foxes along canal towpaths passing
                beneath the pillars of raised motorway junctions as I cycle and walk the
                city, enjoying picnics in the shadow of dilapidated industrial ruins,
                campaigning for more urban green space, for education for sustainable
                living, chatting across the rich world in cyberspace to like minded people
                about ways to solve that central dilemma of making the riches of the world
                available to everyone without destroying it, trying to imagine cities where
                more people will want to stay and make into places again instead of
                economies where they can earn enough ³to get way².

                Simon




                On 5/6/05 18:57, "De Clarke" <de@...> wrote:

                > Brett Breitwieser (brett@...) wrote:
                >> > The Amish...
                >
                > interesting case. iirc the amish have an (unwritten I think) policy
                > that if you work off the farm, you shouldn't work any further away than
                > you can walk home from for lunch. the radius of work travel is
                > constrained by the imperative to keep family mealtimes intact. and
                > of course, the ban on automobiles.
                >
                > much of the logic of the amish rule is about valuing social capital
                > (a phrase which troubles me) more highly than "efficiency" and the
                > like. the life of the family and community is paramount, and technologies
                > which erode or degrade that life (tending to encourage solipsism,
                selfishness, withdrawal from the social fabric) are banned.


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • SHYRLEY WILLIAMS
                ... Rural roads here are the same. No longer peaceful havens but with reasonably frequent fast drivers, usually some 4 wheel drive monster driving way too fast
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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                  --- Kurt Jensen <kurtjens@...> wrote:



                  >
                  > I pulled my children in bicycle trailers all
                  > though their early years, starting with a
                  > Cannondale Bugger, and then a Burley. On those
                  > narrow rural roads in central
                  > Pennsylvania with those kinds of drivers, it would
                  > have been a scary thing to do.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Kurt
                  > Eugene, OR
                  >


                  Rural roads here are the same. No longer peaceful
                  havens but with reasonably frequent fast drivers,
                  usually some 4 wheel drive monster driving way too
                  fast even though they can't see around frequent bends
                  due to high hedges. They must know they will meet a
                  tractor or horse-rider! I find roads like that more
                  scary than cycling in city roads.
                  Last year I took my daughter and our bikes by train
                  down to the New Forest in southern England. We avoided
                  the busy main roads but the so called quiet roads,
                  with a posted top speed of 40 were still speedways.
                  Dead ponies and deer littered the side :-(
                  I felt safer when we cuycled back through the city of
                  Southampton to get the train back!

                  Shyrley

                  Bush : "We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans."—Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000



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                • De Clarke
                  thanks Simon B for a beautiful essay. de --
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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                    thanks Simon B for a beautiful essay.

                    de

                    --
                    .............................................................................
                    :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                    :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                    :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                    :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                  • Simon Baddeley
                    Dear Shyrley I find my quietest cycling in the city now.. You have to walk to find the quiet places or cycle in mid week in autumn and winter ­ times not
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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                      Dear Shyrley

                      I find my quietest cycling in the city now.. You have to walk to find the
                      quiet places or cycle in mid week in autumn and winter ­ times not available
                      to most earners. The countryside or what¹s left of it is an increasingly
                      harassed metro leisure space in which fewer than 4% actually make their
                      living from the land. The reality of this is seen in the new government
                      agenda of dividing up large parts of the UK into ³city regions².

                      http://www.nlgn.org.uk/mod_media_releases.php?article=170
                      http://www.city-regions.de/

                      Simon

                      On 5/6/05 20:48, "SHYRLEY WILLIAMS" <shyrley.williams@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Rural roads here are the same. No longer peaceful
                      > havens but with reasonably frequent fast drivers,
                      > usually some 4 wheel drive monster driving way too
                      > fast even though they can't see around frequent bends
                      > due to high hedges. They must know they will meet a
                      > tractor or horse-rider! I find roads like that more
                      > scary than cycling in city roads.
                      > Last year I took my daughter and our bikes by train
                      > down to the New Forest in southern England. We avoided
                      > the busy main roads but the so called quiet roads,
                      > with a posted top speed of 40 were still speedways.
                      > Dead ponies and deer littered the side :-(
                      > I felt safer when we cuycled back through the city of
                      > Southampton to get the train back!
                      >
                      > *
                      >




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • richardmasoner
                      ... Ditto. I ve lived much of my life in larger cities. I tried living in a small town of 900 people for seven years. There were positives, but for the most
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 5, 2005
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                        De Clarke wrote:

                        > thanks Simon B for a beautiful essay.

                        Ditto.

                        I've lived much of my life in larger cities. I tried living in a small
                        town of 900 people for seven years. There were positives, but for the
                        most part I didn't care for small-town living. I got to know many
                        people in town and I miss them. I also supported the local (and
                        struggling) grocery store, I provided some free help to the local
                        high-speed wireless internet provider, we patronized the ice cream
                        shack. It's undoubtably my upbringning, but the insularity of
                        small-town life just rubbed me wrong.

                        My son (age 9) knows and sees children his age who live in the exurbs.
                        They see them riding dirt bikes and ATVs all around and he thinks
                        that's cool. I tell him that their parents buy these toys to make up
                        for their lack of nearby friends. Within a couple hundred feet of my
                        home my children have something like a dozen children within a couple
                        of years of his age that he plays with. In my opinion, the toys can be
                        really fun, no doubt, but relationship building and social interaction
                        is far more valuable than these fast, noisy toys.

                        RFM
                      • Fitzsimmons, Diane
                        I am coming in late in this conversation so someone else may have already brought this up ... Of course, people can live car-free in rural areas. In America,
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 6, 2005
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                          I am coming in late in this conversation so someone else may have
                          already brought this up ...

                          Of course, people can live car-free in rural areas. In America, they
                          did so until about 70 years ago, and they still do all around the world.
                          :^) In America, I still meet some of these people who experienced
                          car-freedom more recently ... For instance, one of the top football
                          stars of all time at the University of Oklahoma (Pro Football Hall of
                          Fame, College Football Hall of Fame, and the college sports Academic
                          Hall of Fame) has often talked about growing up in Oklahoma in the 1960s
                          where a horse-drawn wagon was the family's means of transportation
                          (family of 11, two-bedroom house).

                          But ... It would be difficult to live car free in rural areas with the
                          lifestyles we have now.

                          In pre-car-for-every-family days, people made their living at their
                          homes, or within the distance the breadwinner could walk or ride a
                          horse. Trips to the store were once a week or once a month, once again
                          by wagon. And children walked to one-room schoolhouses that were every
                          few miles or so. Country churches were also a staple.

                          People took advantage of horse-drawn deliveries, and long trips were
                          made by train.

                          Yes, one could do it today -- but their lifestyle would be drastically
                          changed, and their time scale would be turned totally around.

                          Diane Fitzsimmons
                          Norman, Okla., USA
                        • SHYRLEY WILLIAMS
                          ... Might be good for people s stress levels too. No more 30 scheduled activities for those middle class kids after school. They d get to know neighbours and
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 6, 2005
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                            --- "Fitzsimmons, Diane" <dcfitzsimmons@...> wrote:

                            > I am coming in late in this conversation so someone
                            > else may have
                            > already brought this up ...
                            >

                            >
                            > Yes, one could do it today -- but their lifestyle
                            > would be drastically
                            > changed, and their time scale would be turned
                            > totally around.
                            >
                            > Diane Fitzsimmons
                            > Norman, Okla., USA
                            >
                            >
                            Might be good for people's stress levels too. No more
                            30 scheduled activities for those middle class kids
                            after school. They'd get to know neighbours and have a
                            chance to veg out and be kids for once! Mum wouldn't
                            be a harassed taxi driver with a wall calender that
                            makes the Queens schedule look empty. Family meals
                            together.
                            Gosh, it would make a huge difference!

                            Shyrley

                            Bush : "We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans."—Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000





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                          • Bob Bryant
                            Hi everyone, My name is Bob Bryant and I live with my wife, two teenage kids, and Jack Russell “JR” in a small town in NW Washington. Port Townsend is on
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 6, 2005
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                              Hi everyone,
                              My name is Bob Bryant and I live with my wife, two teenage kids, and
                              Jack Russell “JR” in a small town in NW Washington. Port Townsend is on
                              the Olympic Peninsula, about 2.5 hours NW of Seattle. We live 3.5 miles
                              from town in a quiet rural area. The speed limit in town and out to
                              our house is < 25 mph. It isn’t a perfect place to cycle, but it’s
                              close. We do have speeding cars on the country backroads, but we also
                              have many NEVs (neighborhood electric vehicles) that will only go 25
                              mph. We have a ferry dock in town (from Whidbey Island) and two
                              two-lane roads to get off of the peninsula. This means fast moving
                              vehicles, trucks and other commercial vehicle traffic on the main
                              highway, but there are no freeways in our county.

                              Back in the summer of 2002, we sold our only car and lived car free for
                              more than three months. While we had good success, in the end, we
                              purchased another car. The car is mainly used for trips out of town
                              when the four of us and our dog need to go. During the course of a
                              regular week, I have no need for a car and get around fine by bike or
                              on foot.

                              Getting around our town by bike, foot or transit is relatively easy.
                              The difficulties of being car free in this area are unique. The biggest
                              problem is how to get back to Seattle when we all need to go. You can
                              take get to the ferry dock at Bainbridge Island (to Seattle) by bus a
                              few times per day, but getting to Seattle and back in one day is
                              difficult and must be well planned. We do have an airporter shuttle,
                              but the drop off point is out in the middle of nowhere on a state
                              highway.

                              Renting a car here can be very difficult if you don’t already own a
                              car. The two car rental agencies in town will only rent to you if you
                              have your own insurance. I did find an Enterprise agency that was an
                              hour away by bus. They would rent a car and sell us insurance. It was
                              brought up on this list that perhaps we should keep an old car around
                              just to have the insurance. Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that
                              this was good advice. Also interesting is that I was also warned by my
                              insurance agent that if I went without a car for long, I'd have a
                              difficult time getting insurance in the future.

                              As I write this, I'm off to town on my bike towing a Burley trailer to
                              get some new yard tools at the hardware store, and my wife is towing
                              our cargo trailer down the beach with the dog.

                              Our ultimate goal is to become car free again, and we are continuing to
                              formulate our future plans for this. One thing is for certain, if we
                              lived in a larger town with access to FlexCar, commuter trains and a
                              larger bus service, being car free would be downright easy.

                              Bob Bryant
                            • Simon Norton
                              There is basically no obstacle to being car-free in rural areas provided one chooses the right place to live. Some requirements are: 1. Find somewhere big
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jun 6, 2005
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                                There is basically no obstacle to being car-free in rural areas provided one
                                chooses the right place to live. Some requirements are:

                                1. Find somewhere big enough so that there are reasonable local facilities.
                                Becoming more problematic in the UK with many services closing down, but still
                                possible.
                                2. Find somewhere with regular bus or train services all day, including
                                weekends. Lots of places in the UK satisfy this requirement, even though there
                                are too many (even those big enough to satisfy 1) that don't.
                                3. Arrange for all one's regular movements (for work, school and shopping) to be
                                within the scope of public transport, cycling and walking.

                                In many parts of the UK, though, the problem is that even rural areas have
                                become urban in character. One can no longer allow one's children to play in the
                                streets because of the traffic, and the fields, if one can use them without
                                trespassing, have been taken over by the more industrialised types of farming.
                                Rural areas are also highly prone to vandalism and other social problems. In
                                other words, just moving out of a town doesn't insulate one from urban
                                problems !

                                Simon Norton
                              • SHYRLEY WILLIAMS
                                Surely the first obstacle to overcome is where you work? If you can t get a job in or near one of these rural idylls then thats that. Hubby is a mathematician.
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jun 7, 2005
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                                  Surely the first obstacle to overcome is where you
                                  work? If you can't get a job in or near one of these
                                  rural idylls then thats that.
                                  Hubby is a mathematician. Extremely specialised.
                                  There's only 3 places in the UK that do the type of
                                  research he does. He's working for one here in
                                  Bristol. One he used to work for is moving from Great
                                  Malvern (rural idyll) to Portsmouth (hellhole) and is
                                  shedding jobs as it goes. And the third isn't replying
                                  to any letters, CV's etc.
                                  The other obstacle to rural idylls, even if they have
                                  a bus every half an hour, is accessibility and medical
                                  need (digs out soapbox). A medically fragile child
                                  requires access to a decent hospital and it must be
                                  easy access. An able bodied single person can change
                                  bus or train a few times. Not so for the disabled.
                                  The final problem is that rich city types have already
                                  snapped up the housing, driving prices to 8 times the
                                  average salary and storm the lanes in their monster
                                  SUV's.
                                  While I'd like to live in the country, living in the
                                  city is, in my opinion, more environmentally friendly
                                  just because you can reduce car use. Teens can catch
                                  buses to those all night raves or to see their mates.
                                  Car drivers expect to see cyclists so its safer to
                                  cycle, amenities like take-aways are close by as are
                                  shops. All my friends who live in the country have to
                                  have cars, some of them two. So while I feel jealous
                                  when I go visit (and you need a car to go see them)
                                  I'd hate to have to run two cars and use one everytime
                                  I needed something or had to go to the hospital.

                                  Shyrley


                                  --- Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:

                                  > There is basically no obstacle to being car-free in
                                  > rural areas provided one
                                  > chooses the right place to live. Some requirements
                                  > are:
                                  >
                                  > 1. Find somewhere big enough so that there are
                                  > reasonable local facilities.
                                  > Becoming more problematic in the UK with many
                                  > services closing down, but still
                                  > possible.
                                  > 2. Find somewhere with regular bus or train services
                                  > all day, including
                                  > weekends. Lots of places in the UK satisfy this
                                  > requirement, even though there
                                  > are too many (even those big enough to satisfy 1)
                                  > that don't.
                                  > 3. Arrange for all one's regular movements (for
                                  > work, school and shopping) to be
                                  > within the scope of public transport, cycling and
                                  > walking.
                                  >
                                  > In many parts of the UK, though, the problem is that
                                  > even rural areas have
                                  > become urban in character. One can no longer allow
                                  > one's children to play in the
                                  > streets because of the traffic, and the fields, if
                                  > one can use them without
                                  > trespassing, have been taken over by the more
                                  > industrialised types of farming.
                                  > Rural areas are also highly prone to vandalism and
                                  > other social problems. In
                                  > other words, just moving out of a town doesn't
                                  > insulate one from urban
                                  > problems !
                                  >
                                  > Simon Norton
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Problem? Email: CarFree-owners@yahoogroups.com
                                  >
                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > CarFree-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >


                                  Bush : "We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans."—Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000





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                                • Simon Baddeley
                                  Dear Shyrley I am not sure there is anymore such a thing as a rural idyll. I was making that point in the longer piece I floated last week about my experiences
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jun 7, 2005
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                                    Dear Shyrley

                                    I am not sure there is anymore such a thing as a rural idyll. I was making
                                    that point in the longer piece I floated last week about my experiences of
                                    motor touring in the 1950s. Most of the British countryside is now within
                                    hearing distance of a motorway and if it isn¹t, likely to be regularly
                                    overflown by microlights or larger aircraft or noisiest of all executive
                                    helicopters. The Sunday broadsheets publish maps of the the last serene
                                    places left in the country ­ with map references! Enter quiet places or
                                    serene places in Google and you get a sense of the desperation or at least
                                    the consumption value of such places. They¹re an item! Rural roads are now,
                                    as you've observed earlier, riven by the dangerous presence of speeding
                                    local motorbikes from toe to tip of the land. In the Forest of Dean which I
                                    know well there has been a catalogue of deaths of young people ­ usually
                                    lads ­ who¹ve crashed their cars as they drive them at crazy testosterone
                                    speeds around the increasingly congested roads of rural Gloucestershire. In
                                    Lydbrook on a Sunday morning (a village 6 miles south of Ross-on-Wye in the
                                    Forest) there¹s a little airfield on the hill above the village with
                                    hobbyists cruising overhead. There¹s Conan the strimmer man clearing the
                                    encroaching undergrowth from his garden ­ just after breakfast. There¹s
                                    someone with a chain saw at work preparing supplies for that romantic log
                                    fire and the commercial trucks that work their way through the Forest up to
                                    the Gloucester road with umpteen changes of gear on the long steep hill are
                                    on a 24/7 tariff now that ignores weekend breaks. If that wasn¹t enough the
                                    cacophony of rural village life will be enriched by a teenager playing
                                    amplified music resonating off the steep sided valley above the Wye for all
                                    to enjoy and down there by the car park there¹s some kids trying out a
                                    couple of the new mini-motor bikes with their baffles removed to get that
                                    special staccato sound. Go to the Highlands to where my mother lives 7 miles
                                    south of Inverness in a landscape of surpassing beauty and from Monday to
                                    Friday there¹s the constant growling churning roar of the gravel quarry in
                                    the middle of the strath, while the fighters from Lossiemouth roar over
                                    twice a day shattering the air. The A9 dual carriageway hums all day a
                                    couple of miles away at the head of the Strath. You can see the small specks
                                    of the truck roofs in the distance as they accumulate their food-miles
                                    fuelling the burgeoning economy of the area. More and more tourists and the
                                    same kind of young people as in the Dean now drive the small highland roads
                                    occasionally ending in ditches or worse making similar tragic headlines (I
                                    say tragic not to repeat a cliché media word but to refer to the real
                                    definition of ³tragedy² as something that seems inevitable²). The rural
                                    idyll is just that ­ an idyll. in this country it always has been. There
                                    were lads from deep in Tyne-and-Tees dying in the trenches in the first
                                    world war with pictures of little country cottages with roses climbing
                                    trellises outside a porch festooned with honeysuckle . They had never known
                                    such a place living in industrial back to backs but they dreamed about it.
                                    If you or anyone else ³knows² the right place to live ... keep it quiet!

                                    Best

                                    Simon


                                    On 7/6/05 08:45, "SHYRLEY WILLIAMS" <shyrley.williams@...> wrote:

                                    >
                                    > Surely the first obstacle to overcome is where you
                                    > work? If you can't get a job in or near one of these
                                    > rural idylls then thats that.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >> > There is basically no obstacle to being car-free in
                                    >> > rural areas provided one
                                    >> > chooses the right place to live. Some requirements
                                    >> > are:



                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • richardmasoner
                                    ... That s the case in some ways here in the United States also in some ways, and the UK has nine times the population density of the US. RFM
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jun 9, 2005
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                                      Simon Norton wrote:

                                      > In many parts of the UK, though, the problem is that even rural
                                      > areas have become urban in character.

                                      That's the case in some ways here in the United States also in some
                                      ways, and the UK has nine times the population density of the US.

                                      RFM
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