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

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#31 of 126 Old 10-11-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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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.

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#32 of 126 Old 10-11-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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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
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#33 of 126 Old 10-11-2008, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.



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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.

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#34 of 126 Old 10-11-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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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.

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#35 of 126 Old 10-12-2008, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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#36 of 126 Old 10-17-2008, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#37 of 126 Old 10-20-2008, 04:25 AM
 
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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.

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#38 of 126 Old 10-21-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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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!
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#39 of 126 Old 10-21-2008, 02:09 AM
 
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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.
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#40 of 126 Old 10-21-2008, 03:01 AM
 
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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!

Amber (31) - Married to my high school sweetheart for 13 years, mom of 4 amazing kids (ages 12, 8, 3, and 16 months), homeschooler, and expecting our 5th child around May 18th!
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#41 of 126 Old 10-21-2008, 05:12 AM
 
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Checking in to say that we took a trip out of town this week-end. We took the train and then the bus, and on the way I lugged back a huge glass jar and a huge bag of apples (I'm gonna make apple cider vinegar ).

We can take a short cut to the train station by walking along the tracks to the back platforms. We used to have a track running right under our windows, but they've discontinued it (keeping fingers crossed that they'll make a bike trail out of it). This is one of the things I love about living downtown, although we'd like to live somewhere in a greener area of the city (but it has to be near a train line or bus line).

This week-end we're going to a film festival out of town and we're probably gonna carpool. Actually, I know people who carpool to work here. That's less of an option for SAHPs, though.
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#42 of 126 Old 10-21-2008, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like a fun day for you!!

Today the kids and I are walking to the bookstore. Their librarian is reading a story there today! Bonus: Starbucks for me.

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#43 of 126 Old 10-22-2008, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I decided to forego my Starbucks so that the kids could get books instead. They were quite pleased! Then we walked to McDonald's (gag) to eat and dh picked us up. (We have a meeting at 7:30 and could not be late.)

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#44 of 126 Old 10-23-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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#45 of 126 Old 10-24-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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Can I join?
We're a car-free family too. I grew up in the city so no, I do NOT know how to drive.
We even belong to Transportation Alternatives.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#46 of 126 Old 10-25-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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Can I join?
We're a car-free family too. I grew up in the city so no, I do NOT know how to drive.
We even belong to Transportation Alternatives.
That looks like a cool group. I'll have to pass it along to DH.
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#47 of 126 Old 11-02-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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So, what does everyone do when walking when it is raining or cold? We have been car-less for about 5 months, so it has been warm and only rained once on us while walking. Here we get heavy snow! It is ultra cold, but we just bundle up. I worry about snow and rain. What do you all do?

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#48 of 126 Old 11-02-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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So, what does everyone do when walking when it is raining or cold? We have been car-less for about 5 months, so it has been warm and only rained once on us while walking. Here we get heavy snow! It is ultra cold, but we just bundle up. I worry about snow and rain. What do you all do?
It just depends. If we have to get out, we get out. We did invest in a BOB stroller after we got rid of our car. I'm in Boston so I needed something that could get around well in the snow. But basically, we are really good at bundling. And I'm lucky b/c pretty much everything I need to get to is less than 2 miles from home.
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#49 of 126 Old 11-03-2008, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This will be our first winter walking a lot, so I guess we'll just bundle up and remove layers, if needed.

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#50 of 126 Old 11-04-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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I no longer work and the weather is cooler so I look forward to riding the bus to class more often and to run errands.

+ + =
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#51 of 126 Old 11-04-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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We just bundle up and try to keep moving. My DS is always warm (takes after his daddy), I'm the one that's always cold. We try to also have fun destinations like a non-smoking cafe with a kids corner.
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#52 of 126 Old 11-05-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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For us, I'm not sure that the winter will be much worse than the summer. Trying to keep dd from getting sunburned when she wouldn't wear a hat and "midday" lasted for hours was quite the challenge! And we were indeed walking everywhere (and still are) because the carseat has been an issue. Plus, we like walking, since you miss so much in the car...as Ursula LeGuin said "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."

But we'll see what the winter brings...

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#53 of 126 Old 11-06-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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Wise words from a wise writer! Though coming back home after a long day I am prone to prod DS along with a "hurry up we're almost home".

That's true about the summer wrt sun exposure, every season has its specific needs. But walking is still great!
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#54 of 126 Old 11-06-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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I'm just wondering what went into your decisions to become walkers. For us, it was pretty much a matter of pragmatics. We moved to Boston a few years ago and soon found out that driving here is seriously a nightmare! It takes forever and a day to go just 5 miles, and 9 out of 10 times you're going to get lost anyway. It got to where we were only using our car to go to the grocery store and the very occasional outing outside of the city. Then last summer our car died and we decided we may as well just be carless. So far, so good. It helps that we have a really decent public transit system, and our neighborhood pretty much has everything we need.

So, how did you make the decision?
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#55 of 126 Old 11-06-2008, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We walk because:
1 vehicle that dh uses for work (he goes to client sites)
vehicle is stick shift which I can't drive
walking is relaxing to me
kids seem calmer when we walk vs when we drive

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#56 of 126 Old 11-06-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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We live downtown in a city with great public transport. We live walking distance from a tram stop, bus stop and train station. We are also too poor to afford a car, insurance and parking fees, not to mention that parking and traffic in this city is a nightmare and we live in a high petty crime area, our car would get broken into alot.

But even if we could afford a car, lived uptown, we still would be car free. This city has unbelievable smog and it's all due to the boom in car ownership so we want to do our part in reducing emissions and shop in local stores. We even travel out of town using buses, trains and our own two feet, so not having a car has never prevented us from going out and getting some fresh air and hiking, seeing nature. But this country has a really great network of rails and buses, which is pretty unique even in Europe.
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#57 of 126 Old 11-06-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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For us, once our car broke (and gas was over $4) we decided to go car-less. We have always struggled with not having enough money and when we did the math, we realized we were throwing away hundreds a month! Just not worth it. We want to work on saving and getting out of debt. I wish I lived in a bigger city and had better transportation options. The bus takes an hour to go a 10 minute drive and it doesn't run that much.

I typically love walking and love that I am losing weight! I need to pick up my daughter from school in a few minutes and it is raining outside so I don't want to walk. Blah.

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#58 of 126 Old 11-06-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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Oooh! I'm so excited this is me. We do have a car that DH takes to work but I don't have a licence and never have. DD and I walk or catch trains/buses everywhere. Sydney has a pretty crap public transport system compared to other cities in Aus but at least it's a given that there are footpaths everywhere. I can't imagine how a city would work without them
We live about 7 kilometres from the CBD and depending on the time of day it's no faster or slower to drive or catch PT

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#59 of 126 Old 11-07-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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I love this thread...
Dh and I both grew up in suburbs where we relied on cars for everything. Now, we are actively choosing a neighborhood to move in that has everything we need in walking distance. It's such a great topic. The intention to live in a community where you live with everything walking distance around you, has so many benefits. And, wanting to be in an engaged community, walking really helps. I'm glad to have found this and reading through each person's experiences really confirms what I draws me to this lifestyle.
Although, I have to say having a car has some perks. It's going to be a rough adjustment not having a car-- we will definitely become more patient!
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#60 of 126 Old 11-07-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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I'm just wondering what went into your decisions to become walkers. For us, it was pretty much a matter of pragmatics. We moved to Boston a few years ago and soon found out that driving here is seriously a nightmare! It takes forever and a day to go just 5 miles, and 9 out of 10 times you're going to get lost anyway. It got to where we were only using our car to go to the grocery store and the very occasional outing outside of the city. Then last summer our car died and we decided we may as well just be carless. So far, so good. It helps that we have a really decent public transit system, and our neighborhood pretty much has everything we need.

So, how did you make the decision?
Boston parking seriously sucks as well. Before we moved here, we were here once for a weekend with a rented car, and it got towed within 10 minutes of our parking (which we totally deserved but didn't expect to happen so quickly)!

Boston is very walking friendly, but not at all car friendly IMO. I think that's a good thing in a city.
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