Car Ownership

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David Greene
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby David Greene » March 17th, 2014, 9:40 pm

alleycat wrote:
David Greene wrote: Having a small child really complicates things. Walking in wintertime is nearly impossible and taking the bus with a stroller is a huge pain in general. So when we need to take the kid, we almost always drive.
Depending on their size or for the next one I'd suggest an Ergo. Carry the little one right on your back! We've went snowshoeing with my baby on my back.
We do have a couple of carriers but we're kinda nervous to use them in the snow and ice. I don't trust my footing by myself, much less with an extra 30 pounds top-heavy!

We're going to try hiking with it this summer.

Viktor Vaughn
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 17th, 2014, 10:35 pm

We skied up to the park with the kids on our backs during a snowstorm. You should be able to manage a walk.

David Greene
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby David Greene » March 17th, 2014, 10:36 pm

Viktor Vaughn wrote:We skied up to the park with the kids on our backs during a snowstorm. You should be able to manage a walk.
Well, thanks for the upbraiding...I certainly do love others telling me how to live.

Viktor Vaughn
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 17th, 2014, 10:49 pm

Sorry David. Parents just seem overcautious. I should get a sled to pull them in though, those back carriers are top heavy.

Funny how I see parents managing on transit with small children on even the coldest days. Although, those days make my family of four happy to have a 2002 grand caravan to share.

Rich
Rice Park
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Rich » March 18th, 2014, 7:15 am

A 2010 Prius gets my wife to her exurban job and it’s what we use for most trips. A 1997 Civic 5-speed is for our three sons, the youngest of whom gets his permit later this year. (If your teens drive a stick, they tend to mind what they’re doing and not text while driving.) I work from home. So my 2000 Sienna, which we used to pile into for family outings, travels less and less these days.

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TommyT
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby TommyT » March 18th, 2014, 1:49 pm

2 for 2 people. I have a 2012 Honda Civic (lease) and he has a 2012 Nissan Rogue (company car). I work in Minnetonka and his job takes him all over the metro so public transit isn't an option for us. If I worked downtown I'd totally take the bus or walk.

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Andrew_F
Rice Park
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Andrew_F » March 18th, 2014, 2:21 pm

In Chicago (60616) I get along well without a car.

My "Minneapolis family" (55419) has 3 cars for 5 people.

I don't think I try any harder to use transit now than I did growing up-- it's just that much easier where I live now.

Scottie
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Scottie » March 18th, 2014, 4:20 pm

2006 Saturn Ion for the 3 of us. I take transit to downtown St. Paul. My wife and son took the train until a recent day care changed forced them to start driving. My wife hates driving but it is that or an hour bus ride with transfers.

mulad
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby mulad » March 18th, 2014, 9:17 pm

I have a 2006 VW Jetta TDI, which I mostly use for going to the grocery store or other weekend shopping. That and the ability to visit my parents in the Rochester area with little advance notice are the two biggest reasons I've always had for keeping it around. Every once in a while I drive to work. I let it sit out in the cold too long a few weeks back and needed to have it jumped just because the battery had drained too much. I'll probably hang onto the car until I move to a neighborhood that has Hourcar or Car2Go or whatever, and I'd still need to figure out the best way to do a weekend rental for my trips out of town.

Silophant
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Silophant » March 18th, 2014, 9:53 pm

I've got a 2002 Cavalier, which only gets used once every couple of weeks now that I work downtown and take the bus. I'd sort of like to get rid of it, but I do use it to visit my family and my girlfriend out of town, and for grocery shopping and the like, and it's not too costly to keep around, at least where I currently live. I'll reevaluate it when I move this summer.

Of my two roommates, one owns a car that he uses reasonably often.

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TommyT
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby TommyT » March 19th, 2014, 6:55 am

Scottie wrote:2006 Saturn Ion for the 3 of us. I take transit to downtown St. Paul. My wife and son took the train until a recent day care changed forced them to start driving. My wife hates driving but it is that or an hour bus ride with transfers.
Just curious, ever have problems with your ion starting in the winter? I had one for two winters and had to get rid of it before last winter because I was sick of it not ever starting when it got below -10!!

QuietBlue
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby QuietBlue » March 19th, 2014, 7:49 am

TommyT wrote:Just curious, ever have problems with your ion starting in the winter? I had one for two winters and had to get rid of it before last winter because I was sick of it not ever starting when it got below -10!!
My ex had an '05 Ion and never had trouble with it, even with it being outside much of the time, though this was during our run of somewhat milder winters too.

talindsay
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby talindsay » March 19th, 2014, 10:33 am

I think it's funny how almost everybody in this thread describes their car ownership apologetically. I had the same urge, to qualify and apologize for my two-car household, but the truth is that we live in a low-density city whose transit system can't replace a car for most residents even in the central cities, and our climate is too extreme to make human-powered transportation a viable alternative for families (or indeed, most child-free people) for several months each year. I only put 5000 miles a year on my car, my wife puts ~8000 on hers and it was hard to commit to the expense of two cars after years of only one, but the reality is that we got to where we were wasting a lot of time trying to make it work to get a kid to her various activities along with our work and leisure schedules with one car. I hope that changes, but this thread demonstrates that we all aspire to a world where we need our cars less, but our city isn't quite ready for most of its upwardly-mobile residents to live car-free lives.

twincitizen
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby twincitizen » March 19th, 2014, 10:50 am

Great points. I think it's also fair to point out that a lot of the changes we (society) are making are pretty new. A lot of the bicycle infrastructure in Mpls-StP is pretty new, and will only continue to get better. Stuff like HourCar, Car2Go, etc. is basically brand new and really isn't anywhere near mainstream yet. Those services can be the final puzzle piece for either an individual person trying to go car-ownership-free or a couple/family trying to get by with one car.

Regarding transit, smartphones and Nextrip are pretty dang new as well, and vastly change the user experience.

I think we're still a ways from widespread adoption of many of these new technologies that make it easier to live with one less car (be that one-to-zero or two-to-one) but we're definitely heading in the right direction.

Something I'm really curious about is if people (who have fixed-location jobs and plan on staying) will start choosing where to live based on transit/bike accessibility. For example, I currently live 5.5 miles from work, and taking transit means either transferring to a 2nd bus or walking 1/2-mile on one end of the trip. I could move near 48th & Chicago, which is a pretty awesome upward-trending neighborhood, and dramatically shorten my work commute to just 2.5 miles, making it very realistic to bike/bus every day. But will I do that, simply to be able to go car-ownership free? I don't know that I will. If I were to move in with a significant other and continue living in Minneapolis, I would absolutely want to move someplace where one of us could ditch the car...and that person would probably be me. I absolutely would not try to keep living in Uptown/Whittier as a 2-person/2-car household. That's just plain foolish.

Snelbian
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Snelbian » March 19th, 2014, 11:19 am

talindsay wrote:and our climate is too extreme to make human-powered transportation a viable alternative for families (or indeed, most child-free people) for several months each year.
Viability depends on where you live and what your priorities are. In Merriam Park I can get around on foot with my toddler almost every day of the year. We bundle up, and we have a stroller with nice big wheels to handle unshoveled sidewalks. I'd rather not drive than save a small amount of time and climate control, so it's perfectly viable for me. If I lived in a different neighborhood with less interspersed retail and residential it would be less viable.

Scottie
City Center
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Scottie » March 19th, 2014, 12:11 pm

TommyT wrote:
Scottie wrote:2006 Saturn Ion for the 3 of us. I take transit to downtown St. Paul. My wife and son took the train until a recent day care changed forced them to start driving. My wife hates driving but it is that or an hour bus ride with transfers.
Just curious, ever have problems with your ion starting in the winter? I had one for two winters and had to get rid of it before last winter because I was sick of it not ever starting when it got below -10!!
The first winter we had it we had trouble starting it in the cold. We ended up getting the ignition switch replaced under warranty and haven't had any issues since. When we took it in the mechanic said it was a known problem. He was surprised that a recall wasn't issued.

ECtransplant
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby ECtransplant » March 19th, 2014, 5:10 pm

Something I'm really curious about is if people (who have fixed-location jobs and plan on staying) will start choosing where to live based on transit/bike accessibility
I work downtown. A big reason I live in uptown is the decent (for Minneapolis) transit. The only other areas I'd consider living are those where i could walk to work: downtown, Loring Park, and North Loop

mamundsen
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby mamundsen » March 19th, 2014, 6:02 pm

I have noticed that others struggle with the daily commute choice like I do. I live east of Lake Como and can walk to two bus routes that serve downtown(61 or 3) or I could use the Green Line when it opens this summer (65 to GL). But they take 40 min or 1 hour and I can drive it in about 20 mins (my hours will be before rush hour). Do I really want to "give up" an hour of time every day to be a transit user vs driving myself???

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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Minneapolisite » March 19th, 2014, 7:03 pm

Been carl-ess for years, but started out car-lite for months. I've lived in NE and Loring Park. In neither did I feel the need to have a car. Especially in a neighborhood like Loring Park; it just doesn't make any sense to buy a car when I can get to plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, etc without one. If I did I wouldn't be able to go to all those places and my quality of life would plummet: lots more time sitting in the studio watching (free downloaded) TV.

David Greene
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby David Greene » March 19th, 2014, 11:19 pm

mamundsen wrote:I have noticed that others struggle with the daily commute choice like I do. I live east of Lake Como and can walk to two bus routes that serve downtown(61 or 3) or I could use the Green Line when it opens this summer (65 to GL). But they take 40 min or 1 hour and I can drive it in about 20 mins (my hours will be before rush hour). Do I really want to "give up" an hour of time every day to be a transit user vs driving myself???
This is the reason I can't really take the bus to work from Uptown to St. Paul. Since I work at a tech firm, the Green Line will finally allow me to reasonably use my laptop during the commute, meaning I basically save 80 minutes of the commute each day. Most people don't have that option.

I did choose to live in Uptown because of the transit options. When I was single and working in Mendota Heights it worked reasonably well to take bus or bike the Greenway to Hiawatha and then catch a bus from the 46th St. station to work. A lot of times I would bike from Fort Snelling across the Mendota Bridge.

The bus/LRT/bus option was surpringly competitive to driving, time-wise. Until they eliminated the bus to/from 46th and Mendota Heights.

I also took the bus a lot to Southdale and downtown. That's harder to do with a family simply because of the time commitment.


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