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Life Without a Car - Can You Do it?

Posted by Chris Burns in Cycling Advocacy, on .

More and more Floridians are choosing to live without owning a car. Similarly, there has been an drop in the amount which Floridians drive gas-powered vehicles. About 1 out of 10 families is now meeting its transportation needs without a car. And the benefits are great.

These families most often depend on walking, riding bicycles, and use of mass transit as alternatives to transportation by motorized vehicles. 

The University of Florida is one organization that sees the importance and advantages of sustainable transportation, such as bicycling and walking. UF encourages its students, faculty and staff to commute to campus without cars.  UF sponsors a “One Less Car Week” each year. UF claims that since 2008, “over 6,000 people have participated – avoiding over 100,000 trips and keeping over 800 tons of CO2 emission from entering the atmosphere.” 

The list of reasons to reduce your usage of a car (or to give it up entirely) are plentiful and powerful. They include:

  1. Bicycling improves physical and mental health.  Cyclists live longer, are less fat, and are happier.
  2. Regular bicycling can reduce healthcare costs.
  3. Bicycling is a low impact activity on the body.
  4. Bicycling allows the person to connect in a more meaningful way to surroundings and  the environment.
  5. The cost of facilities (bike paths; bike lanes) is far less expensive than for cars.
  6. Bicycling can help preserve our planet.  Bicycling dramatically reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as compared to fuel burning motor vehicles.
  7. Bicycling may actually be a faster way to commute in many communities as compared to cars.
  8. Bicycling is a dramatically less expensive means of transportation than driving vehicles.
  9. A bicycle requires about 1/10 of the space for parking compared to a motor vehicle.
  10. Bicycling reduces traffic congestion.
  11. Bicycling reduces noise pollution.
  12. Bicycling yields a more predictable commute time than driving a motor vehicle.

So, you want to give it a try? I encourage you to at least put your car in "time out".