Hi everyone - This is my first post to the list, so I'm doing the
introduction thing below. It's nice to "meet" you all.
1. Which of the following best describes you? Please check one.
I do not presently own a car though I have owned a car previously.
2. How long have you been either car-free or used non-automotive
transport as your principle means of transportation?
About 9 years, except for the fact my wife (then my girlfriend) had a
truck for maybe three of those years which was also mine for 6 months or
so after we got married and before the truck died.
3. What inspired your decision to reduce or end your reliance on the
Originally, I went car free because I was moving to Boston and a car
seemed like to much of a hassle and too expensive. My wife and I went
car free again 4 years ago after her truck died. At the time we were
living temporarily in the suburbs, but we were really tired of looking
after a car. You can read more at
4. What factors have either impeded or inspired your decision to reduce
your reliance on automotive transport?
There were things we had to give up when we gave up a car, but in return
we've really become a part of our local community. Everything we do is
local, and location is the number-one factor in deciding what we are
going to do. The fact that we can do everything want locally (within 1-2
miles generally) and that we feel so much closer to our community has
really been inspirational and sustaining.
5. Has your transportational choices had any discernible effect on your
family and friends?
As I said above, we really focus on doing things that are close by. Most
of our friends are within walking distance (and honestly we very rarely
see those that are further away).
6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being car-free and/or
getting around without using a car?
Advantages: getting exercise walking/biking, getting to be outside even
in the winter, knowing our neighbors and our neighborhood, limiting our
choices so that we don't get overwhelmed. Disadvantages: We don't do
things that are far away, and sometimes we miss them. We have to be
outside, even in the winter.
7. Do you typically feel comfortable recommending car-free living to
your friends and/or relatives? Why or why not?
Yes, to people that live in an urban area. For others it is very
8. Have you experienced any adverse consequences of reducing or
eliminating your automotive dependency with regard to time and finances?
No - being without a car is cheaper (cheap enough to allow us to afford
to live in the city), and generally doesn't take more time for our daily
commutes (in fact it takes less). Getting some places does take more
time, but you get used to long subway rides (and frankly we just don't
go to places that are far away).
9. Have there been any benefits?
Loads of benefits. For a start, look at a post we made here:
10. In an ideal world, what role should the car play in the general
Personally, I'd rather that we get them out of our cities and towns and
used them only for long-distance transportation. And I'd like to see
most of that long-distance transportation be shared (e.g. buses, trains)
11. Do you have any other personal or general thoughts you've care to
share on this topic?
We have a toddler (2yo), and we are really interested in connecting with
other families with kids that are car-free or car-light to share ideas
and build a community.
12. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Mailing Address:29 Everett St., Cambridge, MA 02138-2790
Office Address: University Hall 2-132
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