or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Connect With Other Moms › If you are car-free, where do you live?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

If you are car-free, where do you live?

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
We have been car-free for almost 7 years. We have a 5 year old and an almost 1 year old. We currently live in a small town with little to no public transportation. The weather here is rough and with the two kids, it's too hard on me. We are looking to move, and I am just curious where all the car-free families live. I know that in many major cities, it's pretty normal to be car-free. But I am wondering if I don't know about some not so big cities where it's not so difficult to be car-free.

Thanks

Lauren
post #2 of 76
I live in NYC and our family is completely car-free. I don't even know how to drive. We take public transportation everywhere, but occasionally borrow or rent cars when we travel out of state. I'm fine with it. We don't need a car at all.
post #3 of 76
I live in seattle, wa. I had a car, but after having dd couldn't afford to pay for it (It was a 2007) and SAH...so we have been car free for 3mo... Honestly it isn't the easiest thing in the world, especially lately as it has snowed like crazy over here! BUT, I am way more in shape, it is an excuse to go for walks with my DD, and my DD loves the bus. I am getting to know the city a lot better.

Unfortunately I will be buying a car in the near future because I am a Doula and plan to attend births after my daughter is 1yr old.

Goodluck!
post #4 of 76
We live in Toronto, Ontario, and while we do have a car (my DH cannot take transit to work - he works at the air-traffic-control centre at the airport and there's no transit to the middle of the airfield!) I don't drive and can get anywhere I want in the city, and find it very easy to get around. If you live near a subway station, it's best, and you can get anywhere you need with one subway ride plus a bus ride. This is a great city!! We love it.
post #5 of 76
For the several decades that I was a Manhattanite, I was car-free.

Great public transportation there.

But then again, who can afford the rent, so there's a trade-off, you know:?
post #6 of 76
San Francisco...car-free for a year now. The rent is crazy, but I think the amount I'd save by moving down the peninsula some (or across the bay) would all be blown on paying for a car (and gas and insurance and maintenance...) If I still had the car I'd be a little angrier about the cost of rent here lol
post #7 of 76
I live in Oslo, Norway and we are car free:
post #8 of 76
I used to live in Portland, OR and it is very easy to be car free there. We were not but close friends of ours are. She has 3 kids and nanny's after school for 2 other children and manages quite well w/out a car. You can spy her all over the neighborhood w/ her Burley and older son on his bike too. Plus Portland is not a huge crazy major city...it's mellow and laid back and the public transp. is awesome!

eta, we were car free before kids in Seattle and loved it!
post #9 of 76
We lived in Spanish Fork, Utah, a small town about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. We had a van that I used rarely - my husband put more miles on his bike the last two years in a row than we did on our van. The public transit system was awful, but our house was in a location that was walkable to most things. I think it just depends on where you're willing to have a house - I am guessing that in many small towns, you can be close to a library, park, and grocery store. Some people may need more options than that, but it worked for me.

We recently moved to Kentucky and are struggling to find affordable housing that will enable us to live a simple, walkable, yet sustainable (big garden, chickens) lifestyle. We think we will have to compromise somewhere, we just don't know on what aspect yet. Any suggestions?
post #10 of 76
I am car free and live near Seattle WA. I commute on the bus with my DD for an hour twice a day. I used to live in the Bay area and miss BART and MUNI, the public transit there was much more reliable than it is here. It is still easy to get around, I just have to wait.:
post #11 of 76
I'm car-free in Houston, and I wouldn't recommend it. (Nor is it the small city you're looking for!) Public transportation is fairly terrible (though at least it exists!), and the city is HUGE.

I was car-free in Chicago as a college student, and that was much, much more manageable. Regardless of what Chicagoans say, the public transit there is pretty decent. Definitely not the best in the world, but it covers a HUGE part of the city, and many of the buses/trains run frequently. It's also much more common not to have a car in Chicago than it is in Houston - people in Houston look at you like you have three heads if you say you don't have a car. But, again, Chicago is not at ALL a small city!
post #12 of 76
Car free in Sydney, Australia. Generally we like it (we're spending our money on rent, school fees and travel), but there are days when it's an inconvenience...
post #13 of 76
We live in State College, Pennsylvania. It's a small city. We still have one car but could easily be car-free. DH doesn't drive, he takes the bus to work in the winter and rides his bike in the summer (and takes the kids to preschool on the bus/bike). We can walk to the grocery store, lots of parks, the school, the public pool. We like it.
post #14 of 76
We're not quite car free but we easily could be here in Denver. We really only have a car for road trips, and since we take usually one a month renting just gets pricey. When I moved here I had no car (my DH did the same thing) and neither of us had any problems. The winters are brief and mild, and Denver is really a pretty small town. The suburbs are huge, but the city itself is affordable and small and has lots of easy public transportation. And bike trails! I read somewhere that Denver has more bike trails per capita than any other American city. I don't know if it's true, but I don't really doubt it. Bikes everywhere, parks everywhere, great walkable city and lots of amazing things to do and see. If a university here had the program DH wants, we'd probably never leave.

Good luck on your search!
post #15 of 76
We've been car free in small town MN (no kids), Portland, OR (no kids), Salt Lake City (1 kid), and Madison, WI (2 kids). They were all reasonably places to be car free. Portland was probably the easiest though.
post #16 of 76
We're not car free exactly, we have small car for roadtrips, but we never use it in the city. We live in London. I really like walking around here, and the public transportation is not so bad. I enjoy taking the bus
post #17 of 76
Come join us on our City Dwellers/Walkers tribe thread!

I live in San Antonio, TX and we have 1 car (dh needs it for work, commutes often) and are buying a 2nd one. There is not enough stuff very close by that we can walk to for home schooling stuff and our Barnes & Noble is moving in a couple weeks to much further away.

Unfortunately, in San Antonio, you need a car. Also, our sidewalks end. If there is a sidewalk. We've walked the mile to the grocery and had to walk on grass beside the street because there is no sidewalk. :
post #18 of 76
My DH and I are car-lite in Cleveland, OH. He has one to get to work, but I made him promise not to make me get a car ever.

I'd say Cleveland counts as a mid-size city - not big, not small. We're lucky to have some nice, extremely affordable, quiet urban neighborhoods. We love ours, and everything is pretty walkable. We're less than a mile from almost all the services we need (grocery store, chiropractor, library, post office, restaurants), and we have a corner store run by a lovely fellow named Fred that meets our immediate needs too. Public transportation in the city is more or less adequate, if you have plenty of patience and a sense of humor. I bike everywhere I can (well, not since I got so hugely pregnant... my balance is way too shaky for that right now), and I'm looking forward to getting a bike trailer to travel around with baby. I've been car-free for four years now, most of my family & friends think it's crazy, but they're used to it by now.

Most people in Cleveland own cars, so it's a challenge sometimes, but I'm accustomed to the lifestyle I live and I wouldn't get a car for anything. So if you're looking for a small(ish) city, and if you don't mind fairly harsh winters, Cleveland's a great place to live car-free!
post #19 of 76
We're car-free in San Diego, a big city that LOVES their cars. We have a 26 month old, and it works for us. Our public transportation is mediocre but at least we don't have to deal with rough winter weather!
post #20 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post
I was car-free in Chicago as a college student, and that was much, much more manageable. Regardless of what Chicagoans say, the public transit there is pretty decent. Definitely not the best in the world, but it covers a HUGE part of the city, and many of the buses/trains run frequently. It's also much more common not to have a car in Chicago than it is in Houston - people in Houston look at you like you have three heads if you say you don't have a car. But, again, Chicago is not at ALL a small city!
As a former life-long Chicagoan, I totally agree with you. I lived in Chicago 29 years and never drove, the public transit is good. Folks knock it but now that I live in New England I totally miss it. You are right, not having a car is unless you are in the burbs or far outskirts of the city is not seen as strange, some area like northside lakefront are not car friendly at all.

As to the OP, I live in southern Maine and we only have 1 car and while we have lived this way for 7 years now that my 3 yo is getting older its becoming a hassle. There are buses but not convenient and downright costly, a rt to the city which is only a 20 min drive is now $10. :

Shay
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Connect With Other Moms
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Connect With Other Moms › If you are car-free, where do you live?