Living without a car in bullet points.

Even without Uber, we figured we can live without the car.

map-rivertowns
We live in the “Cinque Terre” of the Hudson Valley, where the distance between towns is short enough for biking or quick trips via the Metro North commuter train.
We live in a village sixty miles north of New York City. It’s fairly walkable and we are big fans of bike riding. More often than not you would find our car parked in front of our house, even when we were not home. When I told a neighbor that we got rid of the car, he replied with a laugh, “how very urban of you.” Indeed. But where we live is not at all urban. We have no public transportation, per se and, believe it or not, no Uber!

 

Not having a car is not so crazy:
  • We live in a fairly walkable town in a semi-rural area.
  • We can walk to the grocery store, drug store, liquor store and bank.
  • We can walk our second-grader to school.
  • We can walk to the Metro North train which travels between our village and many others along the Hudson River. I like to think of it as the Cinque Terre of the Hudson Valley
  • It’s a very, very small town (pop: 2000 ish) and our neighbors are friendly and (hopefully) open to the occasional barter or fine cooked meal in exchange for borrowing their car.
  • We own a disproportionate number of bicycles for our family size (7 bikes and one trail-a-bike for 4 people)
  • We are in good physical health.
  • My husband works from home.
  • I take the NYC commuter train to work three days a week, and work in a nearby river town the other two.
There are some obstacles:
  • Said walking-distance grocery store has a poor selection of fresh fruit and veggies.
  • It snows and rains sometimes, especially in winter.
  • There is no public transportation, except the commuter train between towns and a tourist shuttle bus on weekends.
  • There are no car-share programs like zip car.
  • There is no Uber!
Things I won’t miss about having a car:
  • Moving it to off street parking in the winter. We don’t have a driveway.
  • Taking it in for maintenance.
  • Pumping gas.
  • Running on almost empty.
  • Cleaning popcorn and goldfishfrom the crevices between the seats.
  • Sitting in traffic.
  • Feeling bad about myself when I choose to drive places that I can easily walk or ride a bike.
  • Remembering to renew the registration
  • Taking it in for an inspection.
  • Seeing the engine light go on.
  • Driving around looking for a parking space.
  • Parking at airports.

Author: zerocarmom

I am a 50-year-old mom with two kids (ages 7 and 24), a husband who works in our attic, a sneezy old cat, and a full-time job as the co-founder of a Brooklyn-based business. My family lives a mostly idyllic life in a small village in the Hudson Valley, sixty miles north of New York City.

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