Less car dependent lifestyles

From another blog in NC, a bit about the bus and city living sometime ago. but the thing I took away from it was people used to live in a style that was less car dependent. Of course I used to live in a style that was less car dependent growing up, even though my town didn’t have any public transit. My schools, up until high school, were within walking distance. Also within walking distance was a fish market, gas station, a few corner stores (not the highest in produce quality but good for milk), fast food joints, several relatives and some daycare. Within biking distance, crossing several roads of death, was the supermarket, fruit stand, office supply store, the crappy dying downtown, the best bakery evah in the crappy downtown (later it closed) and the court house. I really miss that fruit stand.
Our family did have a car, and several trucks used for dad’s business. But car trips were for big purchases, business related errands, and trips to the mall way out near the city lines. It also helped that mom hated driving, so if I couldn’t walk to it, I just stayed home. Staying home forces you to hang out with people in your neighborhood.
Yet to have a car-less life one needs an environment where it all works. For one it helps to have things you need to get to so close that it doesn’t justify getting into a car or reliable public transit. Key word is ‘reliable’. Second, I think it helps to live a bit modestly, hunting down the ‘best’ and ‘premium’ products and services takes time and a lot of gas. Lastly, one should have the option to get a hold of a car or truck when needed. Before Flexcar (or zipcar) I would rent a truck or car for a day or weekend and make the most of it as there are just some things you can’t do or cart around without wheels.