According to the Census Bureau's 2005 American Community Survey, 35 percent of Boston households do not have a motor vehicle. Car Free in Boston has been published since 1977, so the idea isnít new. However, I have seen a sudden up-tick in people thinking about no car options when looking for a home. So that other 65 percent are getting the message. For more than ten years, I have had some clients who were car-free. Sometimes it was because of a preference not to drive around here (I see their point!); sometimes it was for economic reasons (didnít want to support a car); and some of them could not or would not drive for one reason or another. This year I had a record number of daily bicycle commuters who were buying.
Some of the bicycle commuters have a car back-up, but some do not. Those with no cars ride their bicycles on all but the most inclement days. They use buses or walk in really bad conditions. It will be getting cold soon, so many will have their resolves tested soon.
There are problems to solve when you give up the convenience of a car. It takes more planning to get around. Jane Katz-Christy, director of Go Green Streets gave up her car and lives car-free in Cambridge. You canít do that because you have children to drive around? Watch how Jane and her family do it.
Not everyone reading this blog is in Boston, or Cambridge, or on a subway or train line. Last time I wrote about bicycling, there was a reader from Westborough who said he bicycled to work, so this is not just an urban thing. If you live car-free or use your car infrequently, please tell us all where you live.
Go Green Streets is holding Walk/Ride Friday again this week. On the last Friday of the month, they encourage people to drive less and walk more. Do whatever you can to change your behavior. Would you consider taking a bus (or train or subway) to work this Friday? How about bicycling or walking? Try it; you might just like it.
Is bicycling, walking and using mass transit the wave of the future or another trendy thing? Will it go away when (or if) gas prices level off?
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