Car Free Introductory Profile.
- INTRODUCTORY PROFILE
1. Which of the following best describes you? Please check one.
__ I do not presently own a car though I have owned a car previously.
__ I am car-free and have never owned a car
_X_ 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?
I was car free for a month and a half when I tried an experiment
documented in a blog "Car(e)free in California" where I wrote about
the challenges of living car free in a place designed for cars, I
found out that once you established a rhythm it is almost possible.
Ironically, it was outside of the rhythm that it became painful and I
As I said though, new habits die hard. For local trips even though I
purchased a car, i still ride my bike most of the time, so my car
free experienced challenged the assumption that you need to use a car
as long as you choose your living arrangements well.
The blog is at http://carfreeincalifornia.blogspot.com
3. What inspired your decision to reduce or end your reliance on the
Sudden loss of car, and cost and hassle led to a moment of whimsy to
see how far could I go.
4. What factors have either impeded or inspired your decision to
reduce your reliance on automotive transport?
Social factors and busy schedules. I often have work and social
commitments that do mass transit or self transit cannot facilitate.
These are the exceptions, but frequent enough that an automobile is
necessary at times.
5. Has your transportational choices had any discernible effect on
your family and friends?
Yes, friends were confused at my decision. You have to have good
friends to be able to be car free since you will rely on their
generosity. Interestingly two friends started riding their bikes to
work as well during my experiment, so there has been if not a
"carless" movement, there has be a "less car" momentum.
6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being car-free and/or
getting around without using a car?
People start noticing once you start and you get into a modicum of
shape that you look more fit "payoff"
The other advantage is that carpooling can help foster or in some
cases tarnish friendships.
7. Do you typically feel comfortable recommending car-free living to
your friends and/or relatives? Why or why not?
For most local friends it's not a problem, local is defined as 3 - 5
miles riding, I have taken mass transit and used bicycle as
intermodal. People still find it unusual. You cannot "mooch miles"
too much. Since your friends are still paying for car insurance and
gas, fresh baked goods help mitigate that.
8. Have you experienced any adverse consequences of reducing or
eliminating your automotive dependency with regard to time and finances?
You have to plan much much further in advance, spontaneity suffers
for distances greater that 4 miles of transit. Finances benefit, the
equation time is money is starkly in focus. The flip side is if you
do have access to transit, that time can be reclaimed. Mass transit
outside of cities is too infrequent, and the wait to service time is
9. Have there been any benefits?
Health, peace of mind, mental disposition (it seems that being in
motion and kicking up metabolism has a positive correlation on attitude)
I park much faster on my bike.
10. In an ideal world, what role should the car play in the general
Providing flexibility for individuals, it should give options to
people, but not be a requirement. Some suburbs are only accessible by
cars and it become a dependency not an alternative.
11. Do you have any other personal or general thoughts you've care to
share on this topic?
See my blog.
12. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Silicon Valley, California, USA
Check out my experiment of living "Car(e)free in California" as I
live sans auto for a few weeks, months, years? What works, what
doesn't and what does it say about our society. --> http://