City Dwellers/Ppl that walk everywhere/bus riders - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-07-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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Woohoo! This thread Rocks!!!!! We have a car, but I play a little game with myself to see how much I *Don't* use it. We bus/max (forgot what to call this-like a subway but overground, for the most part anyway), bike and walk. We moved to where we are now specifically for these reasons. I absolutely adore it, like 99.9% of the time. And the little things that bug me (rudeness) well, I just don't let it get to me. I really like the slower pace, and not fighting traffic, that is Awesome!!! : for everyone here!
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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Why we don't have a car -
- we live walking distance of two bus stops, two train stations, & a underground station
- we can't afford all the payments on a car - MOT, insurance even before wear & tear & petrol
- traffic in this city is terrible
- I genuinely can't think of an occasion when having a car would make a difference to us. Even when we want to go out of town it's so much easier to get the train eg to see my parents is 3 hours on the train or 6 hours in the car.

Also we both grew up in cities using public transport without cars. So this is the normal way of living to us. Neither of us have ever owned a car.
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Old 11-08-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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Boston is very walking friendly, but not at all car friendly IMO. I think that's a good thing in a city.
Prague is really car unfriendly too (think medieval city center) and parking is a nightmare and cars get ticketed and towed away all the time. Not to mention car theft, people with cars must count on their car getting broken into on a regular basis. But does that stop people? No way. There are more and more cards everyday it seems like. Every year the number of cars on the street and car owners goes up.

I really wish Prague would adopt measures like London did and enforce a huge toll on people who want to drive and park in the center. I don't see that happening anytime soon with the people running the city, though
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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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?
We walk or take the subway or bus. It's getting harder now that DS is getting to heavy to mei tai, and I hate lugging the stroller on the subway. We'll make do, though.

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Old 11-09-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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I'd like to bus more than I do, but I've reached a compromise that works for me. I can't handle the idea of getting all three kids to the daycare on the bus. It's hard enough in the car. So I drive them there, and then park at the transit centre about 3 minutes from daycare, and take the bus for the rest of the day. We stop and do errands at the stores on the way home, if I haven't gotten them done downtown on my lunch break.

It's also heading into winter here and while I can handle waiting for a bus at -25F, I'm less inclined to stand there with three griping kids! We walk where we can in the warmer weather, but biking and walking is just beyond my comfort zone for about 5 months of the year.

Funny story: when we first moved into our house, when DD1 was 5, we were finally close enough to walk to some places. And the kids were unhappy about walking to the rec centre for their swimming lessons, but we did it anyways. Seriously, it was a 30 minute walk at a 3 year old's pace! Well, DD broke her arm in our backyard and we were getting ready to go to the hospital and she looks at me and says "Are we going to walk?! Can we pleeeease take the car?!" I guess i'm not crunchy enough to make my daughter walk to the ER!

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Old 11-09-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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Hi, we're a carfree family. We live pretty close to a lot of buses, and a grocery store (on purpose) and we can all walk pretty far (except ds of course). I love it (most of the time). Dd is very social and loves to chat with people on the bus, or crossing the street, it really takes the pressure off of me to entertain her all the time .
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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We walk or take the subway or bus. It's getting harder now that DS is getting to heavy to mei tai, and I hate lugging the stroller on the subway. We'll make do, though.
I remember that phase! It was so annoying. He wouldn't want to walk much and would still take naps in the stroller. As he got heavier, I had a lightweight stroller but it was still a PITA to carry it up and down the steps to the metro. Next time around I am getting a stroller with big wheels so I can just push it slowly down the stairs and not actually have to lift it.

Now DS is 3.5 and he walks, sometimes slowly, sometimes unwillingly, sometimes happily. He also has a scooter and a bicycle, so sometimes we take those when we go out and then it's much faster.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:28 PM
 
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I really wish Prague would adopt measures like London did and enforce a huge toll on people who want to drive and park in the center. I don't see that happening anytime soon with the people running the city, though
Ugh, & with our new Mayor in charge in London they are scrapping hte increased congestion charge! So angry about that.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:02 AM
 
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I heard about that! Grrrrr..... I would be mad, too. Don't mess with progress
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So how's it going, ladies? I'm finding myself quite chilly in the mornings when I walk to school w/ kids.

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Old 12-11-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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So how's it going, ladies? I'm finding myself quite chilly in the mornings when I walk to school w/ kids.
Cold I can deal with. Now walking to the store in freezing cold rain only to get there and find out their cash registers are not working for the THIRD visit in a row- now that makes for one cranky pedestrian.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:53 PM
 
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I got a pair of hiking boots last winter, and I've been wearing them alot now that the weather is really cold. They have vibram soles, and I cannot recommend them enough. Serious walking shoes and they keep my feet nice and warm while I'm sitting on the playground bench while DS plays.

So this is my winter tip for all of us walking people (in cold climates): good shoes with thick soles.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Does anyone else have trouble keeping their 2 to 3 year old content on the bus. Riding the bus with DH is sheer torture. I now refuse to ride the bus with him if the trip is longer then 20 minutes.....needless to say we have not gone anywhere all week. We can't go anywhere worth going in this town in less than 40 minutes, really an hour via public transportation.

I need ideas.

+ + =
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cold I can deal with. Now walking to the store in freezing cold rain only to get there and find out their cash registers are not working for the THIRD visit in a row- now that makes for one cranky pedestrian.
Oh, indeed! :

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Old 12-12-2008, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got a pair of hiking boots last winter, and I've been wearing them alot now that the weather is really cold. They have vibram soles, and I cannot recommend them enough. Serious walking shoes and they keep my feet nice and warm while I'm sitting on the playground bench while DS plays.

So this is my winter tip for all of us walking people (in cold climates): good shoes with thick soles.
Nice!

We live in TX but we do get cold days in Dec & Jan and some into Feb.

(At least I have a really short Seasonal Affective Disorder season! Not like CT where I grew up. Winter lasted Oct-March!)

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Old 12-12-2008, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone else have trouble keeping their 2 to 3 year old content on the bus. Riding the bus with DH is sheer torture. I now refuse to ride the bus with him if the trip is longer then 20 minutes.....needless to say we have not gone anywhere all week. We can't go anywhere worth going in this town in less than 40 minutes, really an hour via public transportation.

I need ideas.


New books or toys? Something that only comes out during bus rides?

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Old 12-12-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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Does anyone else have trouble keeping their 2 to 3 year old content on the bus. Riding the bus with DH is sheer torture. I now refuse to ride the bus with him if the trip is longer then 20 minutes.....needless to say we have not gone anywhere all week. We can't go anywhere worth going in this town in less than 40 minutes, really an hour via public transportation.

I need ideas.
We seldom ride the bus, but DD is pretty content w/ books and snacks.
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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I have purchased new books/toys just before boarding the bus and that does not help. he wants to pull the bell and move from seat to seat, but neither is practical. My DS is a very willful child.

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Old 12-12-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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I have purchased new books/toys just before boarding the bus and that does not help. he wants to pull the bell and move from seat to seat, but neither is practical. My DS is a very willful child.
Well, that kind of sucks. Wish I had more advice for you. We are lucky enough to be able to walk most places, but that sounds like it's not an option for you.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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Well, the buses in our city are very crowded. But DS really loves them. I try to bring a snack and a matchbox car (or two or three! lol) if he gets antsy. He usually wants to sit by the window or all the way in the back, sometimes he wants to switch seats, but like I said, it may not be possible if the bus is too crowded. The newer trams have buttons to open the door, and I let him push it just once whenever the doors close. That got us into trouble the last time because the tram driver came out and asked us not to do that, but I think it was because in this particular tram he would get a signal in his cab, which is not the case in most buses and trams.

Also, up until very recently, whenever we sat down anywhere on public transport he would want to nurse. But he's almost 4 and with all our winter coats on, it's a bit more of a PITA to nurse him and thankfully he is starting to get it and not ask.

So I guess my advice is bring small toys, try to get a seat at the window or ask him if he wants to nurse (if he's still nursing). And I'm sure it'll get better as he gets used to it. My DS definitely does better on trams, buses and trains than cars, but he's not as used to riding in cars and even that is getting better as he gets older.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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So we've had a couple of snowstorms here. This means that there's less room in the streets for cars. This also means that some people don't shovel their sidewalks, but the streets are almost always clear. Oh, and sometimes a sidewalk seems clear, but then I realize someone has just piled up a bunch of snow at the curb and I can't get our stroller over it. All this to say that I often end up walking in the street after a snow storm. So the other day I'm running errands w/ DD. I had THREE drivers give me dirty looks when they were going around me. : It was so annoying! I mean, we're all in this together, people! And sure, it's my fault that people didn't clear their sidewalks. AND, like I really prefer walking in the street while pushing a stroller. Gah! Some people.

OK, had to get that out. Back to the joys of pedestrian living.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:59 AM
 
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This tribes for me! I commute an hour on the bus while babywearing each morning to school and each afternoon on my way home. I walk to the store (a mile a way) and I walk my dog while babywearing. My dd is 16 mo and loves to point at things and ask 'what?' I explain to her what things are. When she is not asking about things I point out things we walk by. I don't have many friends so when I am not busy with school work I like to walk my dog, there is a nice nature preserve a mile and a half from my house so we walk there each weekend. My DD loves to look at all the different birds there, she has even seen deer, foxes and rabbits. All this and technically we live in a 'city'.
Do most of you gals babywear or do you push strollers down the sidewalks?

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Old 01-24-2009, 05:11 AM
 
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Do most of you gals babywear or do you push strollers down the sidewalks?
It depends on the day.

Sometimes I wear DS, sometimes I take the stroller. The advantage of the stroller is that I can pack a lunch and blanket or go shopping. If I leave the stroller at home, we can take some more scenic walks or hop on the bus more easily.

If we're just going to one of the two very close by parks, I sometimes let him walk or take the wagon.

I'd like to buy bicycle helmets soon. I think we'd have a lot of fun with the bike.

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Old 01-24-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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....

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Old 01-25-2009, 02:09 AM
 
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It depends on the day.

Sometimes I wear DS, sometimes I take the stroller. The advantage of the stroller is that I can pack a lunch and blanket or go shopping. I
I usually pack a blanket and book in my backpack/diaper bag along with some of those reusable shopping totes. Today I was walking back from the store with my DD if FWCC and carrying 3 large tote bags full of groceries. The bags were way to heavy and I had to stop to readjust them and when I was stopped someone that drove by shouted 'get a job and buy a car'. I was soo outraged, the anger made me amped that lugging the groceries the rest of the way home seemed like a cakewalk!

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Old 02-12-2009, 04:13 AM
 
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Hi, looks like I am a little late finding this tribe. But we are gleefully carfree, even though it isn't always easy. Maybe soon we will be biking ... till then we are just walking to most places, as well as catching bus / train for out of town trips.

To answer the OP questions:

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So how do you guys do it?
We've never done it any other way. We ask for rides only for certain activities like out-of-town trips with our playgroup or homeschool group. Sometimes if the weather is really bad and task is urgent I will call a taxi but this is rare. All the things we need to do regularly, incl library, grocery store, thrift store, other stores, bank and even the hospital are within 1 or 1.5 miles. Mostly we walk, or dd bikes (with training wheels) while I walk alongside her.

Our county bus system is pretty spotty but we use it, hoping that service will increase. We have buses & trains to the nearby big cities to do other fun and interesting things - timings are not great, but we keep using it and hope for more frequency.

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Do you meander when you walk (look for nature stuff, name license plates, sing songs)?
We don't meander on purpose. We do sing songs, tell stories, plan "surprises" and play word games though. Some are
- rhyming word game
- last letter game (I say a word and you say a word that begins with the last letter)

best help for a tired walker (and believe me dd can get "tired of walking" even after 5 minutes sometimes!) is food. Whenever we make muffins we call them our "walking snack" so muffins are associated with taking walks. I need to bring more snacks into this category

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Favorite routes?
Usually have no choice, but prefer routes off the main roads. Sometimes dd has preferred routes where she can safely walk on the curb or where there are more hills to run up and down.

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Do you go as quickly as you can?
yes, but this means as quickly as dd can, not as quickly as *I* could have walked alone. Practically I think it is about 25 minutes / mile. Rushing is always counter productive so in case we are in a hurry I try my best to keep dd happy and gently remind her about the thing we are hurrying to.

Quote:
What's farthest you've walked one way?
Probably 1.5 miles. We have walked even farther (~3 miles one-way) but that was when dd was either in sling or stroller.

Though I see everyone around me happily owning and operating automobiles, I feel like having a car would be more work, stress - on top of that dealing with the stresses of carseats, and the rush-rush are definite minuses for me.

Re: trains and buses - dd loves them and always has. That certainly makes me overcome inertia in going to catch them. And since we are both slightly prone to carsickness, bus and train are great options, esp if we plan to eat en route.

no longer  or  or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:14 AM
 
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Also, I can't imagine paying all that money for a car -- insurance, gas, maintenence, car loan payments... forget it! I'd rather buy my TTC pass every month
:

no longer  or  or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I am HUGELY irritated!!!

It seemed like EVERYONE was out to hit us today! The kids ride their bikes while I walk now and 3 different times today someone wasn't paying any attention that there were PEOPLE in the crosswalk!!!

And then on our way home one guy stopped but the moron behind him honked and then stared at us as we walked down the sidewalk. So rude!

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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So I am HUGELY irritated!!!

It seemed like EVERYONE was out to hit us today! The kids ride their bikes while I walk now and 3 different times today someone wasn't paying any attention that there were PEOPLE in the crosswalk!!!

And then on our way home one guy stopped but the moron behind him honked and then stared at us as we walked down the sidewalk. So rude!
You know, the longer I go without a car the more I start to really get annoyed by drivers. I can't tell you how many dirty looks I get for crossing the street IN THE CROSSWALK!! And where I live it's actually state law that drivers are supposed to stop anytime there is a pedestrian in the crosswalk. It's not enforced, though. Anyway, I think these incidents are pretty indicative of how much of a car culture we've really become.

I'm sorry it was rough for you today.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, our walking has taken a detour! I severely sprained or broke my ankle last night. No walking for now.

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