The Invisible Car-Free

Many of you may know the visible car-free. They bum rides everywhere.  They don’t have a car due to bad circumstances. It was never a choice.  It’s often temporary.  I saw a sad craigslist post a while back for a bike for sale.  It was for sale because the owner “didn’t need it anymore” because he “got a car”.

I’m in San Diego for a conference.  There are people from all over the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand here.  These are professionals.  Otherwise their employers wouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars to send them here.

I don’t generally bring up being car-free to most people that I don’t know, but a couple of discussions have went down that path since I’ve been in town, and I’ve found two car-free individuals.

The first is a woman from Sydney Australia.  She gets around on foot and with public transportation.  She has her groceries delivered.  She was one of the first conference attendees I talked to.  I had breakfast with her on Monday.  Our discussion started about timezones and jet lag.

While Robin and I were shopping, the owner of small tourist-oriented place in the Gaslamp Quarter discussed bikes (because we were riding rented ones) and the fact that I’m car-free came up.  He is also.  He doesn’t ride a bike, but he walks and takes public transportation.  He also works at the Zoo, so the MTA trolleys come in rather handy for him.

I’ve seen a lot of conference goers from New York City.  I imagine a good percentage of them are car-free.  It’s quite common in major cities with good public transportation.

Here in San Diego, pretty much all of us in this conference (over 1200) are at least temporarily car-free, as we flew here and are all staying a short distance from the conference.  Most everything you could need is right here within walking distance. Public transportation can get you anywhere else.

Between the climate and the public transportation, I’m really tempted to stay here….