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City Dwellers/Ppl that walk everywhere/bus riders - Page 2

post #21 of 126
hi mamas! it's been nice to read these stories. my perspective is a little bit different because dh and i just got our first car last december. ok full disclosure. we just got our first LICENSES last december. i was 31, he was 33, and i was 5 months pregnant, which is the main reason we did it. (it was hard to imagine bringing our newborn home on the backs of our bikes ) we have lived in brooklyn and long island and were very used to walking 1, 2, 3 miles or more at a time, taking lots of public transport and taxis, and riding our bikes all over the place. we live in baltimore now and the public transport systems are a touch frustrating for spoiled carfree new yorkers. our neighborhood was a dream though - our house is 1 mile away from the following amenities: a huge grocery store (although we did delivery for weekly stockups), a wonderful indoor gourmet market (veggies, soup/bakery/cafe, sushi bar, flower shop, italian specialty, wine bar!), four drug stores, a staples, a fabulous historic art deco movie theater, nice boutique shopping, and a bus line that takes us out of the city to a mall, and into the city right past a saturday farmer's market and the Y. we were here two solid years before we got [our first] car: did lots of amazon.com and catalog shopping for household or large scale things like our push mower or rugs. we worked out of our home. it was a wonderful area in which to be stranded. we love it here and lots of the local merchants know us well. it's nice to feel such an intrinsic part of the neighborhood in which you live.

in 6 months flat, everything changed: we moved the business out of our house, had our wonderful baby, and now commute every day. ok, it's a 15 minute commute but it's a commute nonetheless and our lifestyle has TOTALLY switched away from our beloved home-centeredness. but there are many things about it that are utterly amazing - we are learning more about the city, and i have been enjoying slowly expanding my experience of it as our sphere of comfort widens. for instance: we joined that Y we were always biking past, and will be taking the baby to swimming classes this winter.
post #22 of 126
I live in a city with AWESOME public transport. We have trams, metro and buses and the city is expanding the lines instead of closing them. Also, train lines aften connect the various train stations of the city, so it's really easy to get around without a car here.

We live in the urban center, and parking is for permit holders only. Prices of gas and insurance, as well as just plain the price of a car is something that our family simply cannot afford. Nor do we want to considering where we live.

I SAHM, and I have three parks and playgrounds within walking distance. Grocery stores, convenience stores, markets are all easy to get to, I usually get a little something depending on what we did that day because lugging multiple heavy grocery bags is a PITA. DH also does grocery runs on his way home from work.

My DH commutes all over the city for work (he's an English teacher for a private language school). He often teaches people at their workplace and so far he's always figured out a way to get where he needs to with public transport. Cars just aren't part of our paradigm.

Of course, we only have one DC and we do talk about moving out of the center where the air is cleaner, and depending on that, we would have to reevaluate the car situation. But bus and train services from the suburbs is really excellent, so I doubt a car is in our near or distant future.

It's been great reading your stories. Being car free has been really great for us! But I think European metropolises are different, so maybe we've had it easy.
post #23 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by east carolina View Post
It's been great reading your stories. Being car free has been really great for us! But I think European metropolises are different, so maybe we've had it easy.
Yeah. I can't imagine not being able to walk because the sidewalk ends. Although obviously I'd say pavement.
post #24 of 126
: This is us, too! We live in London now where the public transport/walking/cycling system is pretty good, but we were car-free for several years in Atlanta before moving here. We're starting to TTC in March and we have no plans to buy a car (or get UK drivers' licenses even). We are probably going to buy a Christiana or Bakfiets bike though.

I would like for our lives to be more 'home-centered' but right now I work across town, so I cycle 8.5 miles each way daily. Our favorite HFS is about 10 miles from our house, and we cycle there once a month and stock up on things.
post #25 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post
We're in San Antonio. It is not walk-friendly but we're making it work.
I feel for you. I'm originally from Dallas. I don't think there's a town in Texas that is pedestrian friendly. Even Austin's not that great about it. You get major points for trying this in such a car friendly area!
post #26 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthgirl View Post
I feel for you. I'm originally from Dallas. I don't think there's a town in Texas that is pedestrian friendly. Even Austin's not that great about it. You get major points for trying this in such a car friendly area!
Thanks!

It's just too dangerous and scary to walk w/o a sidewalk. And I think the lack of sidewalk is really stupid. If we lived downtown we'd have plenty of sidewalks, but we're on the edge of the city, where, I guess, they assume we all drive.
post #27 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post
Thanks!

It's just too dangerous and scary to walk w/o a sidewalk. And I think the lack of sidewalk is really stupid. If we lived downtown we'd have plenty of sidewalks, but we're on the edge of the city, where, I guess, they assume we all drive.
Side walks in Texas? So that you walkers can reduce the amount of fuel purchased and out of the states coffers? Why anyone want something as ridiculous as sidewalks in their neigborhood?
post #28 of 126
No car for me. I've never even had a driver's license. I've lived in very walkable neighborhoods with easy public transportation access my whole life.

I can walk to the grocery store, schools, work, book store, yoga studio, toy store, restaurants, etc. There is a train line less than a 1/2 mile away that goes straight downtown and 5 bus lines that go all over the city even closer. I use my bicycle (and kiddie trailer) most of the time to get places that are farther than a mile or two.

I give tons of credit to families who live without a car in areas that aren't so friendly to human powered transportation.
post #29 of 126
No car for me either, it is all busses, walking, and if I have to taxi's. I don't have a license. My partner does, but we just don't own a car. The bus system here is really bad though! I used to live in a larger city, and just got used to the good bus system. The busses here only run every hour and a half, they don't start until 10 AM, and they stop at 5 PM. They also don't travel to very many places in the city, only through the middle main streets. To get to work, we have to leave 2 hours early, catch one bus that drops us off at the downtown bus station, where all the busses leave from. Then we get another bus that drops us off about halfway to our work, and then we catch another bus that drops us off about 3-4 blocks from our work, where we walk the rest of the way! Whew!
post #30 of 126
Hey Texas mamas! You rock for making car free work for you!

Some of the sidewalks here are in really bad shape and some kind of stop and start, but really, most streets and side streets have plenty of sidewalk space no matter where you are in the city. What we do have is crazy motorists. Since the car explosion here, people think that now that they can afford (or not) fast cars, they can tear through the city going 100 miles an hour. Crossing busy streets can be kinda scary sometimes and the number of pedestrian deaths each year is really sad. But it's still more dangerous to drive.

That's another benefit of being car-free, cutting down on your chances of being in a car accident. Okay, I hope I don't kill the thread with this gloomy talk
post #31 of 126
Justthatgirl, thanks for starting this tribe! We live in a city that has so so public transit, but we purposly moved to an area where we could walk to the grocery store, the park is 1/2 block away, our local co-op is about a mile away, and we live on and near major bus lines. I either walk to where I'm going, or take the bus, and dp rides his bike to work. We couldn't afford to have a decent place to live, me be a sahm, and have a car. We're broke all time as it is. Sometimes it sucks, especially in the winter. I hate the cold and get cabin fever, and SAD in the winter very easily, so it's hard it that respect. I try to remind my self that though, that what we're doing is not only better for the environment, but also the best thing for our family as well. When I really do need a car, my mom lives, and works in the area. So, sometimes when she's at work I'll use her car to go to an appointment or something that I can't do on the bus, or will take way to much time doing on the bus. We've gone a long time now without a car, and have come to realize what a money pit they are, and that unless it was worth it and we were in a place where we could actually afford and need a car then we might get one. But that probably won't be for a long time.
P.S. Justthatgirl, I love your Pinky and the Brain quote as your signature.
post #32 of 126


We take a bus (or buses if we need to transfer!) everywhere!

I don't own a car - heck, I don't even have a license and never have!

Our city has a lot of buses and we chose the place we live so we would be near most of the main bus lines.

We also walk whenever/wherever we can.

I love this lifestyle even with 3 kiddos but would like to get my license somehow/someday and use the community shared car service in my city so I can go on outings outside the city (picking pumpkins for example).

It's not always easy to find a ride for 4 people but it works. I even do home parties and manage to get to the parties and back and get all my orders delivered without a car
post #33 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by punkrockmomma View Post
Justthatgirl, thanks for starting this tribe!
Thanks for being part of it. It helps to have some support for doing something very uncommon in my area.



Quote:
P.S. Justthatgirl, I love your Pinky and the Brain quote as your signature.
I'm a big P&B fan.

I've really enjoyed walking so much lately. I feel good about it and am getting used to not taking the car.
post #34 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstwomantomars View Post
I love this lifestyle even with 3 kiddos but would like to get my license somehow/someday and use the community shared car service in my city so I can go on outings outside the city (picking pumpkins for example).
I wish our city had a community shared car service! I'm really getting into the Traditional Foods thing, and you can't get things like raw milk here in the city. You have to go out to the farm. Which I would like to do anyway, so my daughter can be exposed to where her food is coming from. I like having a connection to my food. I don't know what I would do without our local farmers market, as far at that goes, and that ends next week. Also, my daughter's doctor is really far away, so I have to take my mom's car there, and he is wonderful so I'm not going to give him up just because we don't have a car.
There are some draw backs to not having a car.
post #35 of 126
Thread Starter 
Yeah, we definitely have discovered some drawbacks to not having a 2nd car, also. ( Remember when 2nd cars were for rich ppl? Now it seems almost necessary, somehow.)

Our docs are almost all too far to walk. (My dentist is 1/4 mile.)

Tonight I got dh convinced to walk with us. We had a pretty pleasant afternoon at the gym (friend & I were rock climbing & doing cardio, dh played basketball, then we took kids swimming) then when we parted ways (neighbor had dinner plans) my family had dinner and then we walked to the bookstore! It's a solid mile so we spent an hour or so relaxing in the bookstore where ds2 (11.5 mos!) WALKED!!!! He'd been doing an individual step for weeks now, but tonight he went 5 steps, 5 steps, then 11 steps all in a row!!! :

He must be feeling motivated.

So we walked the mile home and overall had a pretty pleasant afternoon! Full of good activity and nice family togetherness.

Dh even commented how much better it is for us to walk, it saves gas, and we should do it a few nights a week AND walk the kids to school each day!
post #36 of 126
Thread Starter 
I can't believe how many ppl at the school see me walking and tell me how they just couldn't do it!

We've been doing family outings and walking to/from school several days a week. Dh says his pants feel looser! The kids are getting used to it, too.
post #37 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by oyinmama View Post
hi mamas! it's been nice to read these stories. my perspective is a little bit different because dh and i just got our first car last december. ok full disclosure. we just got our first LICENSES last december. i was 31, he was 33, and i was 5 months pregnant, which is the main reason we did it. (it was hard to imagine bringing our newborn home on the backs of our bikes )
Oh this is me and DH too! We've lived in big cities and places where you have to be out of your mind/have nerves of steel to drive in (Asia). We've never owned a car...I HATE the idea of paying for gas and insurance and repairs and parking can be killer too!
I got my license in HS and and let it lapse and haven't had one since. DH has had his license on and off but never had a car so it's lapsed now for a few years. And in a lot of places we work and travel (Asia, north africa, south america) they accept expired licenses to rent a car or even just a passport! (I think it's illegal...but we've never been busted )
We love walking and have gotten used to it. Sometimes on the weekends we go for 5 or 6 hour walks to the other side of the city and take the subway back just for kicks. We used to have bikes but don't where we currently live (again-fear of death by insane motorists) and at one point we had an old motorcycle that we used to go grocery shopping and for riding out into the country/camping (we used to strap a backpack onto the back and saddlebags on the side). Motorcycles are a good option...but not with a babe. hmm...sidecar, possibly? I LOVED the motorcycle and where we lived it didn't require licenses OR insurance.

We are 28 and 29 and reluctantly accepting that we'll most likely have to get our licenses again when we move back to Canada in the spring...but depending on where we go, we may not get a car. Just rent when we want to go camping or on trips.
post #38 of 126
Our family has 1 car too so we do walk everywhere pretty much or rely on Public Transportation.


Where we live, there are a lot of little stores, so we walk by them a lot, check out what's in the windows on the way to where we're going. Sometimes the kids will eat a snack on the way and we'll talk about school, what we're doing that day, etc.

We do take the bus a lot in the summer but not so much now (maybe 1-2x a month as compared to daily in the summer). When we're on the bus, we take book, play games (I spy, 20 questions) or just talk to one another (my kids are 8, 6 and 3).

Take care!
Jen
post #39 of 126
We live in Portland and have only one small old car. I have rode the bus to and from work for eight years! I'm kind of proud of that. We decided to purchase bikes and bike seats and a bike stroller with our tax return.. just in case we couldn't afford gas. I don't really mind when DH takes the car on an overnight trip and I have to figure out how to get around town without it with two young kids in tow.
post #40 of 126
Hi everyone! Can I join? We are a family of 4 (plus 2 cats) and we do not have a car. We walk and take the bus. We live in a very small town (less then 5000 people) and we are outside of a mid-sized town. Th bus system isn't the best (we are from seattle which has awesome buses), but it is doable. It takes extra planning since a trip downtown on the weekend can take 3 hrs roundtrip! In our tiny town we do have a grocery store, walmart, school, and a post office, so I don't have to go to "town" that much. My husband works in town and spends over 3 hours a day on the bus! We take our cats on the bus to the vet in carriers. I get groceries by using a double stroller with my 3 yr old on one side and groceries on the other (and stuffed in the bottom storage areas). We walk as a family up to 4 miles a day roundtrip. My 3 yr old hates walking though! We try to make it fun by finding cool rocks or sticks (my girls love both). Ashlee (7 yr old) does well on the bus although it is tiring. Katie (3) has a hard time staying still and can get cranky. They do good on short bus rides. We order a lot of stuff online to avoid trips.

The great things about being car-free: We don't spend money on gas, maintence, titles/licenses/tabs, etc. We feel good about not polluting and doing our part for the environment. We spend less on unneccessary shopping trips since we have to only buy what we can carry. We always get fresh air and exercise (and I am finally losing weight). We notice the little things in life...like birds chirping, leaves blowing, etc. We meet new and interesting people on the bus.

The not-so-good things: We don't live in a big city so the bus isn't good and we don't have more stuff around us to do. It will suck walking in the heavy snow and strong wind and rain isn't fun either. Everything takes so long to do. A quick 20 minute trip in a car takes us hours. It can be very draining.

We hope to get a newer car in a year and use it only for shopping and on bad weather days. Until then, time to bundle up!
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