Living car-free in the Motor City

We’ve heard it many times as if it were a given: You can’t live in Detroit without a car.

Really? And what about people living in Detroit today without a car?

We’ve many Detroiters that for one reason or another, don’t have a car. Some might prefer getting a car and some don’t. Everyone has different needs, resources, and priorities.

Of course being without a car is easier in some parts of Detroit than others.

One amenity that making it easier for some is Zip Cars at Wayne State. Having simple access to an on-demand rental car can address those times when biking, walking, or transit won’t cut it. Wayne Students and staff get special pricing, but community members can use the program as well.

And it’s been very successful. Wayne State has added cars to the fleet.

Detroit Unspun recently uploaded this video which highlights a car-free Alex Briggs. Briggs gives some interesting perspective on lifestyle changes that have made biking a transportation choice he can embrace in Detroit.

Yes, Alex. Those Trumbull bike lanes are coming both this year and next.

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3 Responses to “Living car-free in the Motor City”

  1. Eric Says:

    It’s doable. If you live within walking/biking/transit distance to work, or in this case WSU, it’s easier to live car free because then your only other primary trip is for shopping. It’s been found that a good jobs-housing balance of land uses is a strong predictor of people walking, with distance to a store and accessibility to transit second.

  2. Sven Gustafson Says:

    It’s doable but only for a very small minority of people in the area. Think about it: It’s likely that most people you know have to endure at least moderate commutes to work. I’m always astounded by how far many people who live around here have to travel to get to and from work. A guy I know commutes downtown from Vernon, Mich., in Shiawassee County. I know that’s an extreme example, but we’re a sprawling, far-flung megalopolis — yet supposedly our average commute time is on par with the national average.


  3. Todd Scott Says:

    Agreed. I think living car-lite is more reasonable for more households.

    I worked with a guy once who commuted from Grand Rapids to Madison Heights.

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