Saturday, March 22, 2014

The secret to car free living!

We've been warned that it may a long cool to cold spring, so much as I'm longing to trade out the winter coat for something lighter that day hasn't come yet.   Today I was reading a blog entry by someone who has lived car free for 10 years.  Makes my 1 1/2 years feel like such a neophyte!  There is no question that this winter has been a challenge sometimes.   We've never not been able to get somewhere we wanted to be, but being car free makes one acutely aware of how much snow we've had and how often another polar vortex has snuck down out of Canada.

This past week we went to a Komets hockey game we had tickets for.  We took Citilink up to the Coliseum, but bus service ends for the day before the game was over so we had planned to walk home.  We made it in just under half an hour.   Thursday I went to hear Brian McLaren speak at church.  We took dinner with us and ate with Mike at the newspaper cafeteria and then walked down the block to Plymouth.   Today Pete is playing chess with the chess club at the library (his first time here) and I'm typing elsewhere in the building.  Tomorrow we'll go see Youtheatre's production of Willie Wonka.  We aren't lacking for  places to go and things to do.  Besides "How do you grocery shop?", the second most asked question I get is:   "Do you ever go out to do anything?  How do you do it without a car?"     I think Zachary Shahan answered it best in his blog.  Ask any realtor and they will tell you the same thing.  It all comes down to Location, Location, Location.

Living in the Lakeside neighborhood of Fort Wayne is for us one of the main keys that makes car free living work.  We have easy access to several bus routes, to downtown, to work. to entertainment, to our chosen houses of worship, to homeschool activities, to shopping.  I wouldn't call our location perfect, but it is very workable for us.

Now if spring would just finally arrive and stay for more than a day at a time!


  1. Dear Karen,

    I was surprised to follow the link from a TreeHugger article to this page and see "on living in Fort Wayne...". This is my second year living in Fort Wayne, and I live car-free as well. I've been car-free for about 7 years now. Prior to this I lived in a larger city in the Southwest, and too many years in a small town in Pennsylvania. So I've had to negotiate being car-free in a few different places. What I find most difficult about being car-free in Fort Wayne is dealing with motorists as either a pedestrian or cyclist. Walking can be challenging because there are no sidewalks in many places. Of course, this year's winter also made commuting by bike difficult for about 6 weeks in January and February. And when sidewalks aren't plowed that makes for difficult walking. I was glad Citilink was there when cycling or walking was out of the question this year.

    I just wanted to drop you a note and say "hello" from a fellow car-free neighbor. Stick with it!


    1. Margaret - thanks for the reply. It's nice to know there are other car free folks out there! Are you at IPFW? My background was as a sociology major in college long ago and far away. I'm a librarian these days.

  2. We live in an affordable neighborhood with a 94 walk score. Transit and good shoes have enabled our wonderful car-free life since June 2011.

    1. Love the part about the good shoes! So true.

  3. Wow, good job people. My wife and I lived in the Sacramento Valley (Chico) for ten years without a motor vehicle...then moved to the Sierra Nevada (4,525'), only lasted six months without. The big difference (besides knowing that we weren't degrading our friends and neighbor's healthy lives) was expense. Each car owned and operated costs you $3,600 just in gas, maintenance, insurance and fees...and that's a reliable car.