Car free, car lite: Read all about it


I’ve got a feature story in the paper today, in which I interviewed a bunch of locals who live without cars in Charlottesville. It was a thought-provoking journey for me to meet these people, and I hope you’ll check out the story.

Meanwhile, I also got a note from reader Will Martin, who is not car-free but explained how he’s made a number of strategic choices to drastically limit his use of vehicles.

"I walk to work about two miles each way," he wrote. "Sometimes I take a bus or ride a bike, but most often, I walk. To be honest, it doesn’t take all that much longer than driving, once you add parking and walking from the parking lot to the trip. The exercise is a bonus.

"My wife and I own two cars in common. The 2003 Honda Insight gets 50-70mpg on the highway, 30-60mpg around town and pollutes less than any other internal combustion engine car available. That’s why I own it."

Will went on to explain that his second car is a 2007 Honda Fit. "I like that my ‘big’ car is officially a sub-compact." He moved to town a few years ago, he said, because he realized that the planet couldn’t support his 60-mile daily commute, even if he was doing it in a relatively efficient car.

"All of our choices are compromises," he said. "It becomes increasingly important that we put more weight on traveling less and traveling more efficiently whenever we can. If we don’t make any adjustments now, the change we will eventually have to make will be all the more harsh and sudden." 

Well put!

Anybody else want to chime in on the car-lite lifestyle?