Top 10 Best Car-Free Cities: Chicago Doesn't Rank

Top 10 Best Car-Free Cities: Chicago Doesn't Rank

W T H?

I was shocked to see that Chicago didn't make 24/7 Wall Street's list of Top Ten cities to live in without a car. To compile their list, 24/7 Wall Street looked at a number of factors that contribute to a city's overall ease in getting around by foot or bike. "In each city, [they wrote] we looked at the percentage of neighborhoods covered by public transit, the frequency of service for those neighborhoods and the share of jobs reachable within 90 minutes or less by public transit for people living in those neighborhoods."

I'm not surprised to see San Francisco and Portland at the top of the list. West Coast cities have a concentration of hippie freaks who care about public transportation and refuse to drive cars just on principle.

And of course New York City is on there. Everyone knows that "real" New Yorkers don't even have driver's licenses. They walk, take the subway, or take a cab.

But Honolulu? Salt Lake City? Denver? They all made the list.

Chicago did not make the list!

I'm not sure why I'm shocked. Personally, I hardly ever take public transit myself. Mainly, that's because when I'm driving I'm usually take small children somewhere or I'm picking up more than I carry and bringing it home. I *could* make it here in Chicago without a car, I choose not to.

I *could* send my daughter to our neighborhood school which would be within walking distance. She was given an opportunity to attend a better school across town and we decided to take it.

I *could* do my shopping every day and just buy what I can carry in my arms or in the Radio Flyer wagon. I choose not to because it's not the most efficient use of my time. Not to mention, it's so cold here most of the year that I spend as little time outdoors as I can get away with from December through April!

Our public transportation system needs to provide better coverage if they want people to use it more. Right now, if I want to get anywhere west from my house I have to go all the way south to Belmont, change trains and head back north. An outer loop train would be SO much better.

There are buses, of course. Have you ever tried to take a stroller on the bus? Some drivers won't even stop for you! Some will stop only to tell you that you can't bring your stroller on the bus.

I think I'm sticking with the car until my children are both out of strollers.

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  • At least you admit to your laziness. I see parents and children on the buses and trains all of the time, with strollers even.

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    Both the author and Cheryl make some valid points. When the weather gets bad there will be even fewer available seats on the buses or trains. The daily trip to school may be the most compelling reason to drive.

    Since April 12, I have used a bike, our stroller (for two little ones) and the CTA as my methods of transport. When I rode home at 11:30 pm this evening, I wondered how many more days will I attempt to keep this up before I throw in the towel and bow down before Mother Nature.

    The neighborhood in which we live is quite safe and very walkable. However, when you take the safety of your children/spouse into mind, there are advantages to either avoiding certain regions of the city by taking a safer albeit more circuitous route...or leaving posthaste if the need arises. (There is a video on your sister blog about the CTA that shows a teenager knocking out a homeless man in a new game called "Point him out, knock him out" and now the police resources are being shifted away from our neighborhoods since they are deemed to be safer.)

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