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Living Car-Free in Monterey County

Do people actually live car-free in Monterey County?  You bet!  On Feb 2 and 9, 2011 at CSUMB, in a no-cost class from 10 am – noon, you’ll learn about resources for people of all ages who want to get around car-free.


When I had children not yet able to drive, they often lamented our rural Monterey County address.  My son was hot on mountain biking, yet getting where he wanted to go with friends, spur of the moment, wasn’t always easy.  Though both parents worked at home, dropping work to run kids to town wasn’t always manageable–besides, it wasn’t the most ecologically sound choice anyway!  So, what’s a young person to do?

Bike-and-ride options, like combining bicycling with MST bus service, make the car-free life much easier for teens.

(Also see  “Bicycle Culture and Youth.“)


For elders, giving up the independence of driving oneself isn’t easy either.  Recently, a local cyclist was hit on his bicycle by a 91-year-old driver who mistakenly thought, in that moment, that a red light was like a stop sign (stop, then go–no need to wait for green).  The cyclist’s leg was broken in two places.  His attitude about the sad-for-all-involved situation was that the experience,which cost the elder her license, may have prevented someone else a worse injury, or death.

Most of us don’t look forward to the day when we, too, are likely to no longer be optimally safe drivers.  What’s an elder to do?

Not every elder is as fit as this cyclist, yet with bike-and-ride options, more are able to reach their destinations without a car.


But it’s not just kids too young to drive, or elders who give up driving, who want or need alternatives to personal cars.  Some people make a very conscious choice to live a car-free life.   Devian Gilbert of Asana Cycles has been one such person.  Monterey County native Jody Emerson Quintana, a nutritional counselor and natural foods chef, is another.  And there are many, many more.

Where to learn more:  CSUMB, Feb 2 and 9

MacGregor Eddy of Salinas has put together a no-cost class to support others in living car-free in MoCo.  The class is one of California State University Monterey Bay’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offerings and is scheduled for February 2 and 9, 2011, 10 am to noon:  Living Car-Free in Monterey County.

Class facilitators will be MacGregor Eddy and/or CSUMB Transportation Planner Megan Tolbert.

Check out MacGregor’s slide show regarding this class by clicking on the link provided here:  <iframe src=”” frameborder=”0″ width=”410″ height=”342″></iframe>

Whether a local or a visitor, bike-and-ride combo options make it easier to be car-free in Monterey County.  Having bike racks at bus stops, like this one at the Crossroads at the mouth of Carmel Valley, are a visual reminder of–and practical support to–the bike-and-ride option.  Biking need not be all or nothing!

Even sans panniers or packs, many local residents are on the bikeways doing their errands and shopping by bicycle.

This post was published on 19 January 2011. One or more changes last made to this post on 20 August 2016.

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