TODAY'S QUESTION: Do you think it’s possible to be completely car-free in Columbia?

Thursday, September 2, 2010 | 11:14 a.m. CDT; updated 7:08 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For the month of September, the PedNet Coalition is challenging residents to use their cars as little as possible.

Participants in the No Car, Low Car and Whoa! Car Challenge, which began Wednesday, can choose between three levels of participation—either using no car for the entire month, using a car just for one weekend during the month or using a car for one day per week.


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So far, more than 80 people have signed up for the challenge.

The city is currently in the process of making its roads more suitable for cyclists and pedestrians.

In 2009, the Federal Highway Administration launched a pilot program in Columbia to see if it was possible to make the roads in the city more bike and pedestrian friendly. Through the program, Columbia received $25 million to complete renovations.

Bicycle-friendly changes are also being made by the Columbia Parks and Recreation pedway project, which is beginning construction on a sidewalk for cyclists and pedestrians Tuesday along Old 63 between Hinkson Creek and Stadium Boulevard.

Do you think it’s possible to be completely car-free in Columbia?

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Russell Perkins September 2, 2010 | 11:57 a.m.

Its possible, especially if you work and live down town, if you ever want to LEAVE Columbia though, you might just have to do it oregon trail style.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 2, 2010 | 1:07 p.m.

Car-free is kind of an ambiguous term. If you mean not owning a car, certainly - I know of several people (including one family with children) that don't own cars, and they do fine.

If you mean not riding in or otherwise using motorized transportation of any sort, I'd say that would not be impossible, but it would be much more difficult. If you never needed to move anything much heavier than a few hundred pounds, then you could never ride in or use a car again. That isn't the case with most people however.

The new infrastructure doesn't really make a difference as far as not needing a car for a particular trip. Typically cyclists that often trailer things do it on the regular road.


(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush September 2, 2010 | 1:24 p.m.

It is possible. There's still no grocery store downtown for working people. There's the Root Cellar (great food but more expensive than Whole Foods), few grocery items at the Peace Nook, the new co-op at Cafe Berlin's (but it does not have regular hours), and the Farmer's Markets - both county and city. There's Eastgate and Clovers on East Broadway and Moser's and Aldi's on the Loop. There are a few ethnic markets with specialty groceries like Chong's, Olive Cafe and Campus Eastern Foods.
My wife and I are going car-free this month, but we're simply fortunate enough to live close to our jobs. The only time we'd use the car is to grocery store. We're overcoming that by more frequent trips by bicycle. Plus we've already got the dog food for the month.
Columbia is better than most - but these wretched landlords who don't want competition for Sam's Cult choke progress by maintaining eyesore vacancies.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez September 2, 2010 | 1:40 p.m.

You can if you plan correctly. I think more people should look into Motorcycles or Scooters to take up less room on the inner city streets.

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