just out of curiosity: could you get by without owning a car?
add your yea's and nay's and why's...
me: i could get by without one, because i live in a relatively small city (meaning, i can ride/walk/taxi most places easily/cheaply). also, i work at home. for the occasional long trips, i could rent or borrow a car or take the train.
overall, it wouldn't be much of an inconvenience or a change in lifestyle.
so why do i have a car? because i enjoy driving, tinkering, and i don't mind the associated costs. i guess that means i have a car because i want one, not because i need one.
I'm in exactly the same boat as you. Last summer my wife and I got by on one car between the two of us. My car is in various stages of being taken apart and painted, so we just used her car.
But that wasn't the question.
During those summer/spring months we also rode our bikes everywhere. She works 3 miles or so from our house, and I work at home. The grocery store is within a mile or two, and we're just a few miles (3?) from down town salt lake city. Plenty of restaurants, shops, movie theatres, etc. I would often ride my bike to Autozone, which is kind of funny. kind of.
I'm willing to bet if all of the worlds oil just dried up tomorrow we would be just fine. We'd have to find a way around the cold winter months, but so be it.
IMO the answer is not to keep building outwards, but to build upwards. If more people lived in homes directly in the city then we wouldn't have urban sprawl issues, nor would we have the oil problems we have now.
I would often ride my bike to Autozone, which is kind of funny. kind of.
ahaha! you just reminded me: when the new "canadian tire" auto parts store opened in my city (they closed a smaller downtown location and moved out to the "big-box" store area by the freeway), i rode my bike out there to get some part for my car.
and when i got there... there was NOTHING to lock my bike to! just a giant building in a sea of asphalt. next time i went, i dropped off a letter requesting a bike rack, saying, "ironically, i ride my bike to your store to spend hundreds of dollars a year on auto parts. please put in a bike rack."
I work about 10 miles from home, and I could get back and forth via a bus, followed by the subway, followed by a shuttle bus to the office. I have done it on occasion, but the trip is at least an hour. The truck usually takes 25 minutes of stop and go driving.
My wife works about 30 miles away, no way for her to get there other than her Corolla.
Capitalism: The cream rises. Socialism: The scum rises.
Of course I could get by without a car, but being born in this country I know that to be a US citizen I should waste my money on cars and gasoline because it is my right to steal it from people who need it.
Buses are good.
Go japan in this respect, though japan wants to have a US lifestyle so where we **** up they are sure to follow (unless their population starts to go up again).
I would absolutely go NUTS if I didn't have a car. In fact, anytime I've had to go car-less for a period of time, I felt trapped. Whenever we go out with friends, I'm always the driver -- I insist on it. There's no other feeling than getting behind the wheel and going somewhere - anywhere. But my background is tainted. I am a recovering "Sport Compact" tuner. If it was Japanese, fast, and stylish, it got my attention. I've autocrossed, love the WRC and SCCA Rally racing. My last 2 cars were the Lancer Evo-8 and the '99 Civic Si (I can still hear that B16A2). I used to throw mileage out the window for horsepower. It's uniquely American, it's something hard-wired, and it was hard to get rid of. Occasionally I still find myself redlining, or pulling G's in a tight corner -- I'm still in recovery. Now, the question is, "Well, what kind of mileage can I get?". It's not just a hobby, but a way of life to own a car.
Now if there was more public transit in my area, I'd use it -- but there just isn't, and probably won't be for a very long time. So much for that. I might bike more to the post office when the weather gets nicer.
Hey I went all summer last year on 8 gallons of gas in the Geo often not moving it for 5 or more days in a row once was 8 days I think. I purchased a new $200 Schwinn S-25 mountain bike last February - ooooh almost a year now - and rode that about 600 miles last year and my other choice of transportation is my electric Monster Scooter that has 1800 miles on it and would have more if I could work the bugs out of the controller design before constantly blowing them up. BTW the Scion xB I purchased was to allow me to transport the newer bigger electric scooters that I am building more easily than the Geo Metro could although it worked out pretty well once I built up enough muscle to be able to pick up the 160lbs scooter and put it in the trunk. My problem is I get calls to go 3 miles and at $50 an hour I don't want to be wasting time getting there on a slow bike. SO I also have a brushless 1hp electric motor going on the MTB with a light Li-Ion battery pack that I will be putting together. But most of the time I walk to the clients and the S&S is across the parking lot behind my office building.
I almost moved to Bristol, RI and probably would've taken the bus, walked or rode a bike most of the time. Heck, I'd walk 10 miles to get some chowder and hot cider at the Black Pearl. Since things are close there, and parking is tough, I understand why alternative transportation is easier. It would've been an adjustment compared to the Midwest, where you have to drive for miles to get anywhere.
Yes I could of lived without a car. I fell trapped too. I always had to ask my parents to drive their cars somewhere and it was bugging them. Not really my mom but my dad. My dad has to have everything for himself. So I bought a car so I wouldn't bug him, I bought a tv with cable so I wouldn't bug him. Now I need to buy tools. He always hides the tools. So I have to get my own tools otherwise I can't work on my car.
Before I used to ride the bus, my college is only 4 miles away. Now I pay $200 a month just to drive my car.
The state of RI has a law that allows electric powered 25mph 2hp or less bikes to be operated on the roads following bicycle rules of the road without registration only at drivers licence 16 years of age and no insurance. Only problem is that a couple of years ago a 9 year old girl got hit by a car on her birthday at 9pm at night and had both her legs broke while riding her Electric Scooter. AS a result Middletown bands their use even though the state allows them. SO you can't get to Newport from Bristol without going through Middletown. Other than that it is a great way to save the enviroment using clean quiet electric power. Power to drive my Monster Scooter is about 1kwh of grid power per 20 miles.