14 May 2009

Is It Possible to Live Carless in US?

As a follow-up to the article a few days ago about the carless town Vauban in Germany, here is an interesting discussion about whether or not this is possible in America. The comments section has over 400 comments. Clearly cars are becoming a hot topic.
There are many reasons to encourage this market trend: social cohesion, environmental sustainability, public health, lower public sector costs for infrastructure per square foot.

But the bottom line is household economics. American families who are car-dependent spend 25 percent of their household income on their fleet of cars, compared with just 9 percent for transportation for those who live in walkable urban places. That potential 16 percent savings could go into improved housing (building household wealth), educating children or that most un-American of all activities, saving.

Following the cost theme, here is some statistics from the latest AAA study:

Despite lower fuel prices, costs to own, operate vehicle remain constant

Motorists spend 54 cents per mile on average according to AAA’s 2009 edition of “Your Driving Costs,” only 0.1 cent drop from 2008 ... costs average $8,095 yearly


dave said...

Only motorized emergency vehicles are allowed on Mackinac Island, Michigan. There you either walk, bike or ride the horse carriage.

Here in Germany for almost a year without a car and love it. No need for one with all the street car and bus stops. Ive also seen more bicycles in use here than on a major US university campus. In a pinch there is always the cab but it is expensive.

Katie said...

Nate Silver from fivethirtyeight.com had an interesting article about this in Esquire.


5chw4r7z said...

I know people living carless, its not easy, but it is possible.

Tree said...

Nantucket is carless. Then again, Nantucket is about 3 miles wide (if I remember correctly).
Interesting article.

John Schneider said...

Carless since 1973. Easy if you live downtown.

VisuaLingual said...

My response is the same as John's. We should start a club.