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Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

NYC
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Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

I can't ride a due to physical limitations, but what are the options for public transportation? Is it unrealistic to think one could get along without a car in Seattle? Any advice much appreciated.

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1. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

Hi Pink...if the "Metro Bus" is an option for you....Seattle is the best for being carless in Seattle. I have had friends that lived in the Capitol Hill area that never needed a bus....it is a main vein for getting anywhere in Seattle (to the best of my knowledge, I believe that it is still true) Ballard area may be another great spot as well :) I grew up there:)

Seattle
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2. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

I'm not sure what you were trying to say in the first sentence of your post? Maybe you can't ride a bike???

The bus system in Seattle is great if you're heading to/from downtown since most routes go there. If you work outside of the city, it may take you several bus transfers to get where you need to go. For example, I live on the east side of Lake Union, but I can't get a bus to the Seattle Center without transferring in downtown. Check out the Metro website for options in the area you're planning to work/live

http://transit.metrokc.gov/

I also see the Flex Cars around a lot, so if you do find you need a car for some things, you can 'rent' through them

http://www.flexcar.com/seattle/default.asp

Seattle
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3. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

Pinkazalea, it depends on what you want/need to do. Are you asking about a vacation trip here? Living here? I think it would be difficult to live in many neighborhoods without a vehicle IF you need to get kids to/from school, work in an area that is not on a busline, etc. But a vacation trip limited to spending time in the downtown parts of Seattle is very doable without a car.

If you could give more info we might give more pertinent advice.

NYC
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4. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

Thanks to all who responded. Yes, I meant to say that I can't ride a bike. I now live in the NYC area and I'm thinking of moving to Seattle or Portland. I'd plan to move there first, find temporary housing in a convenient location and then do job hunting. After the job is settled, I'd probably seek permanent housing in a location that worked with public transportation. What do you all think?

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

Seattle has the best public transportation out of anywhere I've ever visited or have lived. My fiance and I have 1 car, and while he needs it to get out to Edmonds, I never need it. We live in Fremont and I go to school and work downtown, and take the bus or walk everywhere with no problems. In fact, when I first moved here almost 7 years ago, I lived downtown for the first 2 years and NEVER drove my car.

NYC
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6. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

KatGoddess, That's very encouraging. Can you (or anyone) suggest some convenient and safe area to live in the downtown area?

NYC
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7. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

Thanks everyone. I'm checking out the Metro web page and reading up on carsharing/flexcar.

Seattle
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8. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

I'm guessing you're female from your 'pinkazalea' so I'll make my comments in that vein. Seattle is one of the safest places to live. I live on the east side of lake union, just north of downtown Seattle. The area is called "Eastlake". I feel very safe walking the neighborhood and from here to downtown. As with almost every neighborhood, it's right on the bus line to downtown.

Rents in downtown are more expensive than in surrounding neighborhoods and towns. There are a lot of places with views, but you pay more for those, too. The most recent popular location in downtown is Bell Town. It's near Seattle Center, toward the waterfront.

There was a rape in my neighborhood last summer, but those are pretty rare around here. Unfortunately, many women who live on the ground floor of houses, apts, and condos forget to lock their windows in the summer. So if you get a ground floor place, be careful! I recommend getting a higher floor so you can leave your windows open but not have to worry about someone crawling in (this is a concern since most places in Seattle do no have air conditioning and it can get pretty warm!)

Best of luck!

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9. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

I agree, Seattle is a REALLY safe city overall. For non-safe areas, avoid White Center and basically most areas south of Seattle. But I'm assuming you want to live in Seattle and/or near the city. Right now we live in the Fremont/Queen Anne area, and I always feel totally safe when I take the bus home late at night (which I have to walk through downtown to get to). Other areas that are safe and convienent are Belltown, Lower Queen Anne, and Capitol Hill (but not near Broadway). Oh Greenlake is nice too, but near the lake, not so much near Aurora/99---avoid most areas right off of 99, IMO. Eastlake is really nice, too as the poster above stated. Since you live in NYC, I doubt you'll find the cost of living to be too bad, so I would say Eastlake, Fremont, and Upper Queen Anne are the nicest areas, and Lower Queen Anne has the most action (as in stuff to do within walking distance), although all of those have stores and restaurants within walking distance.

Once you get here, just learn the bus schedule, which you will quickly by trial and error. You can go on to the metro web site to do a trip plan, but I always find that after a while, I find a quicker way to get where I'm going by paying attention to the stops. It's pretty easy to figure out.

http://transit.metrokc.gov/

NYC
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10. Re: Is it possible to live carless in Seattle?

Great info about safety. Thank you! I've filed this info away for a exploratory trip to Seattle.