Cities w/o car

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by smeraldo, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. smeraldo

    smeraldo Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Hello! Tears..the summer is almost over for us, if not already :(

    Ok, ok, here is my question: Besides NYC, what cities can one live and work in without a car? If it is warm all year even better.

    I'm in NYC right now and love it but my partner is having difficulty finding a job (2 years unemployed :( ) and these winters are killing me!! I'm teaching at a private middle school in Manhattan. I do not have PS experience. I'd be looking to move for the 2012-2013 school year.

    I'd love to hear all suggestions and if anyone knows of the employment situation in said city let me know!

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    San Francisco if you live within the city limits. Much of the Bay Area too depending on if you live and work near a BART line. Most of the Bay Area can be inhabited carfree if you are able to mix public transit and biking. When searching, one thing to remember is that BART does not allow bikes on trains going inbound to SF during commute hours and bikes are also not allowed on the Muni Metro trains.

    Sacramento is very bikeable and has a light rail system that allows bikes.

    Davis CA is, of course, known for its bikeabiltiy. Also, there's pretty good transit between Davis and both Sacramento and the Bay Area.

    Here is a good place to ask your question:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/20-Commuting

    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/226-Living-Car-Free
     
  4. smeraldo

    smeraldo Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Thank you Sarge!!
     
  5. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    While the area I'm going to suggest is not warm all year long, it's warm as heck right now! :)

    I would suggest Washington, DC. We have an extensive metro system here that includes a train and bus system which allows many people to live without cars. An added benefit is that this area has the lowest unemployment rate of the entire country (the DMV area hovers in the 6% range) because of the federal government and all of the contractors. This area is also huge for technology. There are tons of private schools around here but there is also a very large charter school movement. Good luck!
     
  6. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Seattle has decent public transport, and while it's wet it isn't that *cold*. Likewise Portland, OR. Portland has several very, very fine private schools but unemployment there in general is high.

    Washington, D.C. is served quite well by public transport, even to the 'burbs. The Metro system is fast, clean, and reliable and it goes most places. Where it fails the bus system takes up (for example - to Georgetown).

    Atlanta has a train system, but I hear mixed reviews of it. But there are fine private schools there and between bus and train you might do ok. Ditto Philadelphia (still cold, but warmer than NYC).

    The other option would be cities small enough to live very, very close to your school. This might be possible in Charleston or Columbia, SC, or Charlotte, Durham, or Asheville, NC or in a small city elsewhere in the South like Birmingham or Gainesville.

    OR, you could go hot and dry, and look at the Southwest. Albuquerque has good buses thanks to its student population, ditto Colorado cities like Boulder and Colorado Springs. They do get cold but it's very different from the wet, cold misery of the East.

    Southern California is the poster child for "you must have a car" but we know people who don't drive. You'd just have to be able to live in the same city as your school (ie, Pasadena = Polytechnic) because there are decent bus services they just work best if you're closer. You could get from Venice to Brentwood for Harvard/Westlake on the bus, for instance. Many college and graduate students in LA take the bus to class.

    A lot of these places are very expensive, although maybe not worse than what you're dealing with in NY.
     
  7. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    Yeah, the system in Atlanta is very limited and is still very much a place where people drive everywhere. Not to mention the horrible unemployment rate in the area. I totally agree with you about Washington, DC; great minds must think alike because we posted around the same time with similar thoughts about the city. :)
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Boston.

    Are you opposed to any type of motorized transport? Places in Louisiana are quite livable with a scooter instead of a car. Unfortunately, most cities here do not have fantastic public transportation (subway systems are out - we can't even bury people underground!) If you are moving most places down south, you're going to need some type of vehicle, even if it's a scooter or something.
     
  9. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I would not suggest Columbia., SC. as a place to live without a car. As far as inner city Charleston... again, you are going to have problems. There is SOME bus transportation, but not to every part of Charleston. You are going to have to go to a bigger city to live without a car. Good luck in your search. I would say Atlanta because of the train system. But I bet living in town is pretty expensive. DC is a yes. But getting a job there I would think would not be easy. But certainly worth a try! Good luck! Not having public school experience... well, not sure how that would affect you unless you were current on educational trends of the public school. Again, good luck!
     
  10. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    I would have to disagree with saying yes to Atlanta. Having gone to college in Georgia and with a lot of friends there, the market for jobs is not great. At all. And public transportation is laughable. This is one of the reasons the metro Atlanta area has some of the worst traffic in the country. Expensive is also relative. Coming from NYC, Atlanta will look really inexpensive. Additionally, getting a job in DC is actually not very difficult as it's one of the areas in the country with jobs still. And there are tons of private schools in the area (not completely familiar with ease of getting a job in that market) but there is also a very large charter school network here, too. Just my :2cents: from the perspective of someone who has lives/d in both.
     
  11. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Living in Uptown/Downtown/Mid City New Orleans is fairly doable without a car. The streetcar system runs up several major streets and there is a bus system. It's not a big city so many young hipster types bike or scooter all over.

    Most of the schools are private, parochial or charters.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Smeraldo
    So are you going to find a teaching job somewhere else and then hope partner finds a job there, or vice versa? Keep in mind you will have to get certified in any new state in which you will be applying...good to be planning ahead now as that can take some time.
     
  13. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    I grew up in Columbia and Charleston, SC. So I am perfectly familiar with exactly what they are like. I'm not sure where "inner city" Charleston might be, but private schools on the peninsula are accessible from major bus routes along King and Calhoun.

    The idea was that if the public transport isn't great, you could find a place that's walkable. Given that Smeraldo is paying New York rates, finding a place to live in Charleston that's walkable to Ashley Hall or Charleston Day would be within reach. Likewise, in Columbia there are schools in Shandon and near the university - plenty of housing that's cheap compared to NYC. Public transport is only ok in SC, but it's good enough that if you lived in a city-center neighborhood you'd be fine.

    MissCelia, I love Boston and IMO it's the best city in the US for public transport (no offense to DC, but the Metro can get HOT!). However, I think the OP is feeling cold, and my two years in Boston were great - but cold!
     
  14. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    My daughter lives in San Jose, takes the train to work, and bikes the final mile to her office. As Sarge said, the Bay area has quite a good public transport system.
     
  15. cartwheels

    cartwheels Rookie

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    You can easily get around Chicago without a car, but it gets quite cold! I've found public transit in San Francisco and Portland (OR) to be good, too. A bonus is that Portland is a great city for biking.
     
  16. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    It's very limiting and difficult to live without a car in Houston. Not only is the city a sprawling metropolis, but the public transportation is very limited. The only place you see a taxi is near an airport, and the buses follow a very limited route.
     
  17. Rachael84

    Rachael84 Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2011

    I can't imagine taking mass transit outside of here in NYC. I've done it and it was awful. I guess I'm just spoiled, lol. Even in the burbs of NYC, there are plenty of trains and buses and most still own cars.
     
  18. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    The DC area is a nightmare without a car unless you are actually in DC itself. The suburb options are mostly commuter based which is fine if you just need to go to the Pentagon or DC, but not if you need to get around areas like Fairfax County or surroundings.

    Most areas aren't bike or walking friendly and things like grocery shopping would be very difficult unless you live and work somewhere close to commuter stations.
     

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