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An English major crunches some numbers.

April 1, 2010

I got an A in calculus.

I just got done telling you about the world’s bounty of gentle souls who sweat and toil and cheerlead for the car-free movement.

So, maybe you’re wondering exactly how many car-free people there are.

I’m wondering too. Plus, with all the census hoopla these days, I’ve built up an appetite for some number-crunching myself. Turns out, for the U.S. at least, someone has already crunched the numbers for me:

There are 107 million U.S. households, each with an average of 1.9 cars, trucks, or sport utility vehicles and 1.8 drivers, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported. That equals 204 million vehicles and 191 million drivers.
 – from Leslie Miller’s “Cars, trucks now outnumber drivers,” Salon, 2003

Uh-oh, does that mean that we don’t exist?

Let’s try this again:

That means there must be at least 55 million of us without a car.

And when you account for the super-rich and/or car-obsessed people who own more than just one car, there are probably even more of us. Then, of course, there are the many, many people who own a car but still support the car-free movement in myriad ways—being “car-lite,” volunteering for or donating to alternative transportation organizations, and giving us car-free folks rides. It’s pretty tough to gather information about our diverse community, isn’t it?

Hey, why don’t we have our own little No Car Go census!

Post your answers to the following questions in a comment (Note: U.S. residency not required for participation in NCG Census.):

  1. Do you own a car? (If “No,” skip to question 3.)
  2. If you own a car, approximately how many miles a week do you drive it? (Skip to question 4.)
  3. If you do not own a car, what is your primary mode(s) of transportation?
  4. Which aspect of the car-free movement concerns you? (Select all that apply.)
    a. Energy and environment
    b. Community design and landscape
    c. Health and fitness
    d. Other

Only four questions and no postage required. I ought to get into census-writing.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. wendy permalink
    April 1, 2010 5:35 pm

    First of all, I remember writing 55378008 on that calculator (can’t believe it still works and lives on Clay St!) and then turning it over to read BOOBLESS! What childhood memories we have.

    Now, about your NGC census:

    1. I don’t own the car, it is a company car but I drive it everyday, so I will answer #2 and 3.
    Special note: I have a Volkswagen Golf, diesel with Blue Motion technology, my fuel
    consumption is amazing. It is less than 5 Liters/1o0 km…who can do the conversion to
    miles per US gallon??
    2. I drive about 40km per day so that’s 280km/week, which is approximately 175 miles/week.
    3. I also use my bike, local busses, and the awesome Deutsche Bahn train system on a fairly regular basis.
    4. For me, b is most important. I think community layout and city planning is the only way to get beyond car dependency.

  2. Bob Sabie permalink
    April 2, 2010 3:54 am

    1.) Yes, I do own a car.

    2.) I drive about 130 miles a week during late-fall through spring. When the weather is better I drive about 40 miles a week and bike about 90.

    4.) a and b both concern me. I am glad that the town I am living in (Bellingham, WA) is bike friendly. Few urban landscapes consider bike lanes when laying out transportation plans.

  3. April 2, 2010 12:54 pm

    Yes I own my own car and realize that automobile sales fed and clothed me most of
    my young life. So with a family in car sales it is hard to imagine a
    large car-free society. However, I feel cars and single passenger driving in the US is excessive.
    I drive only an average of 50-60 miles a week, which I know could be
    lowered by walking & biking in my small town.
    A & C

  4. pawl permalink
    April 2, 2010 10:11 pm

    1) Yes

    2) 0… I really should get rid of it. What’s the point in paying insurance on a parked car?

    4) b, a, c

  5. avaerewyck permalink
    April 5, 2010 9:27 am

    Thanks for the responses, folks! Now, tell your friends to respond too. I’d love to get more responses to get a clearer picture of NCG readership.


  1. Happy First Birthday, No Car Go! « No Car Go

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