By on February 15, 2019

Journalist Randy Essex of the Detroit Free Press took to those same digital pages last week to discuss how great his new car-free life is, even during the life-threatening cold of the polar vortex.

To which I say, good for him. If he’s happy living a car-free life in Detroit, more power to him. But his article is just the latest part of a conversation happening, at least in certain circles on social media, about going car-free.

This isn’t to pick on Essex. Again, if not having their own car works for him and his wife, that’s fine with me. To each their own, you do you, all that jazz. But going car-free won’t work for everyone, and urbanites, especially urbanite auto journalists, need to remember that.

Speaking of urbanite auto journalists, I am one. If I didn’t get test cars on the regular, I could handle about 80 percent of my routine errands without a car and use a car-sharing service for the rest. But I don’t presume to suggest the rest of America live that way.

I live in the big, bad city in part because of transportation choice. I could live for less in the suburbs, but it’s nice being able to complete some errands by walking. I lived in the suburbs in the mid-Aughts, and while I mostly liked it, I wasn’t a fan of firing up my Accord for a run to the store in which the engine wouldn’t even get warm. However, if I tried walking that same distance, it’d be about a half-hour round trip, before factoring in time at the store. So walking wasn’t a good option.

While I do get test cars on the regular thanks to this gig, there are times that the press-car gravy train skips this stop. Press fleets simply don’t always have enough cars to go around. Were I a suburbanite, I’d have to buy a car. A beater, maybe, but I’d still be adding expenses I don’t have now (although with parking fees no longer part of my budget, it might even out). As it stands now, I am not reliant on the press fleet. Should they be short on cars, I can get around via other means. Heck, I do that even when I have a press car parked in the garage – sometimes I use Uber or the El because it’s easier, or because I plan on imbibing some adult bevvies.

I often wonder if I’d own a car had I a different job. I could save a mint on monthly parking. I suppose the answer depends on where this hypothetical other job was located and/or how much I might need a car for weekend sojourns to the suburbs.

Thing is, this is all about my personal situation, and everyone’s is different. I know someone who sold her car upon moving back to Chicago – she works from home and lives in a densely built part of the city, near an El stop. Her two feet, Uber, and the CTA will help her get around. I have other friends in the downtown core who are in the same boat. But I also know other Chicagoans who could easily be carless, but aren’t – they keep wheels around so they can do grocery runs more easily, or go to the suburbs, or go on road trips.

Of course, some folks who live in the city reside in parts of town that aren’t well-served by mass transit. As densely built as the central parts of Chicago are, once you get into the bungalow belt, the vibe feels slightly more suburban. Parking becomes more plentiful, and it becomes harder to get around without a car.

That’s how it is in many cities, of course.

This is why I don’t fully understand why auto journalists who live in Manhattan or downtown Chicago or some other urban core are suddenly talking about going carless (to be fair, I could be overreacting to a small but noisy subset of Twitter users). Putting aside the irony of auto journalists suggesting that more people go carless, if you live by choice or necessity in an urban core, please understand that most people don’t. Most people need cars, whether they like it or not.

If you’d like to advocate for more/better mass transit, that’s fine. I’d actually like that – it might help reduce traffic. But taking to Twitter or a big-city newspaper to brag about easy it is to live in a city and go carless shows an ignorance towards the rest of the world. It may work for you, but it won’t work for everyone.

To Essex’s credit, he seems to understand that. He admits he’s lucky enough to be able to afford to live where he does, and he doesn’t talk about a future with no car, but a future with fewer cars. I think even us car people can live with that – as long as we can still drive when we want, where we want, why should we care if others find other means of conveyance? We’re not the ones selling the things, and as long as cars exist, we’ll have something to write about.

I think that’s what bugs me about sanctimonious auto writers on Twitter – the lack of understanding that what works in Manhattan, New York doesn’t work in Manhattan, Kansas. Go ahead and advocate for more transit choice, or policies that could reduce congestion, or whatever. But understand that just because you can exist without owning a car, others can’t.

I’m getting a little repetitive, just like those Twitter warriors, but the point must be hammered home.

Go carless, or not. It’s your choice. Just don’t tweet about it.

[Image: Veronique Duplain/Shutterstock]

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60 Comments on “Going Car-free May Work for You, But It Won’t Work For All...”


  • avatar
    TheDutchGun

    I’ll gladly suffer through vehicle costs and a 30 minute commute for the privilege of acres and peace/quiet.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “I often wonder if I’d own a car had I a different job.”

    Not to be d*ck, but don’t you *like* vehicles? I live in the suburbs so I do “need” a vehicle to get around, but that necessity isn’t why I bought what I have and it’s not why I hang out on TTAC and have about a billion car facts in my head.

    You could put me in a *perfect* walkable community and I’d still want a vehicle (even if it was rarely used or if I had to park it relatively far away) because I really like them and it’s my hobby. It isn’t a burden to own a car, it’s a joy.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ajla, it can be argued that Retirement Communities are such “perfect walkable communities” where everything thing is built within walking distance.

      Yet everyone of the residents I know who lives in such a community, including the Air Force Retirement Village, still has at least ONE ICE vehicle to get to places outside the community, and sometimes an electric-powered Golf Cart to get around inside the community.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I do, and maybe I’d own a car anyway because I like them. But it’s expensive where I live. Parking, higher insurance rates, higher price of gas. You live in the suburbs, it’s not a question — you own a car. But even for a car guy, when you live in the city, you might choose to not own a vehicle because of the cost. That said, a different job might also pay more than journalism….

    • 0 avatar
      hausjam

      I like cars, though less than in my youth. But it’s still a burden. Whether you enjoy driving or not, you can’t tell me you enjoy maintenance and inevitable failures. And it’s a necessary burden at that when you live 45 miles from work. Public transportation, paid transportation, and living near work are not options.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “But it’s still a burden”

        I disagree. Something you love doesn’t become a “burden” just due to the occasional negative occurrence. No one would call their dog a burden because it chewed up a pair of socks or call their prized concert piano a burden because it needs to be tuned.

      • 0 avatar

        House, flat, wife and kids, cats and dogs are also burden. Computer is a burden, cellphone – burden. IRA is a burden, Government is a burden. Planet itself is burden – climate change and all that sh!t. Life itself is a burden – you have to eat and shxx, take care of you body, clean yourself, annual checkup, cancer and related chemotherapy, surgery and recovery. Death – burden (for your relatives and family). And list goes on and on.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Car ownership is not a prerequisite for car enthusiasm. I didn’t own a car when I was a kid, but I still drew cars in the back of all my textbooks and played Gran Turismo. I didn’t own a car for the years I lived in Manhattan, but I did go to the car shows, play Forza, follow the goings on in the industry and buy a motorcycle. Etc. Circumstances can make car ownership range from a burden to impossible for even the biggest car enthusiast. That doesn’t make them any less into cars.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “That doesn’t make them any less into cars.”

        Fair enough, good response. I’ve felt the sting of the manual transmission purity cult (among others) so I should know better.

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    Nice choice of city picture; Montreal is arguably one of the best cities in North America in which to be carless. When I was living in the city core, the list of things closer to my apartment than where I parked my car included: a bus that took me directly to the airport, two metro lines, countless bars and restaurants, a shopping mall, a couple of grocery stores, and my university. I’d literally go weeks without so much as seeing my Miata, and stored it all winter.

    As for life outside of the cities (and even inside many of them), an auto journalist would have to be pretty out-of-touch to not realize how necessary having regular access to a car really is.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      The major issue here is that many Americans view ‘the inner city’ much differently than do citizens of other 1st world nations.

      In most 1st world nations the inner city is home to those with money. The ‘exburbs’ are where the lower socio-economic classes have largely migrated.

      In many American cities, the inner city is still viewed as a ‘no go zone’ for many.

      And in America, public transit is viewed as a tax burden, required to move the poor. Whereas in many other 1st world nations public transit is an egalitarian way for people from all classes to move around.

      Due to these perceptions, particularly by rural Americans, the stigma they associate with inner cities/public transit, blurs their reasoning.

      We have had some of that thinking in Canada, in particular Rob Ford, who was a born and raised suburbanite. However now in cities like Toronto, Victorian inner city semis or townhouses, in formally ‘working class’ neighbourhoods now sell for many hundreds of thousands of dollars more than late 20th century, suburban ‘executive’ detached homes on large lots.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        “Due to these perceptions, particularly by rural Americans, the stigma they associate with inner cities/public transit, blurs their reasoning.”

        Living in single family homes with an abundance of space in neighborhoods free from crime has blurred our reasoning? No. Being told that living like a warehoused animal is a luxury has fooled the impressionable. Keep in mind that I lived in Manhattan for about five years, Hilversum for a year, Atlanta for a year, and currently live in a waterfront condominium in Virginia Beach. I know who has been stripped of their reason. You can denigrate 3,500 square foot single family homes all you want, along with the outdoor lifestyles of hunting, water-skiing, and power toys that often go hand in hand with low tax living. At some point, city dwellers have really got to wonder whether numbers on a mortgage or a paycheck make them rich when everything in their city is priced for people who make eight figures and they live like a college student on three hundred and fifty thousand a year.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @Todd, your passion has blurred your vision. The ‘market’ has spoken.
          Circa 1990, I bought a large home, in an expensive outer suburb, on the biggest lot that I could find.

          For the same price I could have purchased 3 homes in ‘downtown’ Toronto.
          Now any one of those downtown homes, regardless of condition, is worth roughly 2 to 2.5 times what I can get for mine.

          The inner city provides ‘high culture’. Concerts, theatre, fine dining, night clubs, museums, art galleries, etc. Stores and gyms open 24/7. Universities and colleges. All either within walking distance or a short hop on the subway/streetcar.

          Proximity to a subway line greatly increases your property value.
          And all real estate listings, include the ‘walkability’ index of your neighbourhood.

          Young, educated people, even in the USA, are moving to urban areas and away from rural areas.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Perfect. It means I’ll be able to buy the property I want for cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “The ‘market’ has spoken.”

            Toronto’s sky-rocketing real estate is certainly not the situation in every inner city within the US. It also isn’t like housing prices are cratering or even falling in the American suburbs.

            “are moving to urban areas and away from rural areas.”

            I brought this up yesterday, but a distinction should be made between “urban areas” and the “inner city”. According to census statistics I live in an “urban area”, but I don’t live in a high-rise or in the shadow of a skyscraper either.

          • 0 avatar

            Arthur, you should not worry – the same thing is happening in America, particularly in California. Housing pricing skyrocketed in my area – San Francisco and Oakland. Poor people are shown on the door – they have no choice but move out to far away suburbs. City centers becoming very expensive to live in. How much engineers make? 200K – 400K a year and I am talking about kids. Can you compete?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            See, “Being told that living like a warehoused animal is a luxury has fooled the impressionable.” I lived it in my twenties. Manhattan wasn’t as bad as California inner cities have become, but it was still worse than anything I want to experience again.

            I can go all day without stepping over a homeless person or smelling urine. I don’t miss either even a little. Being an involuntary participant in subway frottage and having people with rattily coughs sneeze my in face holds no nostalgia for me either.

            Working up to seventy seven billable hours a week as an IT consultant to investment banks didn’t leave much energy for ‘high culture,’ although I did sample lousy theater, lousy modern art, and I used to be on the guest lists at the Tunnel and Club USA. Meh.

            I did make a lot of money, which made me even less motivated to keep working all the time while watching my coworkers aging visibly from one day to the next. People with families mostly commuted great distances. No wonder their kids grew up to be sheep heading to slaughter. They were wards of the state. I moved from my crummy NYC apartment to a beautiful house with a pool from which I could ride my bicycle to the beach. Never looked back.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I don’t know @arthur. I live in the suburbs and due to the relatively low cost of living I’m with my Family in Paris right now. This is our second trip abroad this year. I couldn’t do that if I had to pay to live in a large city. To each their own I guess, but I love the space And I love the lifestyle the low cost of living affords us. We already have New York and Scotland planned.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            @Art – with the average vehicle running costs coming to $6k or so per year, going from a 2-car household to 1 car could pay for a pretty reasonable trip each year. That said, at least in my metro area, you’d have to commit to a 2-hour commute before you start seeing much in the way of real estate savings (or finding a place with any sort of acreage), so at least for me, it’s not even worth considering living further out.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Yes living in a dense city saves so much money, what with million dollar small apartments (or equivalent rent – unless you qualify for public housing), high taxes, expensive groceries, and the costs of bus passes/taxis/rental cars. Throw in lousy public schools, and no wonder the car-less city life loses it appeal for most young adults once the family formation stage starts.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      Gavin Newsom, the mayor who transformed San Francisco into a socially just, poop-free-sidewalked, top-rated-across-the-board schooled, pothole-free-roaded, utopian model for the rest of the nation, moved to 1.38 acre of private Marin land as soon as his term was over. Almost all of the elites in SF live in Marin county, letting the hipsters and maids eek out a “living” crammed into subdivided 100 year old houses and turn-of-20th-century earthquake shacks.

      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/gavin-newsom-buys-house-in-marin_n_1119560.html

      • 0 avatar
        vehic1

        How hypocritical of Newsom! Almost as bad as the guy who hired cheap undocumenteds for years and years, but then roused the rabble, claiming it was suddenly an emergency.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      I never understood why some of my family members and friends moved to the center of the city where there is so much pollution to live and raise their kids.

      To me it makes no sense to live in densely populared communtities. The only benefit seems to be that you can walk to and from a bar or restaurant easily. Actually no, it’s bars in plural, since people don’t understand that you don’t have to live in a huge city to be able to walk to a bar or restaurant. I really don’t get the appeal of ‘being able to walk to crappy, overcrowded restaurants and grocery stores’ since there are so many drawbacks that come with that.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        You can’t carry a week’s worth of groceries on foot to a fifth-floor walk-up on the Lower East Side! So it’s a daily grind to be able to eat! (Unless you choose to dine out all the time at those overpriced, crappy restaurants.)

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Yeah, I don’t understand for example the pride of a family with three kids of their ‘urban lifestyle’ in which just going grocery shopping is a massive struggle. Taking the kids to hobbies usually means trekking to wherever they finally found a parking spot, shovelling snow for a good while, either carrying all your stuff with you or having to make a separate trip back home to get the stuff. And ‘popping by your house to get your stuff quick’ means finding an illegal parking spot close enough, walking up a flight of stairs to the building door, then inside you have a lot more stairs, then you fumble stuff out of the cramped apartment all the way back to the car (which you can’t leave unlocked or leave any stuff unguarded on the sidewalk lest it get stolen)…

          All the walking to the tiny, expensive grocery store etc. is done in the most polluted air in the country.

          Any extra storage space is not even in the house but up 8 flights of stairs, how convenient!

          All visitors hate the hassle and cost of visiting, since non-residents of the area have to pay stupidly high parking prices.

          Families like that don’t have the time, nor even with pretty ok salaries the money to go out and enjoy the ‘cornucopia of entertainment and services’ which actually isn’t much to write home about (just more bars and stuff because there are more people, the quality barely goes up due to that!) and is just as accessible from the suburbs…

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    There’s a well written article in C&D regarding the struggles congested cities like London, Seattle, NYC have with carless people . Essentially , they’re using Uber so much pollution and congestion have not gone down and public trans. is underutilized , thus underfunded. A double whammy.
    My nephew just moved to Chi. and admits he ubers as much as using the EL

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Uber and Lyft in Seattle are a nightmare that has increased traffic and congestion and it doesn’t mean that most people don’t still own two or more cars per family.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Prime Directive:

    Keep as much locked-tight steel around you as possible when traversing obamalands.

    Owning that steel isn’t absolutely necessary vs. a lease; but you must be in sole control of it’s movement and occupants.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    I am urban, and have a car because I like cars (and to make getting out of the city on weekends easier).
    What I can do without is Twitter.
    There you go, problem solved!

  • avatar
    A Scientist

    “….I could be overreacting to a small but noisy subset of Twitter users.”

    I think this is the answer to just about everything online and in the media these days :

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      “I think this is the answer to just about everything online and in the media these days”

      God, yes, this. There’s always going to be somebody out there with an outrageous opinion. Someone will always be wrong on the internet. But that doesn’t mean that the world is *actually* full of mouth-foaming racists and hair-brained SJWs. Everybody, as a whole, needs to stop spending so much time trying to find people to be enraged at. We’ll all be better for it.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “(to be fair, I could be overreacting to a small but noisy subset of Twitter users)”

    look up “tautology,” you’ll see “small but noisy subset of Twitter users”

    The answer is to ignore Twitter users. And Facebook users. Just ignore them. Period. I think it’s time for a public shaming, not unlike the Amish shunning.

    “I think that’s what bugs me about sanctimonious auto writers on Twitter – the lack of understanding that what works in Manhattan, New York doesn’t work in Manhattan, Kansas.”

    And right there, you’ve just in very few words defined what’s wrong with the coasts, period. They’re full of sanctimonious airheads who think THEIR way is THE way. Their stuff doesn’t stink.

  • avatar
    WisconsinIrishJames

    I think some journalists, be they automotive, news, sport, tech, etc, often innocently forget that their own little bubble is not the entire universe.

    The other portion want to force their way of life on others, freedom of choice be damned.

    It’s a sign of the current era we live in where journalists write things to justify their feelings as the universal truth and anything contrary, is heresy.

  • avatar

    This is part of the anti-car movement. I lived in NYC for 8 years, and had a car. I had a reverse commute, and worked in NJ. There was no public transit that reasonably would have made that possible. I will say that the only thing that made it work was that I had a parking space, and didn’t fight NYC parking regulations or have to look for open street parking…. The whole anti-car movement is destroying driving in NYC on purpose. Lanes are removed for bicycles, like Seventh Avenue in Midtown. The moronic “road diet” is installed to cut out turn lanes or reduced four lanes to two to “slow cars”. Literally anything that can be used to inconvenience driver is done. The new idea in NYC is Congestion Pricing, where you’d have to pay to drive in midtown. Well, after the road diets and the removal of travel lanes for bikes, plus a lot of Uber/Lyft cars, there is a lot more congestion….. the money from congestion tax will be used to pay for the subway. My bridge tolls already pay for the subway. There are long screeds about parking being a public subsidy for a private use…removal of cars from the whole city…..and cameras, cameras everywhere to enforce everything.

    This movement is what I call “Brooklyn Bicycle Guy” and is mostly pointless outside a few very congested center cities. Grandma can’t be expected to bicycle to Wal Mart in Billings MT in the winter, nor will the Soccer Team in Larchmont walk to the meet in Scarsdale.

    Politicians seek to raise money and use the Bicycle Guys as political cover. I may laugh at them but they DID get a whole lane taken out of major NYC roadways for the four bikes an hour that use them, while trucks line up blocking traffic to unload and everyone else has to make do with a lane and a half where you used to have three.

    Absolute nonsense.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I really don’t understand why this is controversial. Some people like living downtown, others like the suburbs. Who cares? At different life stages, the same person probably likes different locations. I lived downtown when I was young and single, moved to the suburbs to raise a family, and can see moving back to the city when a house becomes more of a burden than a convenience. I don’t judge people’s choice of where they want to live, and I don’t understand why others feel compelled to criticize anyone’s choices.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Different strokes for different folks. Fine.

      But it’s when the politicians try to project their views onto others (like DeBlasio in NYC, where they are deliberately making it miserable to have a car even when the current environment makes it tougher) that people should be wary.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        The irony of the DeBlasio is that his Vision Zero initiatives has made a big difference in driver fatalities but have had -uh – little impact on pedestrian deaths.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    So, for what it’s worth, I grew up in a suburb built in a late 80’s, in a former cottage town that people eventually just started living in year round. It was frankly terrible, being surrounded by people, close to absolutely nothing (as the town was completely unplanned), and extremely car-dependant. My standard of good is heavily dictated by being nothing like my home town.

    While I don’t ever see going car-free, and I don’t think my desired lifestyle works everywhere, but it makes sense given my circumstances (among other things, my wife’s job only exists in a few places, and she has bad eyesight, so hates driving). But, so many initiatives to improve urban environments involve making things worse for motorists, so it’s seen as an attack on them.

    Of course, also not helping is that, as a Torontonian, we have a generation who only learned the lessons of Jane Jacobs as to how to stop development they didn’t care for, but failed to also learn the bit about increased density and more transit and such (that wasn’t convenient for them, but keeping a highway from splitting up their neighbourhood was).

  • avatar

    Google the term “bike lash” That’s when people whose streets have been hard bicycle lane-d intentionally block the lanes or drop tacks on them. Many of the outer boroughs in NYC are resisting the spread of bike lanes to their (less core city) areas…..businesses on the bike lane hate them, they make access to a store much more difficult, and at NYC prices, warehouses tend to be elsewhere and product trucked in daily.

    Follow Streetsblog on twitter for this sort of hardcore fantasy and nonsense.

  • avatar
    MBella

    The article from the Freepress is hilarious. It’s one thing to be living in a bubble in New York or Seattle. But Detroit isn’t there yet. He talks about using the Q-Line or people mover as transportation options. For those of you not familiar with either, I suggest you look them up on a map. This covers such a limited portion of the city, you would be limited to a few stores for your shopping. There would be a few options for the other goods and services.

  • avatar
    Illan

    “This is why I don’t fully understand why auto journalists who live in Manhattan or downtown Chicago or some other urban core are suddenly talking about going carless (to be fair, I could be overreacting to a small but noisy subset of Twitter users).”

    my question is why are these people still “auto Journalist” if they want to get rid of cars.

    its like asking for a review on a good restaurant for lobster from someone who hates lobster.

    here in Puerto Rico we are a very LOOOOOOOOOOONG way from becoming “car-less” uber and mass transportation is only available in certain areas of the island (read San Juan).

    its rare to find someone who can say they are walking distance from home and work.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      Tim’s writing about cars is also like me writing about sex at 64; there are others with much more current involvement.

      • 0 avatar
        Illan

        here is an article on this via tech site engadget. https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/21/nocar-nolicense-noproblem/

        its intertesting that these same people are overy hyping tesla.

        dont get me wrong i love tesla, but its over hyped.

        • 0 avatar
          jatz

          The vapid, nearly-40, ex-anime-focused goo-goo doll writing that article might well have been my daughter were I ever reckless.

          And that featured segment is called “Adult Week: Your Guide to Adulting”

  • avatar
    brn

    Car sharing services like Lyft and Uber are underpriced right now. If people start dumping cars, there were be fewer cars to share and a higher demand for them. Supply and demand will drive the price up substantially. In rural communities, car sharing availability is already limited.

    Anyone suggesting ride share as a partial solution for going car free, needs to understand the long term impacts.

  • avatar
    James Charles

    Then ……… as the comments and story tell ……..

    The car is an appliance for those in the suburbs on their 1/4 to 1/2 acre plots of “freedom” and a toy for those city slickers.

    Many B&B comments infer differently. Those outer suburban dwellers are buying “utility” style appliances like SUVs and pickups. Plain Jane carts and wagons dressed up to be something they are not.

    The inner city crowd who own a set of wheels are the real car enthusiasts. Why? Because it’s a luxury.

    As we move forward in history and public-spirited transport options become more readily available more appliances (pickups and SUVs) will proportionally be the market.

  • avatar
    James Charles

    Then ……… as the comments and story tell ……..

    The car is an appliance for those in the suburbs on their 1/4 to 1/2 acre plots of “freedom” and a toy for those city slickers.

    Many B&B comments infer differently. Those outer suburban dwellers are buying “utility” style appliances like SUVs and pickups. Plain Jane carts and wagons dressed up to be something they are not.

    The inner city crowd who own a set of wheels are the real car enthusiasts. Why? Because it’s a luxury.

    As we move forward in history and public-spirited transport options become more readily available more appliances (pickups and SUVs) will proportionally be the market.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    If you read the Essex article carefully, you will see that he is far from carless. He rents something whenever Uber or public transportation won’t work. He has simply found a place where the amenities he values most are accessible without a personally owned car.

    Other people have different priorities. I used to work with a guy who lived well out into the country. His house was surrounded by farm fields rather than other houses (or apartments). To him and his wife, the space and solitude were worth the time and expense of an 80 mile round trip daily commute. Others wanted to live in a town of 3,000 while working in a city of 400,000.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    When I worked for a software developer we had a trade show in Chicago and my sister lived in Oswego at the time. I would stay at her house and take the train in every morning. It actually wasn’t bad and took about 1/2 hour each way including walking a few blocks downtown. I could see where a single car or no car could work for some people, but you still have the cost of the public transit so it isn’t totally expense free to go carless.

    Where I live now I drive 16 miles to work and we live out where the nearest neighbor is 1/2 mile away. Good neighbors though and we see them out on our walks often enough. We are still only 3 miles from a couple local grocery stores in the small towns near us. $1.99 for butter or a gallon of milk, fresh baked bread, cheap gas. Of course we have to drive 20 minutes minimum to go to a decent restaurant but I bet it is a 20 minute trip for anyone in a big city as well.

    Sometimes there will be a traffic jam because a herd of deer are trying to cross the highway, or someone’s cows got loose.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      If I lived in a big city, like Chicago, I’d take the train. (In 2005, I found that MARTA was a nice ride from Hartsfield to the Olympic Park area and back out.)

      But Toledo, OH? The rta here just cut hours back because they aren’t making enough $$$. Trains aren’t going to fly here!


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  • dividebytube: When I’m down south I’m taken aback by the number of decent looking old trucks and even G...
  • redapple: RED…. Great catch. Love it.
  • teddyc73: What an ugly rear end.

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