Carless question

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    I’ve got a few questions for those people that say they’re “carless” What do you do on evenings and weekends and vacations? If a chance to use a cabin at the ocean, or Lake Chelan or the San Juan’s came up I take it you would say no, you’d rather stay home than get there by car. You wouldn’t vacation somewhere that you’d have to drive a car? What do you tell family and friends? You don’t want them to visit if they come by car? Single people. If someone you wanted to date said they’d be by on their bike, or come by bus to take you out for an evening is that the ideal mate you’re looking for? Job. If you got a offer for a great job, but it wasn’t served by bus and too far to bike would you turn it down? My thoughts: We DO have serious issues with cars and traffic. What I’m waiting to read is someone with REAL WORLD WORKABLE SOLUTIONS!! Too many commenters on the blog simply saying “ban car’s” or “you don’t have right’s” clearly showing they have no idea’s, and frankly their muddying of the water only tunes us out.



    We don’t live a carless life but really, there are many options.
    ReachNow/Car 2 Go
    traditional rent-a-car

    Seriously, owning a car costs a ton of money, even if it’s not the most expensive one on the lot. Hard to get away for less than $20,000. Then there’s the gas, the maintenance, the insurance …. You can do a lot of renting/”ride-sharing” for less $.

    More of the younger generation is choosing not to bother with driving, and I can see why. The problem right now is that we’re in a transitional time and so there’s a ton of tension. It’s not going to be a quick transition, either.

    (P.S. And don’t miss the West Seattle Transportation Coalition-presented upcoming alternative transportation forum … similar to the one presented last year!)



    I agree with you regarding simplistic approaches but maybe for different reasons.

    First of all, I think in terms of personal mobility, mass transit & green transit. That to me is a muddy pond as you might say.

    Personal Mobilty: I agree with you that many take a myopic view of an athletic, independant young adult. Our population is aging & personal mobility can be a component of good healthcare. We are not able or will not be able to bike ourselves to the Urgent Care room much less the ER. So here’s the dillema; some would say, “just Uber it.” Ladies & gentlemen, Uber or Lyft are not a green form of mobility. If you Lyft to the airport or even the earthday parade, you are part of the problem. Ask any hotel van driver & he or she will tell you that Uber & Lyft has erupted into unregulated chaotic mess at the airport.

    Mass Transit: First of all, I grew up with, & regularly use good mass transit, but, not here in Seattle. I wanted to be part of the solution so I got involved in the Monorail initiative… & had my activism head handed to me on a platter. In Seattle, I believe true mass transit went the eay if the Interurban. That ship has sailed for me.

    Green transit: First of all, I am a regular cyclist in the city; Tokyo. I love to ride: period. Here in Seattle? I all but gave up. Also, I have become very much at odds with the bikeshare programs. I thought it was a great way to get people on bikes but I have come to see it as a choatic mess of marketing ( helmet laws anyone?) I despise the green, orange, yellow visual pollution.

    There’s my two cents worth: Personal Mobility, Mass Transit & Green Transit. All at odds…



    WSB. The entities you referenced ARE CARS. I doubt that any of the ride share/taxis will show up to pick you up on a bicycle. You are correct that owning a car is expensive but most of us are willing to spend the money for our mobility. My “young people” experience comes via my niece and nephew. Neither owned a car until their late 20’s. The reason: school debt. They waited until they could afford a car, buying as soon as they could. With his 1st “real job” out of grad school my nephew bought a car with his 1st paycheck saying “I’m tired of riding the bus” They’ve also told me that they knew NO ONE that said they’d be carless their whole lives. The delay was due to simple economics. They’d buy when they could afford.I’ll say it again: we do have traffic problems and I certainly don’t have all the answers but until EVERYONE-walkers,bikers,transit users AND CAR DRIVERS are given EQUAL access at the table no real solutions will be forthcoming.



    We are far from being a car-less family…we own 3 vehicles one a Ford Mustang V-8, 2nd Ford F-150 (Eco Friendly) and 3rd another F-150 except its a Drag Racing truck.
    I know a lot of you are going to BOO and HISS at us but hey we’ve worked long and hard and we desire life’s small pleasures and our vehicles are it. YES we’re a child-less family not a chosen field…couldn’t have children, but we do have 2 cats! :>)

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Brenda2.


    Single people. If someone you wanted to date said they’d be by on their bike, or come by bus to take you out for an evening is that the ideal mate you’re looking for?

    LOL. Of all the things I judge my “ideal mate” for, owning a car is about #3,402 on the list. That’s cool if you place such a high value on owning a specific thing but don’t assume that everyone else does.



    Fords v-8s and trucks. Talk about a life’s smallest pleasures. NTTAWWT.:)



    22 blades…funny you should bring up helmets. I brought up the subject on a FB thread and had it thrown back in my face? I was told to not be naive…exactly how many people have I heard about who got injured riding a bike share. So I deduced that a law , to them, is only for those who wish to observe it, that it was OK to not use a helmet, because SPD will not call them out on it. Guess they’re special, and obviously harder headed than most of us.

    At the risk of someone jumping down my throat for mentioning it…71 years old here…semi-disabled (currently going through some procedures for arthritis in lower back), and I am using a walker. My car is not functioning at the moment, so I mostly go nowhere, can walk to grocery. Obviously, I will not be riding a bike. I’ve given up on Metro…they don’t go where I need to go. For others in my predicament, I recommend the Hyde Senior Shuttle…a door to door small bus service that will take you places like doc appts, food bank, the Y for a swim, that sort of thing. It’s not always timely…I have had to wait at the Polyclinic for up to 2 hours after an appt. Facebook is a time killer, of course. Or a good read. It is free, donation only. It is not perfect….it’s a vehicle. We will never be free of them totally, I’m sorry to say. Just Google Hyde Shuttle. Yes, you have to plan for it. There is no immediate service.

    This city missed the mass transit boat like other forward thinking cities a long, long time ago. People want the amenities, but for God’s sake, don’t you dare raise a tax to pay for it ! Guess they think the Magic transpo whatever in the sky will just snap it’s fingers and it will be done.

    Those of us who actually do drive a car as a single take a lot of heat. Mine is being repaired soon. It will allow me to go to places like a restaurant, or TJ’s, or maybe Westwood on occasion. I usually put less than a thousand miles on my car per year.

    I try to respect cyclists, and I do wish a few of them would be more respectful of drivers. I’m not saying all riders are disrespectful, but I give them leeway when they are riding on a street in front of me. I have followed at 10 MPH in places because they are oblivious to me, or simply ignoring me. I’m a firm believer of making bikelanes next to the curb with car parking lanes next to them, separating cyclists from busy streets…safer for both drivers and riders. I don’t give anyone the finger when I’m driving. I may cuss and swear under my breath, but don’t we all? I have been given the finger, I have been cussed at while driving by a cyclist or two. It’s part of life. I have observed cyclists biking on 1st Ave near the stadiums with one hand on the bike, the other holding a phone to their ear. I don’t do that, phone stays off when I’m driving. Period. So, I guess we all have to realize that we are in this together, no one is better than the other, and we all need to be more attentive to the others around us, and the environment, etc. Perfection is illusive.

    Rest of the week is downhill…don’t speed, and be kind to your fellow man/woman/child.



    if we want people to use public transit we have to provide public transit that provides actual benefits to those who use it. it really is that simple.
    living in West Seattle.. why would anyone choose to get on a bus when it is overcrowded, doesn’t run on a convenient schedule, doesn’t shorten their commute and doesn’t take them where they want to go?

    I would love to take the water taxi downtown. but there is no parking at this end and i have to walk a really long way to any public transportation at the other end…

    the same is true along the California business corridor. if i want to shop along it.. i have to drive and park in each district … a free shuttle with parking at either end would have me exploring the intriguing little shops and restaurants that are popping up along the way..

    limited public parking and limited public transportation means i don’t patronize local businesses as much as i would like.

    on the other hand … my husband enthusiastically uses his company’s private bus system.. although it doesn’t shorten his commute it does provide parking at the stops and has wifi so he can spend his commute productively.

    there is a lesson here. when will we learn it?



    JoB; I agree. Unless you have an 8:15 to 5:00 job, the bus doesn’t even run tom Admiral. You bring up another real good point. Driving to transit. It makes the neighborhood around bus stops a park-n-ride. Car parked on handicap ramps, blocking the turning radius of corners to emergency vehicles so they can’t turn without hitting or just blatantly parking in front of a no parking sign. Oh, I know they’re in a hurry… Meanwhile, under the bridge, the Park-N-Ride lot sits half empty. The city keeps allowing even greater density without considering the real, everyday consequences. It may keep the city’s cash flow flowing, but not our mobility needs. I think it reflects on how poorly the city is motivated to plan a big, comprehensive picture and how well they’re motivated to keep developers and construction company’s cash flow. I am dubious of the city’s science in their methods. (I have no idea what science is behind the tunnel)

    I will disagree to the approach of private bus systems. I believe it masks a civic capacity problem and also sends a message of exclusivity of which there is a growing backlash for… They are in vogue here in the US but I’ve never seen one in overseas. Just my opinion.

    “there is a lesson here. when will we learn it?” When the city becomes non-functional… and I think we’re rapidly getting there.



    we don’t see private bus systems oversees because most areas have developed public transportation systems that work eliminating the need.



    I think this should be a personal choice. Some people don’t want to own a car and there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of us own them for various reasons. Those who chose not to should not try to keep others from owning a car.
    I am an unapologetic car owner. I own 2 cars and two trucks. Two are classic two are modern. I get a lot of enjoyment out of them, keep them maintained, and have plenty of space to park them.
    This is still a free country and I would be willing to fight to my last breath for you to believe in whatever you want to believe in.
    In the meantime I will enjoy every mile left behind me.


    Bchap, I absolutely agree with you that it should be a personal choice. Not everyone can go carless or even use public transportation for work, because of various reasons. Not everyone can bike or walk everywhere either.

    And not everyone can drive or wants to. I don’t have a car and don’t drive because my depth perception is poor and I got in several accidents years ago when I did have a car, because of misjudging how far away another car was. So it’s not safe for me to drive. But I have been made to feel as if I’m a drain on society because I don’t own a car and therefore don’t pay taxes on licenses and gas. I’ve been told, or have heard others being told, that we are moochers and leeches because we use public transportation, and that the bus fares don’t pay the entire cost. So there’s that.

    Not to mention weird looks and people thinking i was strange, to the point that I really didn’t like to get to know people and still don’t because of their judgment of me for not owning a car. And every time I’d go to a social event from the time I stopped driving until maybe the last 15 years, people felt that they had to provide rides to and especially from the event for me, even though i kept assuring them that that wasn’t necessary–that I’d take a bus or if it was really late, a taxi.

    You feel like you’re being shamed or chastised for owning cars, and that’s unfortunate and shouldn’t happen. I don’t think that everyone who tries to encourage people to consider other methods of transportation such as public transportation is saying that no one should own cars, but I’m sure there are a few who do that, and that’s really unfortunate and wrong.


    I see very few people on this blog saying that cars should be banned. And people who don’t own cars themselves usually don’t tell their visitors that they can’t come by car. And they rent cars if they want to drive somewhere for a vacation (unless they can’t drive for some reason such as eyesight; then they take a bus or train or fly there if it’s farther away). Most people who don’t have cars themselves don’t have them because they don’t want them or feel their life is easier without them, or some other reason. They don’t say that no one should have them. That’s ridiculous.

    Why are you so sensitive about this? Do you have some rabid anti-car person in your family?



    Dear CarDriver. Yes, I am carless. Weekends? I stay home. Vacations? I don’t take them. I’m 71, and am now, for all intents and purposes, retired. I use a walker…it doesn’t work on Metro very well, like a wheelchair does. So I don’t take metro. Besides, I live near Admiral Way. I’m not going to work, so no bus service to downtown on off hours. If I go to the junction, and have to transfer? C Line, depending on time of day, is crowded, and people are very not willing at times to give up a seat in the front. Besides when I get downtown, there is no connecting service to where I need to go. And then? I’ve already wasted 1-1.5 hrs to get to my appt. In other words, I do not go anywhere unless someone else is providing a ride. I have friends who sometimes do that. I also take a shuttle to My doc appts that picks me up at home, and brings me back. That sometimes takes 4 hours for a 1/2 hour appt. I am on a fixed income…Uber and Lyft are out of the question. I agree wholeheartedly with JoB. Our system may work for many, but it doesn’t work for all. I am used to staying home. Yes, I miss the world out there at times. I’m used to not participating a lot…and, yes, things would be different if I was half my age. Caveat. My car will be repaired in the not too distant future, and I will again take the occasional beach run down Alki…something myself and my friends call a mini-vacation :)


    @jans: I agree, Metro is not easy for anyone with mobility problems, especially in areas like the Admiral District with limited service. It’s a shame that service to the Admiral District is so sparse now.

    And even in areas with better service, many of the buses are extremely crowded, and it’s hard to get a seat if one is needed.

    I’m glad you’ll be getting your car repaired soon so that you’ll be able to get out a little more.



    My original post came from reading comments here on the blog from bike riders bad mouthing car’s, and those of us who enjoy driving them. What was annoying to me is the fact that the majority of them DO drive but pretend they don’t. If someone is truly carless by choice good for you! but trying to “force” your choice on all of us just hurts your “cause”. Do bike rider’s have horror stories about encounters with car’s? Yep, and I have no problem with drivers being ticketed and wish SPD did more to ticket people who use their cell phones and don’t signal their turns(my pet peeve) but drivers, and pedestrians also have stories about close encounters with bike riders who are ignoring/flaunting the law. Never hear riders say they need to be “good rider’s” and call out those that aren’t.

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