I'm wondering if my electric scooter counts as car free? I do only buy about 5 gallons of gas a month for my car...so maybe. I like the idea of being car free. I spent a summer in France when I was in college, and of course I had no car, and I was fine! I got to go out and eat, I got to school every day, Paris was just an hour train ride away and once there, the metro was all I ever needed! Of course there aren't many places here in the US that can boast such a good public trans system...especially in smaller cities like Little Rock where I'm from.
So for me, it isn't so much when can I go without my car, it is more, when do I need it. I pretty much use it for going to visit family, go to a restaurant that is further away, for rainy days, and of course for the grocery store. This is one thing I haven't figured out yet, how on Earth would I ever shop without my car. While overseas, I was with a family, so I didn't need to do any heavy shopping myself, but here, I need to buy more food and since I don't like driving to the store often, I generally bring home larger amounts of groceries, and of course the occasional 50 lb bag of dog food, which would never fit on a scooter or bike and let's face it, my 75 lb German Shepherd would laugh at the smaller bags!
I guess with compromise I could do it. And I did fudge a little on the gas thing, because I tend to ride with my fiance in his car when we go places together, so although I'm not driving or paying for the gas, I'm in a car.
I think it is all about balance. People will have to learn that they need to balance convenience with ultimate consequences like environmental impact. I think the car free day is a great idea to start with, it is like Earth Hour but the next level.
So although I'm not entirely convinced that I could get all of my needs without my car, I am sure that someday I will be. Because to be honest, unless it is raining, I only use my car once a week anyways!
I can and do one car-free day a week easily.. 3 days recumbent trike/enclosed velomobile and the other 4 usually that electric microcar. My "gas hog" gets 40 mpg but I do not enjoy driving my Ford at all anymore; so that car sits and sits collecting dust.
I can almost always answer an honest 'No' when anyone asks me "have you driven a Ford lately?
When I lived in Mexico, we didn't own a car. Public transportation is just so convenient and affordable, even though the buses really need better maintenance if not to be completely replaced. It was so nice not to worry about insurance, maintenance, rising gas prices, and so on. Definitely a simpler life.
Fortunately, we live within walking distance to my daughter's school, and I work from home, so we really just use the car for groceries and long-distance trips. Well, that's true in the warmer months. We still need to get used to the cold, snow and ice. I would love not to depend so much on the car in the winter months as well. I haven't gotten to that point yet, though.
So, to answer the question, yes, we go car free several days a week.
My microcar motor is burning up so I am looking around for something newer that I can get parts for. Triac, Aptera, Alius, Venture One, or even the EMC3 failed to make it here. But I ran into this: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2009/08/10/daily10.html
Never know - Xebra might be a return 3-wheeler! (left in 2004 I think). If nothing is nearby; I just might be riding the trike 6 days a week!
It depends on where you live and how your lifestyle is. In Portland, before I had my son I almost always walked or took the bus. Public transportation is super keen in PDX. In Humboldt, I lived out in a small beach town; no stores, no bus, etc. We had to use the car to get to town to buy goods, but we did combine errands so we still didn't excessively drive. In New Mexico, public transport sucked, but I lived centrally so I could walk to the store and college. However, then, we built a passive solar home way out in the boonies of NM. Had we stayed I'd be having to use my car more.
Also, we've unschooled or homeschooled my son for most of his life so that cut out driving days considerably. Right now my son goes to a free democracy school vs. homeschool so we do drive there and to the store. BUT I work at home so no transport for me, and I made sure that I moved about three minutes away from the school and store so it would cut car time. I think not having a car at all would be harder now with my son, but still workable. I think a better question for many people now is whether you can cut one or two cars from the family. I know tons of two parent families with 2 or even 3 cars when, with a little planning, one would be workable.