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Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency
General Boards - Politics
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Replies: 48  

Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency

[2]
May 28, 2022, 12:01 PM
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I ask this with sincerity. How much would you give up to be able to do most of your daily trips without a car?

This topic has incorrectly been looked at as another culture war issue, and I understand that our country loves its cars. It is absolutely mindblowing how the car has shaped the way we use land, live, shop, work, and spend money. Our post-WWII development pattern has been a massive experiment and an objective failure.

This is a topic that I am probably most passionate about. I like cars but car-dependency is not freedom.

Old small towns are great. I live in a suburb for many reasons, but suburbs don't have to be so awful.

We have squandered so much wealth to accommodating cars, free parking, and roads. Most politicians don't want to be critical of highway departments and transportation engineers. Deaths, pollution, and traffic seem to just be the cost of doing business.

I am not advocating for everyone to try to ride the bus or bike everywhere, but the way we have built our cities around cars is appalling. This involves other issues with zoning and municipal finance. Anyway, I can't think of many places that cars have made better. It's a North American experiment to build the cities the way we do. Build quickly outward, put off maintenance costs, build outward again to pay for previous existing costs, etc..

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We are not Europe

[2]
May 28, 2022, 12:03 PM
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Therefore we are different; live with it, embrace it!

Sincerely,
bengaline


Message was edited by: bengaline®


2022 purple level member flag link

Re: We are not Europe


May 28, 2022, 12:16 PM
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I'm not really sure what that means. Why do we have to throw our hands up in the air and "live with" being slaves to cars like there is no in between in the discussion?

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I’m not a slave to a car

[2]
May 28, 2022, 12:42 PM
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I see it as a convenience that I easily afford…

2022 purple level member flag link

It's like a requirement in most of the country


May 28, 2022, 12:55 PM
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if you want to do anything

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Re: It's like a requirement in most of the country

[1]
May 28, 2022, 4:43 PM
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In Europe, a hundred miles is a long distance.
In America, a hundred years is a long time.
We are different.

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It's the way it is because it's what everybody wants.


May 28, 2022, 6:29 PM
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Well, almost everybody. Most Americans want to be able to drive across country, state, or town with ease, and I doubt seriously that most find any of that "appalling", "awful" or "an objective failure".

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"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
- H. L. Mencken


Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency


May 28, 2022, 12:13 PM
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Nothing. But I would respect you more if you give up your car today, and lead by example.

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How could I possibly do that?


May 28, 2022, 12:18 PM
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We have created an environment where that is not feasible.

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Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency


May 28, 2022, 12:18 PM
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I don’t live in a suburb. I guess I’ll need a really good horse. Come to think of it you could go join an Amish community. That’s your model for what you described.

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I described an amish community?***


May 28, 2022, 12:19 PM
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Re: I described an amish community?***


May 28, 2022, 12:24 PM
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No, I was just messing. But that’s pretty much what it would mean for those of us in very rural areas. It would be hard to function without a car (truck) out here unless we went back to complete independence.

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Rural communities are exempt from the whole discussion***


May 28, 2022, 12:27 PM
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Re: Rural communities are exempt from the whole discussion***


May 28, 2022, 12:31 PM
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In that case all good.

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That's quite an interpretation


May 28, 2022, 12:22 PM
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I think I described a system that wastes our tax dollars and is completely dependent on the cheapest gas prices in the world.

You know we used to have good main streets, street cars, local businesses, and financial productivity in small towns and cities?

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Re: That's quite an interpretation

[1]
May 28, 2022, 3:42 PM
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Classof08 said:

You know we used to have good main streets, street cars, local businesses, and financial productivity in small towns and cities?




True...but cars aren't the reason for the downfall of small towns across America. That started with the rise of the uni-party Globalists and their "free trade" frenzy. The moment those globalist deals were signed where our mills, manufacturing, and production plants could profit more from the cheap labor outside US borders without fear of US import fees, small town America was doomed. I live in one of those former textile industry supported small towns where the fabric mills and associated chemical plants used to provide a good, honest living to generations of blue collar workers. We are just one of many that were sacrificed to "free trade"...

Turns out - old Ross Perot was right about that "giant sucking sound"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3LvZAZ-HV4

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpgmilitary_donation.jpg flag link

Still waiting on flying cars to get mainstream!

[1]
May 28, 2022, 12:22 PM
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They're coming soon...

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Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency


May 28, 2022, 12:39 PM
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I did it in Santa Monica for a couple of years, I road a Bike to work and went several years just renting cars when I wanted to get away. I was making 6 figures at the time, I am not sure why I did it, I knew I wanted to get into better shape, and it was going to be temporary when I first moved out there, but I ended up doing it for several years. I would no recommend this in the south or Florida, the weather was much kinder to physical activity on the west coast and every other street had a bike lane.

totally doable if you do not have kids and live on the coast out west, otherwise I would not recommend unless you like sweating and getting soaked when it rains.

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Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency


May 28, 2022, 12:50 PM
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You better be making a big income to even think about owning a car in California.

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Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency


May 28, 2022, 2:03 PM
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salaries are considerably higher out there. In 2005 a grocery cashier would make 20+ an hour, I have no idea what it is like now, I moved 10 years ago. I seem to recall the homeless population was spiraling out of control at the time, and I starting to see the same things in martin county Florida. Donlt think for one second that the state of affairs in CA will not eventually make there way east, they tend to be ten years ahead of the rest fo the country, so what you see out there very well could be YOUR future here.

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Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency


May 28, 2022, 5:04 PM
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So let’s learn from California and don’t do that.

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Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency


May 28, 2022, 5:23 PM
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people willend up living in their cars sooner then, mostly in cities. I am seeing it in Miami Dade county, working professionals Literally living in their cars because wages can not keep pace with the cost of housing. And the problem down here is not a lack of housing, it is investment groups coming in buying everything. In Miami Dade it is mostly foreign investors, so I think a better way forward would be to place strict limits in home owners that would prevent them from hoarding the housing market, say by 4x'ing taxes on investment properties that remain empty. It would give power back to home buyers and renters and put the greed in check.

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It's more of a land use issue


May 28, 2022, 12:53 PM
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Asking families to have a cargo bike is not reasonable.

The fact that there is a quarter mile car pick up line for the local elementary school sums up the whole issue.

Free parking, stupid setback requirements, minimim parking standards, ezoning, all make it a requirement to have to get in the car and run errands. Even though the dollars and cents support traditional development with main streets, gridded street systems, and mixed use, we don't do it. We think free parking at big box stores is really free.

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Meant to say


May 28, 2022, 12:56 PM
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Euclidean and exclusionary zoning

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Re: It's more of a land use issue


May 28, 2022, 2:17 PM
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mixed use does not work. The people that can afford those units do not want to share parking and traffic with retail customers. Radial cities would make the most sense, online shopping will reduce traffic, CVS stores, as well as a lot of other retailers are shutting down left and right. And my experience navigating the 1/4 school drop off line, I have to deal with this on my commute, is that the crossing guards that direct traffic tend to have an IQ of about 90

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How does mixed use "not work"?


May 28, 2022, 2:31 PM
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It's not a solution everywhere, but it certainly works well in every country in the world.

The city you describe sounds like a response to current trends that does not sound resilient in the future. Where is the property tax coming from? Something needs to fill the space of the retailers. The infrastructure is already there.

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it is much simpler, the circle is the most efficient shape


May 28, 2022, 2:41 PM
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And Le Corbusier came up with the radial concept long before the automobile took over., as did the romans, gridded cities with traffic lights are insanely inefficient. Jacque Fresco is another Intellect that proposed we move this direction, but he was a bit too radical in his beliefs, his ideas on engineering and city design are fascinating though.


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I'll have to look at that


May 28, 2022, 2:47 PM
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That seemed to be the strategy with Clemson's campus

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Re: I'll have to look at that


May 28, 2022, 5:31 PM
Reply

I think they designed the parking and perimeter road for gamedays. But you bring up a good point, college campuses are excellent examples of how to organize a small town. But pepole are lazy and do not want to park 1/2 a mile form their home, then hop on a shuttle. But it sure does make for a beautiful campus. Look at schools like Rutgers, or the University of maryland, god awful ugly as they were designed around the automobile.

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It's more of a land use issue


May 28, 2022, 12:54 PM
Reply

Asking families to have a cargo bike is not reasonable.

The fact that there is a quarter mile car pick up line for the local elementary school sums up the whole issue.

Free parking, stupid setback requirements, minimim parking standards, ezoning, all make it a requirement to have to get in the car and run errands. Even though the dollars and cents support traditional development with main streets, gridded street systems, and mixed use, we don't do it. We think free parking at big box stores is really free.

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A lot of this depends really on demographics


May 28, 2022, 12:49 PM
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If I lived in a major city where groceries, movies, bars, restaurants, etc. were all within a decent walk, or subway trip, I'd ditch a car. That being said, that's not most Americans. It is MANY Americans though. And in other countries with far more dense populations, that's even more feasible.

Take a look at this list of countries. US has roughly 36 people per square kilometer. Singapore has 8,000. That means that for many/most Americans, ditching personal transportation is not an option. Many can though, and do. It all depends on your needs and where you live. If I got rid of my car, well it would stink because I have a 5-6 mile trip to the grocery store and most shopping, and that's the closest stores. There is no public transportation that could assist AT ALL in getting there. Bike? Try feeding 5 people a week's groceries carrying them on a bike. Not feasible. Now there are places in NYC, and most large cities, where you can walk to almost anywhere, and those places that are further, there's public transport.

And we haven't "squandered" anything for cars, etc. We have the luxury of having more LAND per person than most countries. When the US has 1-1.5 billion people, the situation will be far different, overall. And yes, out cities, the large ones, should be more accommodating to pedestrians and public transportation. But most Americans don't like cities, because literally EVERYWHERE there is an alternative. Some countries have nothing BUT cities, making the decision easier, and the resulting infrastructure reflects this.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.POP.DNST?most_recent_value_desc=true

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Tough times create strong men.
Strong men create easy times.
Easy times create weak men.
Weak men create tough times.


A big house and acreage does not make our cities wealthy


May 28, 2022, 1:09 PM
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We have absolutely sucked the wealth out of cities and town by quickly building outward. It is a short-term approach to make monet and eventually those infrastructure costs come due. It's a ponzi scheme.

I haven't even mentioned the environmental impact of our development pattern. There was a recent poll that indicated that most Americans saw suburban living as "greener". I'm not suggesting we pack cities and live in high-rises. We don't even allow that missing middle housing in most parts of North America.

We used to know how to build small towns. People didn't have urban planning degrees. There were feedback loops and now we have toen realizing that the old main street was the most wealthy place in the town. These productive areas of towns subsidize the houses on the edge of town.

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Cities exist to concentrate and facilitate wealth


May 28, 2022, 1:28 PM
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But no one likes living in a city. It's a centuries-old dilemma. Find me a king, emperor, politician, or hedge fund manager who doesn't have a country estate somewhere NOT in the city.

Infrastructure happens due to demand. If people don't want to live in urban high rises, but want to work in the cities, then the infrastructure will develop to meet their needs. We have the land, and we make the infrastructure. It is what it is. This isn't some grand plan, it's a grand response to demand/needs.

When we built small towns in the past, that's because THERE WAS NOTHING THERE, except maybe a river for a mill, or a valley to grow crops. We took wagons and horses and marched west, into Tennessee, Missouri, wherever, and STARTED towns in ideal locations. Today there are towns in most places where towns are needed. So they grow. It's very simple really.

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Tough times create strong men.
Strong men create easy times.
Easy times create weak men.
Weak men create tough times.


Just because land is cheap, does not mean


May 28, 2022, 1:57 PM
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Cities should spend money to add sanitary, water, storm, roads, curb and gutter, to accommodate new growth that is financially unproductive. Of course, most people would prefer to have a backyard and half an acre. We subsidize all of that too. We can say no - rather than continue to make our cities built for 2-3 lifecycles.

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Just because land is cheap, does not mean


May 28, 2022, 1:59 PM
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Cities should spend money to add sanitary, water, storm, roads, curb and gutter, to accommodate new growth that is financially unproductive. Of course, most people would prefer to have a backyard and half an acre. We subsidize all of that too. We can say no - rather than continue to make our cities built for 2-3 lifecycles.

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And what I'm describing is fiscally conservative


May 28, 2022, 2:05 PM
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There is not enough property taxes to support the infrstructure liabilities of sprawl. When improvements to land raise property taxes, there is a perverse incentive to not develop and create more tax revenue. This is not ground breaking stuff. We are just short-sighted and we sre ok dealing with crumbling infrastructure later. There are hundreds of miles of it that has no money to fix it.

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And nothing I suggested


May 28, 2022, 1:14 PM
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involves some mom of 3 kids lugging a werk of groceries up a hill on a bike

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I actually agree to some extent. You can thank the gubment.


May 28, 2022, 1:12 PM
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Central planning always makes things worse. Government faces no real consequences for failure and so they always fail, then demand more money.

This is the root of the issue you're describing.

Without all of these "free" government roads, do you think we'd have suburban sprawl all over the place?

Think about a free country where there were no government roads, and you had to pay to use roads. People would make practical decisions about where to live and where to drive. Small neighborhood stores would have an advantage over large box stores. On and on and on.

As it is, we have huge government provided highways and plentiful government provided roads and streets and any time a real-estate developer wants to build 5000 more houses, they just grease the right wheels and get the right zoning and the government makes sure they have road access.

Then of course we could talk for hours about the system of easy credit created by the Federal Reserve that enables people to get loans for houses ridiculously easily. This creates a vastly inflated demand for new suburban housing.

So of course you get what we have today. It's just a natural outcome of a centrally planned system.

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I agree 100%


May 28, 2022, 1:17 PM
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The top-down approach is the problem. Some towns need to have small failures and have feedback loops in place. What we have now are big bets on top of big bets. Our cities used to not be able to affords to do this.

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The federal government created suburbia

[1]
May 28, 2022, 1:20 PM
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The FHA standardized housing and made sure certain types of housing and communities were sure bets for banks.

Suburbs, still, are subsidized heavily.

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95% of the country doesn’t have the density to make public


May 28, 2022, 1:23 PM
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transportation efficient. Also doing most errands without a car would be a pain in the a$$.

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Obviously. This won't happen overnight


May 28, 2022, 1:42 PM
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More lanes and more money for DOTs does not fix anything. It will be a multiple generation process to fix our cities.

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You could wake me up from a drunken stupor and I


May 28, 2022, 2:13 PM
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could give you 50 instances where I would need a car and public transportation would be more of a pain/not feasible. Also the cities that are big enough to make it work, already have it. It can be improved, sure, but 95% of America has no need for it, cars work better, and everyone living in big cities is not feasible.

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Again, I didn't suggest any of that


May 28, 2022, 2:24 PM
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Out public transportation is a weak appendage to our car-centric society. It cam be better

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Re: Again, I didn't suggest any of that


May 28, 2022, 3:02 PM
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If he we had nice trains, sure. I am not getting on a bus now with the type of people that ride it and I am not waiting at a bus stop. At least on subways people are out of the elements.

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Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency


May 28, 2022, 3:00 PM
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I prefer to never drive other than to the market. I don't enjoy it. I do it because it is necessary. If I could walk everywhere I would aside from shopping I would. I could ride a bike possibly to many places too, but I don't want to get hit by a car. If there were great bike lanes or bike paths I would consider. Anyway, so driving it is.

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I'm in the same boat***

[1]
May 28, 2022, 3:04 PM
Reply



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Re: Walking/Biking/Car-Dependency

[1]
May 28, 2022, 3:06 PM
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I live in place that has good public transportation. I have a car, but rarely use it to get around. Parking is pretty expensive, plus I hate driving in traffic.

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I don't ever want to take a bus anywhere


May 28, 2022, 5:09 PM
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I'd much rather drive to go anywhere. I walk about 10-20 miles a week with my dogs. I live next to a couple of state parks. Love walking in the woods hate walking on the street. Cars to me are freedom. I can go whenever and whereever I like. I'll never use an uber. Always rent a car, don't care how much it cost.

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Replies: 48  

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General Boards - Politics
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