Living CarFree

It can be easier than you think

There are many reasons why people feel they just cannot live without a car. On the other hand, there are lots of people who are living without cars. Speaking as one of them, I don't feel deeply deprived. I manage to run errands, go shopping, get to work and back, and have fun -- the basic ingredients of adult life.

These are some resources that might be useful if you're thinking about divorcing your car -- or if you are just curious about why on earth anyone would want to.

CarFree Movement is probably the best single site for news and views about the car-free movement worldwide. "Car-free" may be a strange new word to Americans, but it is rapidly becoming part of the vocabulary of forward-looking European city planners, elected officials, and urban activists. At this site you can read current and back issues of Car-Free Times, an excellent news source.
Why would anyone give up their car?
Recommended Reading
This is a partial bibliography of books, essays, and other materials which might be helpful to anyone reconsidering the role of the automobile in daily life. This reading list is constantly being updated. Drop me a line if you'd like to recommend more books for this list. Or if you prefer to read online, check out
Hauling Cargo
One of the things people often cannot imagine doing with a bike is hauling anything large or heavy. But be of good cheer! You can move some fairly big stuff if you have a good utility trailer for a stock bike. I sold what I hope was my last car in early 2000, and so far it has made almost no difference to my life (which was already centred around bike and public transit).
Cars and "Efficiency"
Many people love their cars because they are so "efficient" compared to "inefficient" walking, biking, public transit, etc. This is a little essay about efficiency and the automobile.
But is it safe?
Sometimes the hardest thing about being carfree is the endless outpouring of concern and worry from one's car-dependent friends and family. It's not just "How will you manage." It's "Aren't you terrified to ride all the way across town in that awful traffic? Please let me give you a lift!" What to say? These documents might provide you with a reassuring answer for those kind but misguided drivers who want to save you from the dreadful danger of being outside a car!
De Clarke
UCO/Lick Observatory
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Tel: +1 408 459 2630
Fax: +1 408 454 9863