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If you are car-free, where do you live? - Page 3

post #41 of 76
[QUOTE=Jaki;15153046]Hey all! I think I belong here. I don't have a license or drive, though we do have a car that my husband drives. When we lived in Chicago (where we lived until 6 years ago), it was no biggie and I took public transportation everywhere, but now that we live in the sticks it can be really isolating sometimes. Not to mention many people's reaction that I'm a non-driver...I think lots of folks think it's weird or something. [/QUOTEto


We have a ton of public transport options for long distance and in town so we just jump on a tram, train or bus for each new adventure.
post #42 of 76
Guess I should join you guys. I grew up in Chicago and lived there till I was almost 30 and never learned to drive, really was not an issue. Well 8 years ago we moved to Maine and it turns out I have a very bad fear of driving with a capital D. I raised my eldest in Chicago and it was a non issue but my dd is 4.5 and its becoming harder to be a non-driver since Maine is fairly rural. Granted we live in a town that is walkable but for playdates unless the person lives in town too its hard to schedule things. I am also a WOHM and my dh drives me to work and to work related things (he telecommutes so he has some flexibilty to do that) but since he works too he can't drive us for play stuff.

People look at you like there is something wrong with you, I generally don't explain my phobia instead using the fact we only have 1 car as the reason the hubby drops me off and picks me up. Of course we only havw 1 car because owning 2 would be silly. I have seriously been thinking about using hypnosis to get over this issue since until recently it was not a huge deal but now its starting to affect my quality of life. There are buses you can take to get to the city where the museums are but they are really costly ($5 each way!!) and the times they run are just not convenient. By car we could be at the children's museum in 20 mins by bus its literally an hour and the buses run every 3-4 hours.

As for keeping sane in the present, we walk to coffee shop, library and just around. Though after a while its kind of boring even for me.
post #43 of 76
I'm in the "has a car but afraid to drive it" group. I will drive on the back streets in my neighborhood without hesitation, but there is no reason to do it these days. I pulled my 5 yo dd out of public school, so we spend a lot of time in the house. I could drive to the mall, but I figure between the germs and lugging the baby around and all her stuff and all, I never end up doing it. I need to get over it. I've always been cautious, but I got more and more nervous after a series of car accidents among the members of my family when I was in college. First my mom was driving and I was a passenger in an accident. We both ended up in physical therapy. Then my boyfriend at the time was in an accident and ended up in physical therapy one month later. Then 3 months after that, my mom, dad, and brother were in an accident. Everyone was injured, but my mom was the worst off. She spent a month in a medicine-induced coma. I was the rock during the time she was in the hospital. I just didn't want to drive after that. Didn't do it for about 2 years. Then I had to get a car and drive so I could teach. I found a job that involved a 30 minute drive daily, and I was more brave then. But then I got rear-ended. I found back streets after that. Once I became a SAHM, I started driving less again. I have to give myself a major pep-talk before driving to a store because it involves a 2 lane, hectic street, and I hate the sweaty palms that go with driving there.

I've beena SAHM for 5.5 years now, almost 6. I'm used to it, but I probably spend way too much time on the computer so I can be social in some way.
post #44 of 76
Well, I don't drive, don't know how, and don't care to learn how (and have attempted). I've got SPD and man is it a challenge in itself!

I DO however live in Chicago so public transportation is readily availible and abundant Things are generally in close proximity to eachother anyways so I'm able to walk most places, given the weather is decent
post #45 of 76
This is the place for me!
I haven't had a car in over 2 years. . . . . just staying home with the kiddos. Now that it's spring it won't be so hard. But because of where we live, and the lack of sidewalks I won't be able to bike my kids past the end of the neighborhood. So I guess if we want to go anywhere, we'll have to walk. The library isn't far though
post #46 of 76
I don't have my own yet but I don't drive or have a licence. OH does. He's got a car too. I'm working on it.... Public trans. sucks in my town from what I hear (we just moved last month, not sure yet).
post #47 of 76
also not quite a mama yet (trying trying trying) but i HAVE toted around tons of kids (as a nanny) w/o a car in: seattle, san fran, nyc, dc and hopefully soon here in austria! I never for a second wished I'd had one... and am looking forward to many more walks and bus rides! however that being said I've only lived in big cities or cities w/ good public transport... hopefully when we move again we'll continue to be able to have the luxury (I guess its a luxury to not drive in this day and age?) of living without a car... I actually think we like it so much that it would take the "perfect" job to get us somewhere where we'd HAVE to drive.
post #48 of 76
Hi. I don't have a license (had one, let it expire when I lived out of state and didn't have a car or money for a new license). The hubs and I share one car, which he uses 10+ hours a day for days a week for work. I've been toying with getting a license though. I would like to volunteer, maybe take some crafting classes, etc, but they're all out of town. For now though it's not a huge deal being at home. DD is a little over a year, we do our shopping on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and I have friends/family come over. The weather is starting to turn nice so we just took our first outdoor walk! There's not a lot to walk to nearby, but I'm thinking of trying my stamina and walking to the park or other places in the future.
post #49 of 76
Wow, hi everybody! I don't drive either. I just never got my license. I think I'm going to need to get it here pretty soon, as my husband is going to do some traveling in the next year. We also only have one car, and we mean to keep it that way, even if I do get a license.

My 10mo DD and I do go a little crazy sometimes, especially when the weather is bad. When it's nice, we can go for a ride to the park or library with our bike and bike trailer -- best money I ever spent!

I know how to drive, I just never got my license. I'm not afraid of driving, I just don't really like doing it, and I've found ways to get around it for almost 10 years now. People think I'm crazy (especially since I live in Oklahoma -- wide, open spaces and no good public transportation!). But I'm glad of what it has meant for me. I've had to be more flexible (something I've always struggled with), and I get to spend more time with my husband. I'm afraid if I got a license I'd never see him!
post #50 of 76

car-FREE! =]

We don't have a car, and we love it. Really, we do. "Bus" was one of my son's first words, and at 19 months I can tell him which route we are taking and he knows which way to walk to get to the correct bus stop. We love it.

The hardest part, obviously, is grocery shopping. We are fortunate enough to live in AmazonFresh's delivery area, which has helped tremendously. We also live on a beautiful trail that takes you a 1/2 mile to the grocery store, so we are able to make "emergency" runs fairly easily.

As far as activities go, we find that living car-free makes it easier for us to get around. We don't have to deal with traffic or parking, and we like that we aren't tied to a specific neighborhood when we go out. If we get tired of hanging around at the zoo and decide to leave, we can just wander and enjoy ourselves without having to worry about finding the car again. We'll run into another bus that will get us home eventually, no matter how far we wander from our usual route.

I only miss the car when I am trying to use Craigslist or Freecycle. I don't expect people to make ridiculous accommodations for me...I was the one who chose to live car-free, after all, and I don't expect people to inconvenience themselves for me. Sometimes it's ridiculous, though. I went to a lot of trouble to borrow a van to pick up a large item this week and the seller sold it out from under me. Another seller lives less than 10 minutes away from our house and drives right by our street every day on her way home from work, and she offered to let me pick the item up at her office so she has the item in her car as she drives by my house...but her office and house are both inaccessible by bus and I would have to walk 2 miles round trip to get to her. I offered to pay extra to cover her gas and "inconvenience" if she could even just meet me at the gas station on the corner...I mean really, I'm just asking her to pull off the road for 5 minutes max to save me two miles of walking in the rain and cold with a sick toddler, and she refused. I was so frustrated I told her to forget the whole thing; I'd rather pay full price for a brand new item from a reputable company where the people will treat me respectfully than get a good deal from a jerk. Whatever happened to moms supporting other moms, really? I don't expect everyone to give up their cars, but I do resent how those of us who DO take that step are punished for it. =/
post #51 of 76
I'm so happy I saw this thread, because I don't drive, and the issue of driving has been on my mind recently. I have never really been crazy about the concept of driving, and for the most part, I have usually been able to get to most of the places I need to go, by using a bus, taxi, or train, and in the past, immediate family members were nice enough to give me a ride, once in a while, if I needed to get somewhere that wasn't as readily accesible by public transportation. Where I live currently, I do have the option to take public transportation to get to most of the places I usually visit, such as the library, mall, grocery store, but I am fed up with using the bus service because of how crowded the bus that comes down my route, normally is. I am unlucky enough to live on a bus route that picks up a lot of passengers a long the way and by the time the bus gets to my stop, I am lucky if I can find a seat. And having to bring my two year old daughter, along, if I do need to go somewhere, just makes the situation even more difficult, because I have to bring her stroller and her diaper bag, and there is really no extra room on the bus to be able to rest these items. So I really don't go out that much, unless it's something that really has to be done. I am trying to make it a weekly habit to bring my daughter to the library, a couple of times a week, so I don't mind taking the bus to do that, but that's one of the only reasons that I will put up with the annoyance of having to use the bus.

My boyfriend and I have recently talked about me getting my license and then a car, so that our daughter and I can do more stuff outside of the home, while he is at work. I would like to be able to just jump in the car and drive to where I need to go and to take my daughter to different activities, instead of having to worry about the bus schedule and wasting time at bus stops, when having a car would make things a lot easier.
post #52 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
Guess I should join you guys. I grew up in Chicago and lived there till I was almost 30 and never learned to drive, really was not an issue. Well 8 years ago we moved to Maine and it turns out I have a very bad fear of driving with a capital D. I raised my eldest in Chicago and it was a non issue but my dd is 4.5 and its becoming harder to be a non-driver since Maine is fairly rural. Granted we live in a town that is walkable but for playdates unless the person lives in town too its hard to schedule things. I am also a WOHM and my dh drives me to work and to work related things (he telecommutes so he has some flexibilty to do that) but since he works too he can't drive us for play stuff.

People look at you like there is something wrong with you, I generally don't explain my phobia instead using the fact we only have 1 car as the reason the hubby drops me off and picks me up. Of course we only havw 1 car because owning 2 would be silly. I have seriously been thinking about using hypnosis to get over this issue since until recently it was not a huge deal but now its starting to affect my quality of life. There are buses you can take to get to the city where the museums are but they are really costly ($5 each way!!) and the times they run are just not convenient. By car we could be at the children's museum in 20 mins by bus its literally an hour and the buses run every 3-4 hours.

As for keeping sane in the present, we walk to coffee shop, library and just around. Though after a while its kind of boring even for me.
Boy, I can relate. (Right down to the living in rural Maine part.) I'm 31 and have never had my driver's license. It is becoming such a pain in the butt to not have my license that I am thinking it might actually be the motivation I need to get it. My husband of 10 years is an absolute sweetheart but he is really tired of being the sole driver in our household and honestly, I can't blame him at all. I am sick of feeling like this is something shameful that I need to hide, but when I think about going for even just the permit test, I start hyperventilating. I just don't know how to get this phobia in check. I am soooo ready to have this thing conquered and behind me. But how?
post #53 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapadoozer View Post
Boy, I can relate. (Right down to the living in rural Maine part.) I'm 31 and have never had my driver's license. It is becoming such a pain in the butt to not have my license that I am thinking it might actually be the motivation I need to get it. My husband of 10 years is an absolute sweetheart but he is really tired of being the sole driver in our household and honestly, I can't blame him at all. I am sick of feeling like this is something shameful that I need to hide, but when I think about going for even just the permit test, I start hyperventilating. I just don't know how to get this phobia in check. I am soooo ready to have this thing conquered and behind me. But how?
Yes, Maine is definitely not a friendly place to live when you don't drive. We are in southern Maine 20 mins south of Portland and there are buses in our area to get around in town as well as to get to Portland. Yet they are not convenient at all, some new play places opened up in Portland I was sad tp see you pretty much must drive to get to them.

I am guessing since you are in Maine you have similiar issues that people really do look at you here like you have 3 heads when you mention you don't drive. Or folks see my hubby dropping me off, I swear I feel all of about 10 years old. My biggest thing though is feeling it limiits my dd because now that the weather is getting warm, my work schedule is flexible enough that it would be great to connect with others but its hard to.

I did find a couple of hypnotherapists in Southern Maine that I am toying with calling because I want to get beyond this and feel like I have a life. Sounds crazy but in a weird way I was happy to see you were in Maine because I felt like I was the only one in Maine who does not drive.
post #54 of 76
there is already a tribe of car free families to I have merged the two.
post #55 of 76
Hooray!

I live in a small suburb of Portland, OR and we are TTC #1 now.

I have a car now, but it is old and on it's last leg, so we are selling it as soon as we can move closer to the light rail system back into the city, which we are plannning to do this summer.

We exclusively use public transportation three or four days a week now. The darn car was stolen last winter (then recovered) and I had to walk a half mile to the bus in the slush, so that's why we need to move closer in. Portland's transit system is indeed amazing - one of the best in the states from what I hear. And my car has been more of a hindrance than anything.

I found my tribe!!
post #56 of 76

Denver

My sister was car-free in Denver, albeit without kids. We were car-free in downtown Chicago before we had kids. Minneapolis/St. Paul would be a good possibility--I'm moving there this summer. Visit our MN/WI tribal area.
post #57 of 76
St Paul, MN and being car free here sucks. Bus schedules are more like suggestions, the bus comes whenever, and not often. Im pregnant with #2 and I think we will just have to give in and buy a car. Not happy.
I spent 10 years in Montreal, Canada without a car. Even with 2 kids we wouldn't need one. I could get to work faster by bus than by car!
post #58 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by babymango View Post
St Paul, MN and being car free here sucks. Bus schedules are more like suggestions, the bus comes whenever, and not often. Im pregnant with #2 and I think we will just have to give in and buy a car. Not happy.
I spent 10 years in Montreal, Canada without a car. Even with 2 kids we wouldn't need one. I could get to work faster by bus than by car!
I think in the US outside of really large cities like NYC and Chicago and a few others it can often be more challenging than not to be car free. I was born and raised in Chicago, lived there till I was almost 30 and never drove, never even learned. The public transit system in most of the city is strong enough that you have multiple lines (bus & train) that service areas so you are not beholden to the schedule. I raised my eldest in the city and not driving was just not an issue. I also find in larger cities no one looks down on you for not driving since many are in the same boat.

Where I live now we only have 1 car and my fear/dislike of driving holds me back but with my youngest now entering school, I see the pressure ramping up to drive. Its hard to manage play dates or anything because things are just so spread out. What bus service we have is not terribly and actually pretty costly, to get into the city here is $10 Rt on the bus, yes $10. So from a cost perspective its not a good deal at all, which bugs me.
post #59 of 76
I'm not car-free, but I do know several car-free folks in Carrboro and Chapel Hill NC. We have a pretty decent free bus system here. It runs often throughout the day, though not very often at night. DH doesn't drive to work and either walks or takes the bus. Carrboro, in particular, is very walkable also. Lots of bikes here, too.
post #60 of 76
we are car free in wellington, NZ. city of 250,000 people (then the greater area--which includes the Hutt Valley and the Kapiti Coast takes it to 400,000).

it's pretty walkable all around, and the bus system is efficient and clean to get to all of the major "neighborhoods." then, there is the light rail system, which takes you a good distance out of town--through those neighborhoods in the hutt valley and up the kapiti coast.

for broader travel, there is a good ferry system to take us to the south island, plus a heavy-rail system (passenger trains and shipping) that can take us through the north island and part of the south island. then, it's buses from there that pretty much go anywhere in the country. there is also an extensive air-travel system here with both small private companies or the larger company like Air NZ.

it's fairly easy to get around without a car, though there are places that are even more remote, and therefore require getting a car of some sort. it needs to be a rather rugged car, because sometimes the roads on the maps become dotted lines for a bit--dirt roads--and then may or may not join up with paved roads again. it's kind of fun.

but, we don't know how to drive here yet. they drive on the other side of the road from the US, and we haven't learned. we also don't drive stick, so we have no clue on how to do that and most of the rentals--particularly the camper-van rentals--are manual transmissions!
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