Tell native Clevelanders that you bought a book called Car-Free in Cleveland and you might hear a surprised laugh. That's ridiculous! they'll say. You can't get around Cleveland without a car!
To be sure, the Cleveland area is not often viewed as a paradise for transit riders, cyclists, or pedestrians. What Cleveland lacks in reputation, however, it more than makes up for in choices. This book is about those choicesthe alternative ways you have to get around our city and its environs without a car.
What do you mean, car-free?
First things first: Car-free doesn't necessarily mean car-less, at least not all the time. Automobiles can be a useful way to get around. And occasionally, there's no substitute for using them.
But your horizons don't have to be defined by whether you have a car. You have many great ways to get where you're going without having to drive yourself, by yourself. You can move from Point A to Point B comfortably, inexpensively and conveniently via buses (locals, expresses, freeway flyers, intercities, para-transit and community circulators), trains (the Rapid and Amtrak), taxis, bicycles (on city streets, bike paths, bike lanes, bike routes, or bikeways), water taxis, planes, car-pools, van-pools, or just by strolling or power-walking to your destination.
Many Clevelanders already live a car-free lifestyleeither by choice or by circumstance. More would love to be car-free more of the time. Whatever your situation, this book gives you all of information you'll need to be car-free, whether for a day or for a lifetime.
A car-free lifestyle can be a better lifestylenot just for those who live it, but for everybody in Greater Cleveland. How we choose to move influences the shape of our own lives each day, as well as the quality of our neighborhoods and region. For example, walking and cycling combine transportation with exercise, while contributing to a cleaner, quieter city environment.
Besides, worrying about breakdowns, break-ins, traffic jams, parking problems, expensive repairs, and road rage doesn't have to be an unavoidable evil of living in cities the size of Cleveland. Why not consider a few ways to simplify your life, demonstrate care for your community, benefit from a lower-mileage, lower-stress lifestyle, and save some serious cash in the process?
That high-mileage life sure isn't cheap, if you think about how much owning and operating a car costs. According to the American Automobile Association, the average cost for owning and operating a new car is $6,400 every year. And don't forget the billions of dollars we all pay in taxes every year to subsidize the infrastructure of the car culture. Being car-free means you can pocket some of those costs. What would you do with an extra few thousand bucks a year?
Create a discussion about Carfree cities:
Carfree meetupsInformal, unaffiliated gatherings of Clevelanders interested in chatting about a Carfree lifestyle in Cleveland meet once a month at 6 p.m. Sign up online and determine the location. If there's enough interest/people signing up, there could be two locations or more (this is similar to the Dean for President meetups).