|Volume 10, Issue 10||
Car-Free in Cedar Mill
|John and Mandy board Line #62 near Poppa’s Haven to head for the Transit Center. Their first destination was the new Oregon College of Oriental Medicine building in China Town. Then John was heading for his volunteer work and Mandy was going shopping.|
Others have noticed, too. About a year ago, The Oregonian ran a story titled “Hillsboro family chooses car-free lifestyle, uses bicycles to get around,” which chronicled the seven-member Goldfield family (with five children ranging in age from nine to 15) that sold its year-old Honda Odyssey minivan and bought a fleet of bikes instead. In one year Phil, the dad of the family, dropped from 289 pounds to 177. The mom, Ann, called the move “the best family decision ever.” This past July, the Oregonian did a follow-up story to describe the family’s creation of a non-profit service that delivers fresh food to Tanasbourne and Orenco residents, through a bicycle-powered group called “Wheel Solutions.”
Californians also are getting in on the “car-free” act. Santa Barbara, a coastal community lying some 90 miles north of Los Angeles, recently launched a website called www.santabarbaracarfree.org to entice Los Angelinos to visit during “Carmageddon” I and II, when a major freeway was due to be shut down for an extended period. The website reflects a larger project marketed as an escape from the projected “traffic nightmare” and offers sample itineraries using Amtrak, bicycling, walking, and other forms of public transportation. The project and website attracted a lot of media attention, including stories in such major newspapers as The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle—75 newspapers at last count, along with countless reports on regional and national television outlets.
The morning The Cedar Mill News contacted John about his car-free choice, he was getting ready to go on what he called “an exploratory walk.” Sometimes he uses Metro’s “Walk There! 50 treks in and around Portland and Vancouver” ($9.95, available online or in local bookstores). On these walks, John says he gets new ideas (about gardening, landscaping, etc.), finds great new restaurants, discovers shopping gems like the Hollywood district, and gets some good exercise at the same time. “I think it’s something that’s very available to everyone who’s able-bodied,” said John, a fifty-year-old father of two adult children.
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