IN THE BEGINNING, I WAS VERY ENVIRONMENTALLY MOTIVATED. I USED TO SAY, ‘LOOK AT THE POLLUTION- DON’T YOU THINK YOU SHOULD GIVE UP YOUR CAR AND HELP THE ENVIRONMENT?’ AND PEOPLE WOULD SAY ‘NO, I DON’T WANT TO DO THAT.’ NOW I’VE BEEN MORE FOCUSED ON THE POSITIVE ASPECTS OF MY BEING CAR-LESS. SO, I TALK MORE ABOUT THE JOY OF BEING CAR-LESS AND I FOCUS MORE ON THE ADVANTAGES THAT I AM GETTING PERSONALLY FROM GIVING UP AND GETTING RID OF MY CAR. SO, I TELL THEM HOW MUCH READING I GET DONE ON THE BUS WHEN I DON’T HAVE TO DRIVE, OR HOW MUCH BETTER I FEEL WHEN I ACTUALLY GET SOME EXERCISE WHEN I’M GOING FROM A TO B WITHOUT DRIVING.

-ESFANDIAR ABBASSI, CONSULTANT, CAR-LESS SINCE 1992

LA ECO-VILLAGE

I THINK LOS ANGELES IS SORT OF THE EPICENTER FOR OUR CULTURAL EXTREME- IT’S SO FOCUSED ON WEALTH AND STATUS AND FAME. AND I KNOW THERE’S ALL THESE OTHER THINGS TO IT, BUT THERE IS THAT SORT OF OVER-ARCHING MONEY, GLAMOUR, ENTERTAINMENT ASPECT TO THE CITY. CARS ARE A REFLECTION OF SUCCESS FOR SO MANY PEOPLE. IN THIS AREA, PEOPLE LIVE IN SORT OF LOWER-LEVEL APARTMENTS, BUT THEY HAVE BRAND NEW CARS. OBVIOUSLY THEIR FINANCES ARE PUT TOWARDS THEIR CAR. SO IN THE WORLD, THEY LOOK VERY SUCCESSFUL, BUT IF YOU SAW THE WHOLE PICTURE, YOU MIGHT NOT GET THAT SAME IMPRESSION.

-MEGAN AMBERSON, VIDEO GAME CONSULTANT

WITH DARCY NELSON, SET DESIGNER

CAR-LESS SINCE 2008, KOREATOWN

WITHOUT A CAR, WE CAN’T TAKE BETTER JOBS OR HAVE MORE OPPORTUNITIES BECAUSE WE CAN’T CARRY THINGS LIKE TOOLS OR MATERIALS. IT’S WHY WE HAVE TO STAND OUT HERE EVERYDAY HOPING FOR A JOB. PEOPLE DRIVE US TO A JOB AND THEN SOMETIMES DON’T DRIVE US BACK AND WE NEED TO TAKE A BUS FROM THERE. BUT SOME JOBS END IN THE NIGHT WHEN THE BUSES AREN’T RUNNING AND WE HAVE TO WALK FAR. WE FEEL AFRAID. IT’S A RISK WE TAKE. THE LATIN PEOPLE DON’T HAVE HELP FROM THE CITY OR GOVERNMENT AND THEY ARE AFRAID TO SAY WHAT THINGS HAPPENED OR WHAT THINGS THEY NEED.

-CARLOS CRUZ, DAY LABORER, CAR-LESS SINCE 1989

WITH PEDRO ARELLANO, DAY LABORER

CAR-LESS SINCE 2002

AND JUAN PLATAS, DAY LABORER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

SANTA MONICA

I WANTED TO GET RID OF ALL OF THAT STRESS AROUND THE CARS AND TAKING CARE OF THEM AND CHANGING THEIR PARKING SPACES AND SO FORTH. AND ONCE ONE DOES THAT LITTLE TWIST IN THEIR HEAD AND REALLY GETTING RID OF IT- GETTING IT OUT OF THEIR LIFE, IT IS A VERY BIG PIECE OF NEW FOUND FREEDOM. AND THE WALKING, THE BIKING, THE INTIMACY OF LEARNING YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD IN WAYS THAT YOU MAY HAVE NOT KNOWN IT BEFORE IS ENORMOUSLY GRATIFYING… AND THAT TWIST IN ONES HEAD- THE IDEA OF SACRIFICE VERSUS FREEDOM... GETTING RID OF IS GETTING FREE OF, GIVING UP IS SACRIFICING. AND PEOPLE WHO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION ULTIMATELY ARE VERY HAPPY ABOUT GETTING RID OF THE CAR.

-LOIS ARKIN, ADVOCATE AND FOUNDER OF THE COOPERATIVE RESOURCES AND SERVICES PROJECT, CAR-LESS SINCE 1991

LA ECO-VILLAGE

ONCE YOU START DOING IT, YOU FIGURE IT OUT. THERE ARE DEFINITELY PROS AND CONS, BUT THERE ARE PROS AND CONS TO ANY CHOICE YOU MAKE IN LIFE. YOU GAIN SOME STUFF AND YOU LOSE SOME STUFF WHEN YOU GET RID OF A CAR. BUT, WHEN YOU GET RID OF THE CAR, YOUR PERSONAL BENEFITS, YOUR FINANCIAL BENEFITS, YOUR PEACE OF MIND BENEFITS- ALL THESE THINGS START TO ADD UP AND THAT ALONE, TIPS THE SCALE IN FAVOR- IN MY OPINION- OF NOT HAVING A CAR. BUT THEN, YOU ADD IN ALL THE BIGGER SOCIETY THINGS- INDEPENDENCE FROM FOREIGN OIL, LESS GREENHOUSE GASES, LESS POLLUTION, ON AND ON, AND IT’S LIKE A NO-BRAINER.

-CHRIS BALISH, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR OF HOW TO LIVE WELL WITHOUT A CAR, CAR-LESS SINCE 2003

SANTA MONICA

WHEN I WAS TUTORING, THERE WERE TIMES THAT I GOT TO A STOP AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT THE BUS HAD GOTTEN THERE EARLIER THAN IT WAS SUPPOSED TO AND THE NEXT ONE WAS AN HOUR AWAY- AND THEN I WOULD BE REALLY DEVASTATED. BECAUSE THESE KIDS- YOU HAVE TO SET UP AN EXAMPLE OF TIMELINESS FOR THEM. THE PARENTS ARE WORKING AND WEALTHY PEOPLE WHO DO NOT WANT THE PEOPLE THEY HIRE NOT TO BE ON TIME. SO YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO THE COMPANY AND NOW TO THE PARENTS, AND THE MTA HAS SCREWED YOU OVER INADVERTENTLY. I ALWAYS HAD TO BE AS DIPLOMATIC AS I COULD AND CALL THE PARENT. I ALWAYS FEARED THE PARENT WAS GOING TO SAY, ‘WHY DID YOUR COMPANY GIVE US A GUY THAT DOESN’T HAVE A CAR?’

-DON BERMAN, ACTOR, TUTOR AND PROOFREADER

CAR-LESS SINCE 2005

SILVER LAKE

I DON’T HAVE THAT NEED FOR FLASHY STUFF AND EVEN IF I HAD THE MONEY, I WOULD NEVER BUY SOMETHING LIKE A BMW- I JUST WOULDN’T DO IT. BUT I REMEMBER FEELING EMBARRASSED OF MY CAR. I DIDN’T WANT ANYONE TO MAKE AN OPINION ABOUT ME BASED ON WHAT I WAS DRIVING. BUT THERE’S SOMETHING REALLY EMPOWERING ABOUT KNOWING HOW TO GET AROUND WITHOUT A CAR. AND THE LONGER I’VE DONE IT, THE MORE DEDICATED I AM TO USING PUBLIC TRANSIT. I FEEL LIKE IT’S ONLY BY USING IT THAT IT WILL GET BETTER- BY BEING PART OF IT AND SAYING, ‘I CHOOSE TO BE HERE.’

-CHRISTINE LOUISE BERRY, GRADUATE STUDENT USC DEPARTMENT OF FILM, WRITER, EDITOR, HEAD OF NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

SILVER LAKE

PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED. I TEND TO TUNE IT OUT, BUT I NOTICE IT MORE WHEN I’M WITH SOMEBODY ELSE BECAUSE THEY POINT IT OUT. I GET SO FOCUSED BECAUSE I JUST NEED TO GO WHERE I NEED TO GO- I NEED TO GET TO WORK, I GOTTA TO GET TO CLASS SOMEWHERE. BUT, I GUESS I KIND OF STAND OUT. THEY KNOW ME AT SANTA MONICA COLLEGE AS “THE UNICYCLE GIRL.” IT’S NOT THE MOST EFFICIENT MEANS OF TRAVEL, BUT IT’S A PLEASURABLE AND FUN MEANS OF TRAVEL. I GO TO THE GROCERY STORE WITH MY UNICYCLE. I GO TO SCHOOL WITH MY UNICYCLE… I RUN ALL KINDS OF ERRANDS ON MY UNICYCLE.

-CORINNE BIRD, NANNY, BARISTA AND STUDENT, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

SANTA MONICA

WHEN I FIRST CAME HERE, IT WAS FUNNY - I REMEMBER HAVING A FRIEND WHO TOLD ME THAT SHE TOOK THE BUS IN LA AND I ALMOST KIND OF LAUGHED AT HER. I ALWAYS TOOK BUSES WHEN I LIVED IN MONTREAL AND VANCOUVER AND THE METRO WHEN I LIVED IN PARIS, BUT IT TOOK ME A YEAR TO TAKE THE BUS IN LA. THERE WAS REALLY JUST A SENSE THAT- AND THIS WAS A COMPLETELY UNFOUNDED PERCEPTION- I HAD NOTHING TO BASE IT ON- BUT MY IDEA OF LA WAS SO MUCH LIKE- THE BUS? IT JUST SEEMED COMPLETELY STUPID. FOR SOME REASON, YOUR IMAGE IS JUST THAT IT CAN’T FUNCTION. BUT THEN IT WORKS, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE USE IT. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE NO OTHER CHOICES. TRANSPORTATION IS ONE OF THE WAYS THIS CITY IS HIGHLY SEGREGATED.

-JEAN-FRANÇOIS BLANCHETTE, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UCLA DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION STUDIES, CAR-LESS SINCE 2007

SANTA MONICA

I MIGHT HAVE DOWNS SYNDROME, BUT I AM VERY HIGH-FUNCTIONING AND HAVE A VERY GOOD LONG TERM MEMORY. SO I KNOW ALL THE DIFFERENT BUS NUMBERS AND THE STOPS. THE KEY THING TO TAKING THE BUS IS KNOWING WHERE TO GET OFF, NOT FALLING ASLEEP, NOT TURNING ON A WALKMAN AND ZONING OUT BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE’S GONNA TELL YOU THAT IT’S YOUR STOP. IF A HOMELESS PERSON ON THE BUS IS ACTING OUT OR HAS A MENTAL PROBLEM, I MIGHT BE A LITTLE NERVOUS, BUT IF I’M CLOSE TO MY STOP, THEN I’LL JUST GET OFF THE BUS. BUT PRETTY MUCH I FEEL SAFE BECAUSE THE DRIVERS RIGHT THERE IF I NEED HELP.

-LIZ BOGEN, EMPLOYEE FOR LA GOAL, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SANTA MONICA

IN A CAR, I USED TO BE ALWAYS LOST BECAUSE I WAS SO USED TO THE CERTAIN ROUTES, IF I CHANGED THE ROUTE, I COMPLETELY LOST DIRECTION OF WHERE I WAS. AS SOON AS I GOT ON MY BICYCLE, I TOOK IT TO TASK TO RIDE EVERY SINGLE ROAD IN LA. SO I LEARNED ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE CITY. I STOPPED BEING SCARED OF NEIGHBORHOODS. I LEARNED THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS- EVEN WITH DRIVERS. LIKE WHEN I GO TO HISPANIC NEIGHBORHOODS, IT’S SAFER BECAUSE SOMEBODY IN THEIR FAMILY RIDES A BICYCLE SO THEY’RE MORE CAUTIOUS AROUND CYCLISTS.  WHEN I RIDE THROUGH BEVERLY HILLS, THEY ARE HAVING A HUGE ATTITUDE. THE WORLD IN LOS ANGELES IS SO MUCH MORE THAN WHAT IT SEEMS FROM A CAR.

-ENCI, ACTRESS, CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

HOLLYWOOD

‘HOW WE MOVE’ IS ACTUALLY A GREATER METAPHOR FOR ‘HOW DO WE CREATE COMMUNITY?’ THERE ARE COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY DON’T ASK AND THE CITY DOESN’T OFFER, AND IT DOESN’T HAPPEN.  AND, UNFORTUNATELY, SOME OF THEM ARE NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE PEOPLE DON’T SPEAK UP IN GENERAL.  WORKFORCE CYCLISTS NEVER CALL AND COMPLAIN- WHY?  THERE ARE CULTURAL REASONS, THERE ARE COMMUNICATION BARRIERS, THERE ARE ECONOMIC REASONS- WHEN SOMEONE’S WORKING TWO JOBS, ARE THEY GOING TO TAKE A HALF DAY OFF TO GO TO THE METRO BOARD FOR THEIR ONE MOMENT- THEIR ONE MINUTE -THEIR 60 SECONDS OF BEING TREATED RUDELY? YOU CAN’T WIN IN THAT SYSTEM. MOBILITY IS OUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE RIGHT NOW IN LA.

-STEPHEN BOX, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST, CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

HOLLYWOOD

AFTER A REALLY HARD DAY AT WORK, THERE’S SOMETHING REALLY SATISFYING ABOUT GETTING INTO YOUR CAR, AND LISTENING TO THE SONG YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO, OR LISTENING TO THE RADIO STATION YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO AND JUST BEING BY YOURSELF- NOT HAVING TO TALK TO ANYBODY, NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT ANYBODY ELSE, GOING WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, WHEN YOU WANT TO GO. I REALLY DO MISS HAVING THAT SPACE THAT’S JUST YOURS. SO IT WAS REALLY TOUGH KIND OF GIVING UP THAT PERSONAL SPACE- THAT ONE ON ONE TIME WITH YOURSELF. ON THE BUS, YOU’RE ALONE, BUT YOU’RE SURROUNDED, SO IT’S NOT THE SAME.

-ROSEMARY BRENNAN, MAGAZINE EDITOR, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

LOS FELIZ

I REALLY MADE A POINT NOT TO BE AT NIGHT SOMEWHERE. THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I WAS WORKING AND I HAD TO GET BACK AND IT WAS VERY STRESSFUL. YOU FEEL VULNERABLE AS A WOMAN, YOU FEEL VULNERABLE AS A SINGLE PERSON, AND WITH A CANE OR A DISABILITY, IT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE MORE OF A TARGET- AN EASY TARGET. FOR A LONG TIME I WOULD HAVE THE CANE IN MY PURSE. SO, IF I NEEDED IT, I WOULD PULL IT OUT. AND I SPENT A LOT OF TIME AND ENERGY INTO ACTING TOTALLY FINE- LIKE KNOWING WHERE I’M GOING AND WHAT I’M DOING WHICH WORKED UNTIL I WOULD WALK INTO SOMETHING. IT JUST FELT EASIER- SAFETY AND DEALING WITH PEOPLE’S IGNORANCE.

-REBEKAH BROD, CHEF, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY COUNSELOR, TEACHER, CAR-LESS SINCE 1988

SANTA MONICA

FOR ME, NOT HAVING A CAR BECOMES MORE OF A CLASS ISSUE… GROWING UP WHERE I GREW UP, I WAS REALLY PROTECTED AGAINST CERTAIN THINGS BECAUSE, WELL… I HAD EVERYTHING. I HAD ALL THE LITTLE THINGS I COULD CHECK MARK- I HAD A DEGREE FROM A NICE PLACE, I HAD A GOOD GPA, I HAD THE INTERNSHIP, I HAD A CAR, I HAD THE RIGHT ADDRESS, I HAD EVERYTHING THAT EVERYBODY WANTED. AND IT WAS WEIRD THAT ONCE THAT ONE THING GOT TAKEN AWAY, IT’S LIKE MY STATUS, MY CLASS STATUS, HAS FALLEN…. I’VE GONE FROM MIDDLE CLASS IN SOME PEOPLE’S MINDS TO BEING ALMOST BELOW WORKING CLASS BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A CAR.

-BROWNE MOLYNEUX (BROWNE BUNNY), JOURNALIST,

CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

WITH RANDALL FLEMING (BUSTARD), GRAPHIC DESIGNER, CAR-LESS SINCE 1996

LIVE IN DOWNTOWN LA

I’M TOTALLY BLIND. SOME PEOPLE CAN AT LEAST GET A CLUE OF IF THE BUS IS BLUE OR RED OR WHATEVER. I DON’T GET THAT, SO I’VE GOT TO JUMP UP AND STOP EVERY ONE THAT COMES BY. IT SEEMS LIKE BUSES ZOOM BY WITHOUT STOPPING FOR ME A FAIR AMOUNT OF THE TIME. LIKE IF I’M CLOSE TO THE END OF A ROUTE, AND EITHER BECAUSE THEY’RE BEHIND SCHEDULE OR THEY’RE JUST LIKE, ‘OH, WELL, WHO WOULD WANT TO TAKE THE BUS FOR 4 BLOCKS?’ WELL, ME BECAUSE I DON’T LIKE DEALING WITH CROSSING WILSHIRE BOULEVARD OR OTHER DANGEROUS OR DIFFICULT INTERSECTIONS- IT MIGHT BE A SHORT DISTANCE, BUT IT’S GOING TO BE A DIFFICULT TRIP FOR ME.

-PATRICK BURKE, COORDINATOR OF UCLA DISABILITIES AND

COMPUTING PROGRAM, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

WESTWOOD

I THINK THERE’S DEFINITELY A LOT OF THAT KIND OF SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN PERSONA ABOUT CYCLING. IT’S THE SAME WITH TAKING THE BUS. WHEN I MOVED TO LA, I TRIED TO ASK PEOPLE WHO I KNEW HAD LIVED HERE ABOUT THE BUS, AND THE REACTION WAS CONFUSION OR DISBELIEF THAT THE BUS COULD BE A USEFUL SERVICE- OR THIS KIND OF STATEMENT THAT ‘NO ONE TAKES THE BUS’ AND I QUICKLY REALIZED THAT THAT MEANT NO WHITE PEOPLE TAKE THE BUS, BASICALLY.

-ANDREW BURRIDGE, PHD CANDIDATE, USC DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN GEOGRAPHY,

CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

BOYLE HEIGHTS

WE WENT OUT ONE NIGHT AND I WAS WEARING A VALENTINO DRESS. TO RIDE THE BUS WEARING THAT WAS DEFINITELY STRANGE. THERE’S TIMES I JUST FEEL LIKE, WHEN I’M RIDING THE BUS, NOBODY ELSE IS WEARING STUFF LIKE THAT. AND, SOMETIMES AT NIGHT, YOU DON’T WANT TO BE WEARING STUFF LIKE THAT BECAUSE THIS ISN’T THE BEST CITY IN THE WORLD. I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT I SHOULD BLEND IN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE- WHICH ISN’T ALWAYS SO EASY FOR ME.

-KATIE CHAPMAN, JEWELRY STORE EMPLOYEE, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

ECHO PARK

THE BUS GIVES ME TWO HOURS A DAY TO READ- WHICH IS GREAT AND I LOVE THAT, BUT I’D RATHER JUST HAVE THE TWO HOURS.

-ANGUS FARROWE, COFFEE SHOP MANAGER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

ECHO PARK

THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES I’VE HAD TO WAIT AN HOUR FOR THE BUS AND HAVE BEEN LATE TO SCHOOL AND HAVE MISSED LECTURES AND TESTS. AND WEEKEND SERVICE IS JUST REALLY BAD- I DON’T WANT TO GO OUT ON THE WEEKENDS BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO WAIT TWO HOURS FOR A BUS.

-CESAR CHAVEZ, SMC STUDENT AND TRANSLATOR FOR THE BUS RIDER’S UNION, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

KOREATOWN

I FIND WITH MY FRIENDS AND WITH PEOPLE I KNOW THAT WE HAVE TO COMPLETELY IGNORE ALL THE CULTURAL THINGS FROM TV SHOWS LIKE THE OC BECAUSE THEY APPLY MORE TO HOW OTHER PEOPLE SEE LA AND THE AREA. GOING TO SANTA MONICA HIGH SCHOOL, THERE IS ALSO A SMALL PORTION OF PEOPLE THAT ARE FROM A RICHER NEIGHBORHOOD THAT GO THERE AND THEY EITHER DRIVE THEIR CARS OR THE CARS THEIR PARENTS BOUGHT THEM THAT ARE REALLY NICE, BUT I DON’T REALLY SEE THE PURPOSE.

-MARK DAVIDOFF, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SANTA MONICA

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CAR, PEOPLE DON’T THINK YOU’RE IN. IF I’M LOOKING AT SOMEONE IN TERMS OF STARTING A RELATIONSHIP, THEY LOOK AT YOU A LITTLE ODD IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CAR. LATELY I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT AND IT’D BE KIND OF DIFFICULT TO ASK THE WOMAN TO COME PICK ME UP, SEEING AS THOUGH I’M A MAN. IT’S WHAT PEOPLE EXPECT- THEY EXPECT YOU- ESPECIALLY A MAN, TO HAVE A CAR. SOCIETY IS LOOKING AT YOU, AND THEY WILL JUDGE YOU IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CAR.

-DAVID DAVIS, COOK, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

LIVES IN BRENTWOOD

EVERY MORNING HE SEES ME PUTTING ON MY BIKE HELMET AND MY VEST AND HE’S REALLY INTO IT. AND I REALLY LIKE THAT HE’S GROWING UP AND HIS EARLIEST MEMORIES ARE GOING TO BE BEING

ON A BICYCLE.

-APRIL DESTEFANO, UCLA WOMEN’S CENTER DIRECTOR, CAR-LESS SINCE 2007

MAR VISTA

MY WHOLE FOUNDATIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF LOS ANGELES AND HOW COMPLEX IT IS AND EVEN THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE HAVE TO BATTLE CERTAIN URBAN AND SOCIAL ISSUES, IS ALL BECAUSE I TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OR RIDE MY BICYCLE. I JUST DON’T THINK IT’S POSSIBLE TO FEEL EMPATHY MUCH LESS UNDERSTAND WHAT THE REAL PLIGHT OF LOS ANGELES IS WHEN YOU ARE IN YOUR CAR. AND IT’S SO MUCH MORE COMPLEX AND BEAUTIFUL AND DOOMED THAN THE WORLD COULD EVER GIVE US CREDIT FOR. IT’S FUNNY, BUT ALMOST ONE OF THE MOST EMPOWERING ACTS OF ACTIVISM YOU CAN DO FOR LOS ANGELES AND IT’S FUTURE- IF YOU LOVE THE CITY- IS ENGAGE IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

-JOSHUA DYSART, COMICS ARTIST, CAR-LESS SINCE 2001

VENICE

WE TRAVEL BY FOOT PROBABLY 70 TO 80 PERCENT OF THE TIME. IT’S NOT UNUSUAL FOR US TO WALK LIKE FOUR OR FIVE MILES HOME FROM SOMEPLACE. I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THE FREEWAYS BECAUSE I’VE NEVER LIVED HERE WITH A CAR. SO, I CAN’T TELL YOU WHERE THE FREEWAYS ARE OR WHERE THEY GO OR WHAT THE EXIT IS- I HAVE NO CLUE. BUT I CAN TELL YOU TO THE TENTH OF A MILE HOW FAR SOMETHING IS AWAY FROM WHERE WE’RE STANDING- LIKE, ‘OH, THAT’S 2.2 MILES AWAY AND IT’LL TAKE 28 MINUTES TO WALK THERE.’

-HANS FJELLESTAD, MUSICIAN AND FILMMAKER

WITH ROSEMARY FAJARIT, PERSONAL ASSISTANT

BOTH CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

WEST HOLLYWOOD

I CAN REMEMBER NOW GETTING IN TO MY CAR AND FEELING LIKE A PULSE OF ANXIETY- YOU KNOW, TRAFFIC AND THE POTENTIAL OF AN ACCIDENT. AND NOTHING WOULD MAKE ME FEEL STUPIDER THAN SITTING IN TRAFFIC, MY CAR IDLING,

GOING NOWHERE.

-DUANE FLANIGAN, RETIRED TEACHER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2006

HOLLYWOOD

I WORK WITH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, AND THEY’RE ALL JUST SO OBSESSED WITH TURNING 16 AND GETTING THEIR LICENSES. AND MANY OF THEM ARE RATHER WELL-TO-DO, SO THEY CAN GET THEIR OWN CARS AS 16 AND 17 YEAR-OLDS. SO THE FACT THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT MOTIVATES THEM SO MUCH AND DOESN’T MOTIVATE ME AT ALL, THEY FIND REALLY ODD. AND THERE ARE THESE SORT OF NOT SO SERIOUS RUMORS THAT I CAN’T HAVE A DRIVER’S LICENSE BECAUSE OF SOME HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE THING I DID YEARS AGO.

-PATRICK FRIEL, HIGH SCHOOL MATH TEACHER

CAR-LESS ALWAYS

CULVER CITY

THE WAY THAT LA IS DRAWN, IT’S VERY SEGMENTED INTO CERTAIN DEMOGRAPHICS AND INCOME BRACKETS. WITH A CAR, YOU CAN GO PRETTY MUCH ALL DAY WITHOUT TALKING TO ANYONE NEW. BUT WHEN YOU GET ON THE BUS OR THE TRAIN, IT KIND OF FORCES YOU OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. I THINK THAT WHEN YOU HAVE A TRANSIT SYSTEM THAT WORKS REALLY WELL, AND ONE PEOPLE ACTUALLY USE, IT FORCES PEOPLE TO INTERACT WITH ONE ANOTHER AND LEARN HOW TO INTERACT WITH ONE ANOTHER.

-MAYA GADDIE, EDUCATIONAL ADVISOR, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

SOUTH PARK

I HATE TO ADMIT IT BUT, IN SOME WAYS, I DO FEEL LIKE THERE ARE THINGS I MIGHT ENJOY MORE IF I HAD A CAR. LIKE, I LOVE WALKING IN GENERAL, BUT I JUST HATE WALKING IN WEST LA. I MEAN THERE ARE SO MANY STREETS WHERE THERE’S NO SHADE ON THE SIDEWALK, AND YOU’RE THE ONLY PERSON WALKING. YOU KIND OF FEEL LIKE YOU HAD A FLAT TIRE AND YOU’VE ABANDONED YOUR CAR- IT FEELS LIKE WALKING ON THE SIDE OF A HIGHWAY. IT’S HOT. IT’S SUNNY. AND YOU FEEL VERY MARGINAL.

-LIZ GALVIN, LECTURER, UCLA DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS

CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

SANTA MONICA

WHEN I WAS DOING FOREST SURVEYS, I USED TO WALK 25 MILES A DAY. I HAVE A PECULIAR BRAIN THAT REMEMBERS AND CALCULATES THINGS ALL THE TIME.  SO I CAN WALK ALONG THE STREET AND BE THINKING ABOUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS.  I USED TO CALCULATE WHAT WAS THE BEST TOPOGRAPHICAL ROUTE TO GET DOWNTOWN- WHERE YOU CLIMB THE LEAST AND DOVE THE LEAST. I TEND TO GO INSIDE MY HEAD.  IT’S ONE OF THE THINGS YOU CAN DO FAIRLY SAFELY WHEN YOU’RE WALKING.  BUT WHEN YOU’RE DRIVING, YOU MUSTN’T DO THAT. PEOPLE DRIVING CARS ARE NOT THINKING NEARLY AS CLEARLY AS THE PEOPLE WALKING.  IT ALSO HELPS EMOTIONALLY- YOU CAN’T STAY ANGRY FOR TOO MANY BLOCKS.  YOU CAN STAY ANGRY FOR A LONG WAY IN THE CAR.

-ROY GATES, PROGRAMMER AND RESEARCH ANALYST

CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SANTA MONICA

I REALLY MADE A POINT NOT TO BE OUT AT NIGHT. THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I WAS WORKING AND I HAD TO GET BACK AND IT WAS VERY STRESSFUL. YOU FEEL VULNERABLE AS A WOMAN, YOU FEEL VULNERABLE AS A SINGLE PERSON, AND WITH A CANE OR A DISABILITY, IT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE MORE OF A TARGET- AN EASY TARGET. FOR A LONG TIME I WOULD HAVE THE CANE IN MY PURSE. SO, IF I NEEDED IT, I WOULD PULL IT OUT. AND I SPENT A LOT OF TIME AND ENERGY INTO ACTING TOTALLY FINE- LIKE KNOWING WHERE I’M GOING AND WHAT I’M DOING WHICH WORKED UNTIL I WOULD WALK INTO SOMETHING. IT JUST FELT EASIER- SAFETY AND DEALING WITH PEOPLE’S IGNORANCE.

-BOBBIE GRAHAM, BUS DRIVER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2009

LIVES IN MID-CITY

I WOULDN’T GIVE MY DAUGHTER PERMISSION TO GET A CAR UNTIL SHE’S 20 BECAUSE I FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WITH HER NOT DRIVING. I HAVE ANOTHER SON WHO IS 19 AND I TELL HIM, WHEN HE DOESN’T LIVE HERE, HE CAN GET A CAR. RIGHT NOW, HE RIDES A BIKE SO I WORRY ABOUT HIM GETTING IN AN ACCIDENT AND WONDER IF A CAR WOULD BE SAFER. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I WORRY ABOUT HIM DRIVING.

-ANA GUERRERO, BEAUTY SALON EMPLOYEE, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

EXPOSITION PARK

NOW THAT SHE DOESN’T DRIVE, WHEN SHE’S NOT HERE, I WORRY- BUT IMAGINE HOW MUCH I’LL WORRY WHEN THEY’RE DRIVING- IT’S A MOTHER THING.

-MARIA STOLER, MARKETING MANAGER FOR A COMMERCIAL CLEANING COMPANY CAR-LESS ALWAYS

EXPOSITION PARK

I CAN HAVE SEX IN THE BACK SEAT OF MY VEHICLE AND I CAN HAVE SEX ON THE FRONT SEAT OF MY VEHICLE AND I CAN STAY AND GO AS I PLEASE. IF I HAD A VEHICLE I COULD LEAVE THE CLUB WHENEVER, TAKE SOMEBODY WITH ME, HAVE SEX IN MY BACK SEAT, THEN STILL MAKE IT HOME.

-RAYMOND SEAN GUNN, UNEMPLOYED, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

LIVES IN HOLLYWOOD

I WORK IN AN OFFICE AND THEY FIND OUT THAT I DON’T HAVE A CAR AND THEY KIND OF FREAK. THEY’RE LIKE REAL CONCERNED FOR YOU ALL OF A SUDDEN ABOUT YOUR SAFETY AND YOUR MOBILITY… PEOPLE JUST DON’T SEE ANY OTHER WAY BESIDES DRIVING AND I THINK IT’S CAUSE THEY’VE JUST NEVER TRIED ANYTHING ELSE. I MEAN, THAT’S HUMAN NATURE, YOU DON’T TRY ANYTHING NEW, YOU’RE AFRAID OF WHAT’S DIFFERENT.

-JOSHUA HAGLUND, COMPUTER PROGRAMMER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2003

SUNSET JUNCTION

IN HIGH SCHOOL I HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO WERE INTO ALTERNATIVE THINGS, SO RIDING THE BUS WAS SORT OF LIKE A BADGE OF PRIDE. AND IT KIND OF ALLOWED A YOUNG, REBELLIOUS TEENAGER TO GET AWAY FROM THEIR PARENTS WITHOUT THEIR PARENTS KNOWING NECESSARILY HOW TO TRACK THEM BECAUSE THE BUS SYSTEM, AT THAT TIME, WAS THANKFULLY COMPLICATED WHICH ALLOWED ME A CERTAIN FREEDOM, AND THEN I JUST LEARNED TO MASTER IT EVENTUALLY.

-ALLISON MANNOS, UCLA STUDENT, URBAN PLANNING, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SUNSET JUNCTION

I’LL PUT IT THIS WAY, IN THE RICHER SECTIONS, THE SIDEWALKS ARE FINE. BUT IN THE POORER SECTIONS, THERE MIGHT BE A RAMP, THERE MIGHT NOT. THE SIDEWALK MIGHT BE ALL BROKEN UP. I GUESS IT’S BECAUSE THEY DON’T CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT THE POORER SIDE OF THE CITY. THERE’S SOME PLACES I HAVE TO CROSS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET INSTEAD OF AT THE CROSSWALK BECAUSE THERE’S NO RAMP. ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT, IT’S REALLY DANGEROUS.

-JAMES HARRIS, FORMER BUS DRIVER, CAR-LESS SINCE 1999

LIVES IN SOUTH CENTRAL

I HAD BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT FOR MONTHS, AND SO WHEN I FINALLY TOLD MY MOM, SHE KNEW IT WAS COMING AND IT WASN’T AS MUCH OF A SHOCK AND SHE DIDN’T FREAK OUT AS MUCH AS MAYBE SHE WOULD HAVE. BUT SHE’S CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT MY SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS AND ABOUT WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT WHERE I AM IN MY LIFE. LIKE, WHEN YOU’RE DONE WITH COLLEGE, YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO MAKE MONEY. AND THEN YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BUY A NEW CAR. AND THEN YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BUY A NEW HOUSE…

-NARINDA HENG, ARCHIVIST AT ONE ARCHIVE, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

DOWNTOWN

EVERYONE SAID YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CAR BECAUSE YOU HAVE KIDS- YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY NOT HAVE A CAR. WHEN I TOLD THE KIDS WE WERE GOING TO GET RID OF THE CAR, I TOLD THEM IT WAS PARTLY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND PARTLY SO I COULD GO BACK TO SCHOOL- I THOUGHT I’D TURN IT INTO A POSITIVE AND TEACH THEM ABOUT SACRIFICE AND A LONG TERM GOALS. ENOUGH OF THEIR FRIENDS RIDE THE BUS THAT THEY DON’T GET TEASED ABOUT IT, BUT THE BUS IS CHEAP AND DIRTY. THEY KNOW THEY’VE GIVEN UP SOMETHING BY TAKING THE BUS. IN SOME WAYS, WHEN YOU TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, YOU’RE STATUS DOES DROP.

-PAULA HESS, MAGAZINE EDITOR AND SINGLE MOM, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008 WITH RAMSEY AND HAIFA

KOREATOWN

MY GIRLS DON’T LIKE TO BE ON THE BUS A LOT BECAUSE A BUS CAN BE OVERWHELMING- IT CAN WEAR YOU OUT… I MISS TAKING MY DAUGHTERS PLACES- THEY’RE REALLY LIKE PRETTY MUCH HOMEBOUND… THEY DON’T HAVE FRIENDS- IF THEY HAVE FRIENDS, THEY COULDN’T GET TO THEIR HOUSE… AND LIKE MY MIDDLE DAUGHTER- SHE HAD TO TAKE A WRITING TEST. AND CAUSE SHE HAD TO TAKE A WRITING TEST, SHE WAS LIKE, ‘MOMMA, PLEASE- I DON’T WANT TO GET OFF THE BUS TO TAKE MY TEST.’ SO, I HAD TO RENT A CAR. SHE WAS EMBARRASSED- EVERYONE ELSE’S PARENTS DROPPED THEM OFF… ALL MY GIRLS WOULD JUST RATHER BE IN A CAR AND DRIVE RATHER THAN WALK AND CARRY BAGS ALL THE TIME.

-LINDA HILL, BOOKKEEPER AND BAKERY EMPLOYEE, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

SANTA MONICA

I WAKE UP AT 5 IN THE MORNING AND THEN BY 6 I HAVE TO BE WAITING FOR THE BUS. I HAVE TO CATCH THREE BUSES TO SCHOOL. THEN I’LL GET OFF WORK AT 11PM, AND THEN I’LL CATCH ONE BUS AND THEN I HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT BUS. AND THEN I HAVE TO WALK A BLOCK AND A HALF TO GO TO MY HOUSE. I GET SCARED BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IT IS DANGEROUS. THE FIRST NIGHT THAT I HAD TO WORK, I ENDED UP GETTING HOME AT 2 IN THE MORNING AT MY HOUSE AND THEN I HAD TO DO MY HOMEWORK. SO I ENDED UP NOT SLEEPING AT ALL.

-JOANNA INGLES, STUDENT AND MOVIE THEATER EMPLOYEE, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SOUTH CENTRAL

PEOPLE WHO ARE NATIVES OF LA ARE PROBABLY THE MOST SURPRISED THAT I DON’T HAVE A CAR. I DO FEEL LIKE I’M LIVING A SLIGHTLY ALTERNATE EXPERIENCE. SOMETIMES I DO FEEL LIKE I’M MISSING OUT ON THE QUOTE/UNQUOTE AUTHENTIC LA EXPERIENCE. BUT THEN, INSTEAD OF FEELING LIKE I NEED TO GET A CAR, I FEEL LIKE, ‘WHY DOESN’T LOS ANGELES OFFER ANY KIND OF VIABLE OPTIONS FOR LIVING BETTER WITHOUT A CAR?’

-EMILY KEMPER, GRADUATE STUDENT, USC DEPARTMENT

OF BUILDING SCIENCE, CAR-LESS SINCE 2007

DOWNTOWN

ACTIVITIES HAVE TO BE PLANNED DURING DAYTIME HOURS. I CAN’T GO OUT AT NIGHT AND WAIT AT THE BUS STOP BECAUSE THERE ARE DANGEROUS THINGS HAPPENING ON THE STREET. THREE YEARS AGO I WAS MUGGED WALKING TO THE BUS STOP NEAR MY HOUSE AT NIGHT. NOW I DON’T

GO OUT AFTER DARK.

-MARGARITA MEJIA, HOMEMAKER, CAR-LESS SINCE 1979

SOUTH CENTRAL

WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE A CAR, YOU RELY ON THE BUS AND SOMETIMES IT DOESN’T COME. I FEEL ISOLATED FROM OTHER PEOPLE AND OTHER PLACES. I’VE SPENT AN HOUR, UP TO TWO HOURS WAITING FOR A BUS.

-GLORIA LARA, CARETAKER, CAR-LESS SINCE 1980

SOUTH CENTRAL

HOW MUCH PEOPLE PAY FOR HAVING A CAR IS STAGGERING. SOME REPORTER ASKED ME, ‘SO HOW DO GAS PRICES AFFECT YOU?’ AND I’M LIKE, I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT GASES PRICES ARE…

-JOE LINTON, ADVOCATE, CO-FOUNDER OF THE LOS ANGELES

COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION, CAR-LESS SINCE 1992

LA ECO-VILLAGE

IT WAS AWHILE BEFORE I REALIZED THAT I HAD OTHER OPTIONS BESIDES DRIVING EVERYWHERE SIMPLY BECAUSE, WHEN I GOT HERE, ALL ANYONE SAID TO ME WAS ‘YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CAR!’ THE THING ABOUT MOVING FROM NEW YORK IS THAT EVERYONE RIDES PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THERE. AND SO IT WASN’T THAT THERE WASN’T A BUS HERE- WHEN PEOPLE WERE SAYING TO ME, ‘YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CAR IN LA!’ I THINK ON ONE LEVEL WHAT THEY WERE TRYING TO SAY WAS YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CAR IN LA- OR ELSE… YOU ARE POOR… OR ELSE YOU ARE OUT OF IT… OR ELSE YOU ARE SOMETHING ELSE… AND IT WASN’T ABOUT WHAT YOUR LIFE WAS GOING TO BE LIKE- ITS ABOUT HOW YOU ARE GOING TO BE PERCEIVED. AND IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN WHAT EVERYONE THINKS, THIS ISN’T THE PLACE TO BE WITHOUT A CAR.

-RICK LOUIS, COMEDY WRITER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2006

BRENTWOOD

I GREW UP IN LA- IN THE SUBURBS. I WANTED A CAR MORE THAN ANYTHING BY THE TIME I WAS FOURTEEN. I GOT ONE WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN UNTIL I MOVED AWAY FOR COLLEGE. I GUESS I SORT OF BOUGHT INTO THE WHOLE, ‘HOW CAN I GET EVERYWHERE WITHOUT ONE?’ CAUSE GROWING UP HERE, YOU NEVER THINK ABOUT THE BUS SCHEDULES OR BUSES. MOST PEOPLE I KNOW HAVE NEVER EVEN TAKEN THE BUS.

-RACHEL MANDEL, MEDIA BUYER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

LIVES IN MID-WILSHIRE

THE CITY IS OBVIOUSLY DESIGNED FOR CARS. THE DOORS TO VENUES ARE IN THE PARKING LOTS AND THE DOOR THAT’S ON THE SIDEWALK IS LOCKED. I DON’T WANT TO WALK THROUGH A PARKING LOT.

-SUSAN MARQUE, FOOD AND LIFE COACH

CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

SANTA MONICA

YOUR LIFE CHANGES DRASTICALLY BECAUSE YOU JUST HAVE THIS FREEDOM YOU DON’T HAVE WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE A CAR. LIKE, YOU CAN GO OUT ON YOUR OWN. YOU DON’T HAVE TO ASK YOUR PARENTS- OR I GUESS THEY DON’T HAVE TO KNOW. RIGHT AFTER YOU TURN 16, YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DRIVE OTHER PEOPLE, BUT MOST PEOPLE DO.

THERE ARE SOME KIDS AT SCHOOL THAT HAVE WEALTHY PARENTS AND HAVE BRAND NEW CARS WHICH IS KIND OF EXTREME FOR YOUR

FIRST CAR.

-PATRICK ROMERO, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

WITH SEAN MARTINEZ, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT

CAR-LESS ALWAYS

LIVE IN VENICE

THERE WERE MANY TIMES IN MY LIFE WHEN I CONSIDERED MOVING TO LA BUT NOT HAVING A LICENSE AND NOT BEING ABLE TO DRIVE STOPPED ME. MOST PEOPLE I HAVE MET HAVE NEVER EVEN TRIED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION HERE.

-HILARY MCHONE, PHOTOGRAPHER, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SOUTH PASADENA

THREE YEARS AGO I GOT HIT AS A PEDESTRIAN. I’D JUST LEFT WORK AND I WAS CROSSING THE STREET TO CATCH THE BUS. I WAS WEARING A BLACK JACKET. THE STREET LAMP WAS OUT- WHICH I DIDN’T REALIZE. IT WAS JUST KIND OF THE PERFECT STORM AND I GOT HIT FROM BEHIND. EVERYTHING FLEW OUT OF MY HAND AND I FLEW. IT WAS TERRIFYING. THE DRIVER LOOKED AT ME AND THEY LOOKED REALLY SCARED THAT THEY HAD DONE THAT TO ME. BUT THEN THEY JUST GOT

ON THE FREEWAY.

-JESSICA MEANEY, TRANSPORTATION PLANNER FOR

THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS, CAR-LESS SINCE 1997

ECHO PARK

YOU KNOW THE CONDITION OF THE STREETS FOR REAL. YOU KNOW WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING- WHY MY NEIGHBORS CAN’T WALK DOWN THE STREET WITHOUT STEPPING OVER GIANT CRACKS. I THINK YOU BECOME MUCH MORE AWARE, MORE CONNECTED. I LOVE THE CITY A LOT, AND I’VE GOT A LOT OF HOMETOWN PRIDE, BUT WHEN I GOT OUT OF THE CAR AND REALLY LOOKED AT THINGS, I REALIZED HOW MUCH I’D MISSED AND

HADN’T NOTICE.

-PATRICIA MENTZNER, BOX OFFICE EMPLOYEE FOR RED CAT, CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

SUNSET JUNCTION

BUSES HERE ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS I’VE SEEN OF ANY CITY I’VE RIDDEN IN. I WOULD SAY THE AVERAGE ANGELINO DRIVER IS BETTER THAN THE AVERAGE ANGELINO BUS DRIVER. I’VE BEEN HIT BY CARS MORE TIMES THAN I CAN COUNT, AND I’VE BEEN TO THE HOSPITAL NINE TIMES. I ACCEPTED WHEN I WAS A MESSENGER THAT I WOULD PROBABLY GET RUN OVER AND KILLED BY A CAR AT SOME POINT. YOU RIDE 40 HOURS A WEEK IN TRAFFIC, YOU’LL GET HIT. YOU DO IT LONG ENOUGH, IT COULD BE THE END OF YOU. I CAN THINK OF NAMES OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN RUN OVER BY CARS WHO WORKED WITH ME. SOME OF THEM LIVE, SOME OF THEM DON’T, BUT MOST OF THEM GET BACK ON THEIR BIKE AND RIDE. I DON’T KNOW TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY SCARED OFF.

-REED POWELL, NIGHT CLUB MANAGER, CAR-LESS SINCE 1999

SUNSET JUNCTION

WHILE THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO GO CAR-FREE, NOT EVERYBODY HAS TO DO THAT. IF PEOPLE ASK THE QUESTION, WHAT’S ONE CHANGE THAT I CAN MAKE IN THE NEXT MONTH- WHAT’S ONE TRIP I NORMALLY WOULD HAVE MADE IN MY CAR, THAT I CAN DO ON A BIKE? EVEN IF EACH PERSON SUBSTITUTED ONE TRIP PER WEEK OR PER MONTH- IF EVERYBODY DID THAT, YOU WOULD SEE A PHENOMENAL CHANGE. THE QUESTION IS, WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE FOR PEOPLE TO TRY ALTERNATIVES?

-RON MILAM, CONSULTANT FOR NON-PROFITS, CO-FOUNDER OF THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION

CAR-LESS SINCE 1998

LA ECO-VILLAGE

WHEN YOU’RE ON A BIKE, IT FORCES YOU INTO REALLY INTERESTING PLACES YOU WOULD NEVER SEE IN A CAR. I CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS A LITTLE BIT BETTER, THAN SOMEONE WHO’S JUST DRIVING ON VENICE OR ON THE FREEWAY. SO, I COULD TELL YOU WHERE PICO-UNION PSYCHOLOGICALLY ENDS AND WHERE CRENSHAW BEGINS AND WHERE KOREATOWN BEGINS- LIKE WHERE THE FINGERS OF THE KOREAN COMMUNITY REACH DOWN SOUTH, AND WHERE THE FINGERS OF THE LATINO COMMUNITY START TO MOVE UP. THERE’S THREE AWESOME STREETS- PICO, VENICE AND WASHINGTON- AND THOSE STREETS ARE A VERY INTERESTING BORDER. THEY TRAVEL THE WHOLE LENGTH OF THE CITY AND THE SEPARATE DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS AND I DON’T THINK YOU’D PERCEIVE THAT IN A CAR.

-JOSH MOODY, RESEARCHER FOR USC, CAR-LESS SINCE 1992

LIVES IN ECHO PARK, INTERVIEWED AT THE BICYCLE KITCHEN

THERE’S SUCH A FOCUS IN THE CULTURE THAT YOU NEED A CAR FOR ALL THESE THINGS. YOU CAN HAVE A CHOICE OF WHATEVER CAR YOU WANT AND PAY FOR IT HOWEVER YOU CAN. BUT YOU DON’T REALLY HAVE A CHOICE- IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE NO ONE IS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO NOT HAVE A CAR. THAT’S NOT AN OPTION THAT’S PRESENTED. IT’S LIKE, YOU CAN HAVE ANY CAR YOU WANT, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OPTION OF NOT HAVING A CAR- IS THAT AN OPTION?

-HANAKO MOONDANCE, LIBRARY PAGE, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SANTA MONICA

WHEN YOU ARE BIKING SO MUCH, YOUR FOOD IS GAS. YOU SPEND MORE MONEY ON FEEDING YOURSELF, AND THAT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING GOOD STUFF. I CAN’T JUST GET CHEAP CALORIES, SO I STARTED SPENDING A LOT MORE ON FOOD THAN MOST PEOPLE DO. BUT I’M FINE WITH THAT. I WOULD RATHER SPEND MONEY ON GOOD FOOD AND EATING REALLY DELICIOUS THINGS THAN PISSING AWAY MONEY ON GAS. I THINK THAT’S A PRETTY EASY OPTION. AND I LIKE FOOD.

-MATT MOORE, DIGITAL ANIMATOR, CAR-LESS SINCE 2006

NORTH HOLLYWOOD

I THINK HAVING A CAR IN LOS ANGELES IS A NECESSITY- I REALLY DO.

-JOSE MORGAN, ANIMAL SHELTER EMPLOYEE

CAR-LESS SINCE 2006

LINCOLN HEIGHTS

THERE’S A LITTLE TINY FEELING OF ILLEGITIMACY ABOUT NOT HAVING A CAR. JUST A TINY BIT. THERE MIGHT BE OCCASIONS YOU FELT YOU DIDN’T GET INVITED TO THINGS BECAUSE IT WAS JUST AWKWARD. BUT NOT MUCH OF THAT.

-JUDY NELSON, ARCHITECTURAL SECRETARY

CAR-LESS SINCE 1994

EAST HOLLYWOOD

I GET A LOT OF ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU BIKE IN LA!’ ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE ON THE CITY STREETS!’ ‘DO YOU WORRY ABOUT GETTING HIT?’ ‘DO YOU WEAR A HELMET?’ SO I THINK ITS CONCERN ABOUT MY SAFETY AND MY MENTAL HEALTH- BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE HERE THINK YOU’VE GONE OFF YOUR ROCKER IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO HAVE A CAR IN THIS CITY.

-KAREN NICOLETTI, EDITOR, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

FAIRFAX DISTRICT

IT’S VERY EASY TO GET AROUND ON THE BUS. IT’S A LOT EASIER THAN PEOPLE THINK. WHEN I WAS 14, MY MOM DECIDED THAT MY SISTER AND I WOULD HAVE TO START TAKING THE BUS TO SCHOOL AND HOME FROM SCHOOL SO THAT WE WOULD GAIN KNOWLEDGE OF THE CITY AND BE MORE INDEPENDENT. AND WHEN SHE TOLD US WE HAD TO TAKE THE BUS, WE WERE SHOCKED- HOW COULD SHE DO THIS TO US? WE JUST THOUGHT WELL, YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO DRIVE US- THAT’S HOW WE SAW IT AT THE TIME. BUT I THINK IT WAS REALLY THE BEST THING SHE EVER DID FOR US.

-MONICA O’CONNOR, UCLA STUDENT, CAR-LESS SINCE 2009

SANTA MONICA

I’M IN MY MID-40S, SO I’M AN OLD MAN IN SOME WAYS AND SO I GUESS PEOPLE DON’T BOTHER ME SO MUCH. BUT THERE WERE THESE KIDS AND THEY LOOKED REALLY TOUGH AND THEY WERE DRESSED IN LEATHER- AND THEY JUST LOOKED TOUGH, TOUGH, TOUGH… AND THEY WERE JUST LOOKING MEAN AND REBELLIOUS. AND SO I GOT ON THE BUS AND THESE REALLY TOUGH KIDS SIT RIGHT NEXT TO ME. SO I WHIP OUT MY BOOK AND START READING AND ABOUT 20 MINUTES INTO THE TRIP, I FEEL SOMETHING ON MY SHOULDER AND I LOOK OVER, AND ALL FOUR OF THEM HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP AND ONE OF THE KIDS HAD FALLEN ASLEEP WITH HIS HEAD ON MY SHOULDER.

-MICHAEL OLIVEIRA, ARCHIVIST FOR ONE ARCHIVE

CAR-LESS SINCE 1996

EAST HOLLYWOOD

I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT COMING HERE BECAUSE I DON’T LIKE TO DRIVE. BEFORE HERE, WE WERE LIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS AND THERE EVERYONE GOES BY BIKE- AND THAT WAS PARADISE FOR ME. SO I WAS WORRIED THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE IMPOSSIBLE TO LIVE HER WITHOUT A CAR. I GREW UP IN MADRID AND THERE PEOPLE ARE EVERYWHERE ON THE STREETS. HERE YOU FEEL KIND OF PATHETIC BECAUSE YOU ARE USUALLY THE ONLY ONE WALKING.

-GEMA ZAMARRO, ECONOMIST, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

WITH BART ORRIENS, RESEARCH PROGRAMMER

CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SANTA MONICA

IF I’M AT A JOB INTERVIEW AND THERE’S A BUS STOP RIGHT IN FRONT OF WHERE I AM, I’M NOT GOING TO USE THAT ONE. I WILL WALK DOWN HALF A MILE TO THE NEXT ONE. LA IS HOW YOU LOOK, AND I THINK THAT WOULD AFFECT ME- ‘HE DOESN’T HAVE A CAR, HE COULDN’T GET HERE ON TIME, I CAN’T COUNT ON HIM...” SO MANY PEOPLE THINK THAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CAR, YOU’RE GOING TO BE LATE.

-CHADWICK PALMATIER, ACTOR, CAR-LESS SINCE 1997

HOLLYWOOD

THERE ARE REAL ISSUES ABOUT HOW I GET TIED DOWN. THE WHOLE BUS STOPS, THEN I HAVE TO GET ON, THEN I HAVE TO BE TIED DOWN- THE OTHER PASSENGERS DON’T HAVE TO BE TIED DOWN TO THE BUS. THE BUS DRIVER IS DOWN ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES AND YANKING THE THING AND MAKING A BIG DEAL OF IT. I FEEL TRAPPED. WHEN I GO TO LEAVE, I CAN’T LEAVE. AND EVERYONE HAS TO STOP AND THE BUS DRIVER COMES AND UNSTRAPS ME. I TAKE IT A WHOLE LOT LESS PERSONALLY THESE DAYS THAN WHEN I FIRST STARTED- YOU’RE JUST VERY MUCH SINGLED OUT AS ODD AND EXTRA TROUBLE. ONE WOMAN ON THE BUS TOLD ME THAT IF I HAD ALL THIS TROUBLE, I SHOULD STAY HOME.

-PATRICIA PARKERTON, PROFESSOR, UCLA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, CAR-LESS SINCE 2009

WESTWOOD

A LOT OF BUSES PASS UP PEOPLE IN WHEELCHAIRS. IF A BUS PASSES ME UP, AND THE DRIVER SAYS IT’S OVERCROWDED, HE’LL SAY THERE’S ANOTHER BUS BEHIND, BUT THEN SOMETIMES THAT BUS IS OVERCROWDED. SO, SOMETIMES, I’M PASSED UP BY THREE BUSES. AND ANOTHER ONE OF MY FRUSTRATIONS IS THAT IN THE EVENING TIME, PERSONS WHO ARE DISABLED HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT BEING OUT AT LATE HOURS. IT MAKES YOU VULNERABLE. AND IN THE INNER CITY, YOU HAVE GANGS. AND YOU HAVE TO BE AWARE BECAUSE IN THESE GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS, THERE ARE CONFLICTS BETWEEN DIFFERENT GANGS. AND THEY MIGHT HAVE A SHOOT OUT AND YOU MIGHT BE AN INNOCENT VICTIM. WHEN I TAKE THE 210 DOWN CRENSHAW, I GET A LITTLE BIT NERVOUS.

-SHEPHERD PETIT, ORGANIZER FOR THE BUS RIDERS UNION

CAR-LESS SINCE 2005

KOREATOWN

I FEEL INSECURE ON THE BUS WHEN I AM WITH THE GIRLS BECAUSE THEY ARE YOUNG AND GUYS ON THE BUS SOMETIMES PAY ATTENTION TO THEM. BUT WHEN I AM BY MYSELF, IT’S FINE.

-LORENA POLOUCA, CONTINUING STUDENT, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

PICO UNION

THERE’S SOME PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN BAD AREAS OR JUNKY APARTMENTS, AND THEY SACRIFICE BY LIVING THERE SO THAT THEY CAN HAVE A NEW CAR, AND THEY WANT THE NEW CAR TO TRY TO SHOW THAT THEY EARN A LOT OF MONEY. SOME PEOPLE WHERE I WORK DO ACT LIKE THEY THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ME. AND THEY DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR THE CAR, BUT THEY WANT THE CAR TO FEEL SUPERIOR.

-RAUL RICO, CHEMICAL ENGINEER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2007

PICO UNION

COMMUTING TO AND FROM WORK IS FASTER THAN IN A CAR- NO PARKING, THE TRAFFIC BACK AND FORTH… IT TAKES ME ABOUT 20 MINUTES TO GET TO WORK ON THE BIKE. GOING HOME IN RUSH HOUR, IT WOULD TAKE ME 40 MINUTES TO GET HOME BY CAR WHICH IS PRETTY RIDICULOUS. AND IT FORCES ME TO BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE FOR AN HOUR A DAY. I DEFINITELY FEEL BETTER ON THE DAYS THAT I AM CYCLING- BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY.

-MICHAEL POLLARD, POLICY RESEARCH SCIENTIST, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

LIVES IN MARINA DEL REY

A LOT OF PEOPLE SEEMED TO SORT OF ADMIRE IT AND A WEIRD THING THAT WOULD HAPPEN IS, I WOULD GET CONFESSIONS. LIKE, ‘OH YEAH, I DRIVE A LOT.’ OR ‘I HAVE TO HAVE A CAR...’ -ALMOST LIKE PEOPLE FEELING LIKE I WAS CHALLENGING THEM JUST BY EXISTING WITHOUT A CAR WHICH MADE ME KIND OF UNCOMFORTABLE BECAUSE I ACTUALLY FELT LIKE I WAS DOING SOMETHING PRETTY SELFISH BY GETTING RID OF MY CAR.”

-KATHRYN POPE, WRITER, TEACHER OF ENGLISH AND WRITING AND ASSISTANT TO BRIDGE PROGRAM AT ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY

CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

MAR VISTA

AS A SINGLE MOM, IT’S DIFFICULT- TRYING TO GET MY SON TO SCHOOL AND DO ALL THE THINGS THAT I STILL HAVE TO DO. AND THE BUS IS ALWAYS LATE. MY SON IS ONLY THREE YEARS OLD AND WALKS REALLY SLOWLY SO WE HAVE TO TAKE THE BUS. IT TAKES AN HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES TO GET TO HIS SCHOOL. IN A CAR, IT WOULD TAKE TEN MINUTES.

-DEANNA WHITE, UNEMPLOYED, CAR-LESS SINCE 2009

WITH HER MOTHER, PATRICIA PROCTOR, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

SOUTH CENTRAL

IN MY PLANNING MY FINANCIAL FUTURE, THE FIRST THING I WANT TO DO IS PAY OFF LAW SCHOOL. THE SECOND THING I WANT TO DO IS BUY A CAR. SO I MIGHT NOT HAVE A CAR UNTIL I’M THIRTY. I’M OKAY WITH THAT. I DO WANT A CAR- I WANT A REALLY NICE CAR. WHEN I BUY A CAR IT’S GONNA TOTALLY BE A NICE CAR- I DON’T WANT A CRAP CAR. I WANT A PORSCHE. I’M GONNA BE A LAWYER- I WANT A PORSCHE.

-KATE SCHNEPPER, LAW STUDENT, CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

KOREATOWN

I LOVED DRIVING WHEN I WAS DRIVING. FOR QUITE A LONG TIME I HAD A 1969 PORSCHE 911S WITH A TARGET TOP THAT MADE A WONDERFUL NOISE. IT SCARED EVERYBODY AND I GOT JUST WONDERFUL AMOUNTS OF SATISFACTION JUST ZOOMING AROUND IN IT. AND I LOVED IT. WHEN I WAS DRIVING, I JUST THOUGHT DRIVING WAS THE MOST WONDERFUL THING IN THE WORLD UNTIL THE DAY THAT I DIDN’T… AND THEN I JUST DIDN’T.

-CAROLYN SEE, NOVELIST AND PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UCLA CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

SANTA MONICA

I THINK IN THE SAME WAY THAT I HAVE CONSCIOUSLY SET UP MY LIFE TO MAKE GETTING RID OF MY CAR EASY, MANY PEOPLE WITHOUT EVEN THINKING, HAVE SET UP THEIR LIVES SO THAT IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO GET RID OF THEIR CAR. I MEAN, IF FOR LIKE 99% OF YOUR TRIPS YOU USE A CAR, IT’S REALLY DIFFICULT TO CONCEIVE OF HOW OTHERS MIGHT LIVE A LIFE WHEN THEY DON’T HAVE ONE.

-SIEL, POET AND CREATOR OF GREEN LA GIRL BLOG,

CAR-LESS SINCE 2007

SANTA MONICA

PEOPLE ARE REALLY AFRAID OF ME BECAUSE OF MY SIZE AND MY COLOR. PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO SIT NEXT TO ME AND ARE CONSTANTLY CHECKING THEIR BAGS AND WALLETS AND LOOKING OVER THEIR SHOULDER TO SEE WHAT I’M DOING. I’M ON THE WESTSIDE- I’M EITHER ON THE CULVER CITY BUS LINE OR THE SANTA MONICA BUS LINE AND I’M SOMETIMES THE ONLY BLACK PERSON ON THE BUS.

-DEREK SMITH, FASHION INDUSTRY EMPLOYEE

CAR-LESS SINCE 1978

WEST LA

NORMAL PEOPLE TAKE THE BUS. LA PEOPLE DON’T. WHEN YOU ARE SITTING ON A BUS, YOU LOOK DOWN AND SOMEONE HAS THEIR TOP DOWN AND THEY THINK THEY’RE ALL COOL WITH THEIR LITTLE PRADA GLASSES ON- THEY THINK THEY’RE BETTER THAN YOU AND THEY’RE NOT. THEY’RE THE FREAKS NOW. I WAS FEARFUL OF WAITING FOR THE BUS. I WAS LIKE, GOD, I HOPE NO ONE SEES ME- BECAUSE OF THE STEREOTYPE OF THAT AND BECAUSE OF MY IDIOT FRIENDS WHICH I HAD AT THE TIME WHICH I DON’T HAVE ANYMORE. I USED TO BE ALL FEARFUL OF THEM SEEING ME. NOW I JUST DON’T CARE.

-JASON SMITH, ANTIQUES DEALER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

KOREATOWN

I HAVE NO FEELINGS ABOUT CARS AT ALL. I DON’T KNOW HOW THEY WORK; I DON’T ASPIRE TO THEM; I DON’T CARE ABOUT THEM. THE ONLY THING I CARE ABOUT PERSONALLY IS THAT THEY ARE SAFE- NOT SO MUCH FOR ME, BUT FOR MY FAMILY. AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, ALL CARS TO ME ARE A BOX WITH WHEELS ON IT- WHETHER IT’S A LAMBORGHINI OR A FORD. I DON’T LOOK AT CARS IN ANY KIND OF FETISHISTIC WAY LIKE, ‘I WISH I HAD A BENTLEY OR A PORSCHE.’

-JOHN STEVENSON, DIRECTOR, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

SILVER LAKE

I’M ON THE BUS SIX, SEVEN HOURS A DAY. MTA DOESN’T SEE WHAT WE SEE- THEY NEED TO COME FROM BEHIND THE DESK- TAKE A TWO OR THREE DAY TRIP, GET ON ALL THE BUSES, SEE HOW THEY AREN’T ON SCHEDULE, THEY’RE ALWAYS CROWDED, THE FARES ARE NOT REASONABLE. IT’S BASICALLY A SYSTEM WHERE THERE’S NO COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE BUS DRIVERS AND THE SUPERVISORS AND THE MTA. I HAVE RIGHTS TO WHERE I SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE A FIRST CLASS BUS SYSTEM AND NOT PAY SO MUCH FOR IT.

-REGINALD STREETER, EVENT STAFF WITH A SECURITY AGENCY, CAR-LESS SINCE 1978

LIVES IN HYDE PARK

ONE THING I HAVE RUN INTO IS THAT SOME PEOPLE, WHEN THEY FIND OUT THAT WE TAKE MARY ON THE BICYCLE, WORRY ABOUT HOW UNSAFE IT IS. IT’S USUALLY PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER BICYCLED.

THAT KIND OF BOTHERS ME BECAUSE IT’S VERY SAFE. PEOPLE SEEM TO LOOK DOWN ON ME FOR EXPOSING HER TO THIS WHEN WE COULD WRAP HER IN A FEW TONS OF SUV.

-YULIYA SULLIVAN, CLIENT COORDINATOR AND KNITTING INSTRUCTOR WITH HUSBAND JEFFREY SULLIVAN

RESEARCHER FOR RAND, BOTH CAR-LESS SINCE 2006

SANTA MONICA

I WAS BECOMING THIS PERSON WITH STRONG ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES. BUT, I WAS STILL DRIVING MY CAR AROUND IN LA. I WAS JUSTIFYING BURNING SIX TIMES THE AMOUNT OF OIL THAT THE AVERAGE PERSON IN THE WORLD BURNS UP. SO I’M BURNING OIL AT THIS INSANE RATE AND WAS LIKE ‘OKAY, I NEED TO REALIGN HERE.’ AND I STARTED TAKING THE BUS MORE. AND I STARTED BIKING.

-ALEX THOMPSON, RECENT GRADUATE OF UCLA DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS PHD PROGRAM, CAR-LESS SINCE 2004

SANTA MONICA

I MOSTLY SKATEBOARD. I GO THROUGH SHOES IN TWO WEEKS. I’VE GONE THROUGH TEN PAIRS OF SHOES SINCE JUNE. BIKES I FOUND KIND OF BORING BECAUSE THERE’S NO DANGER. NOT THAT I’M LOOKING FOR DANGER, IT’S JUST FUN GOING IN AND OUT OF TRAFFIC AND DOWN HILLS AND IT MAKES YOU MORE AWARE- IT MAKES YOUR SENSES A LITTLE BETTER. AND I KNOW THIS CITY LIKE A TAXI DRIVER NOW.

-IAN THOMPSON, SOUND RECORDER FOR FILM

CAR-LESS SINCE 2003

ALTADENA

BECAUSE IT’S THE CAR CULTURE AND MOST PEOPLE DON’T THINK THEY CAN, RIGHT? … AND THAT’S WHAT WE KNOW AS LIVING IN LA IS, IN LA, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CAR… AND SO IF YOU ACTUALLY TRY TO MOVE AROUND WITHOUT ONE, IT’S ACTUALLY NOT THAT DIFFICULT- IT’S QUITE EASY… IT’S REALLY QUITE FUN… AND, DON’T GET ME WRONG- THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SHOULD BE IMPROVED. BUT IT HAS IMPROVED A LOT IN THE PAST TEN YEARS.

-MELBA THORN, ARTIST, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

LA ECO-VILLAGE

DEFINITELY IT’S HARD TO MOVE AROUND. I’M SUPPOSED TO GO TO WORK TOMORROW AT 6 O’CLOCK. BUT THERE IS NOT TRANSPORTATION FOR ME TO GO TO WORK AT SIX O’CLOCK. SO I HAVE TO GO RIGHT NOW- ONE DAY AHEAD- SO I CAN GO TO WORK AT 6 O’CLOCK. AND TOMORROW, SAME PROBLEM- I AM SUPPOSED TO FINISH WORK AT 7:30 IN THE NIGHT, AND THERE IS NO MORE BUS SERVICE, SO I HAVE TO STAY THERE. IT’S VERY, VERY DIFFICULT TO MOVE AROUND. IT’S WHY SO MANY PEOPLE DRIVE HERE WITHOUT A LICENSE.

-CARLOS TRUJILLO, COOK, CAR-LESS SINCE 2005

MID-CITY

FOR A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE, IT’S SORT OF A FOREIGN THING. I DON’T THINK YOU GET MAD AMOUNTS OF RESPECT FOR NOT HAVING A CAR. I THINK IT IS SORT OF AN INDIVIDUAL SACRIFICE- YOU DON’T HAVE THAT IMMEDIACY, YOU GET TIRED.IT DOES PUT YOU IN A VULNERABLE SITUATION TO BE OUT ON THE STREET AND NOT HAVE THE PROTECTION OF THE ENCLOSED SPACE OR A CAR. YOU’RE JUST WAY MORE VULNERABLE TO PEOPLE BEING ASSHOLES TO YOU.

-ELIZABETH VENABLE, GRADUATE STUDENT, USC DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

BOYLE HEIGHTS

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I DID GO THROUGH A STAGE WHERE I FELT I MUST HAVE A CAR BY THIS AGE, AND I MUST HAVE THIS SORT OF CAR. MY FRIENDS AND I ALWAYS USED TO TALK ABOUT IT. BUT THEN I SAW THAT I DIDN’T REALLY NEED IT. OF COURSE, WHEN YOU’RE IN HIGH SCHOOL, IT’S YOUR REPUTATION. SO, I GREW UP OUT OF THAT IDEA, AND SAW THAT I REALLY DON’T NEED IT AND IT’S JUST A WASTE OF MONEY.

-LESLIE VENTOLERO, HOTEL RESERVATIONS AGENT

CAR-LESS ALWAYS

WITH HER MOTHER ROSA VENTOLERO, HOUSEKEEPER

CAR-LESS ALWAYS

BOYLE HEIGHTS

PUBLIC TRANSIT IS THE GREAT CLASSROOM OF URBANITY IN THE CITY. PEOPLE LEARN TO BE URBAN, THEY LEARN TO BE CITY DWELLERS IN SITUATIONS WHERE THEY ARE COMPELLED TO RUB SHOULDERS WITH PEOPLE THEY DO NOT KNOW AND WOULD OTHERWISE NOT ASSOCIATE WITH. THE SUBWAY IS LIKE THAT. THE LIGHT RAIL SYSTEM IS LIKE THAT. I WISH I COULD SAY THAT THE BUS SYSTEM OFFERS A COMPARABLE CLASSROOM OF URBANITY, BUT UNFORTUNATELY, ON MOST BUSES, MOST OF THE TIME, THERE’S JUST THE BURDEN OF BEING ON THE BUS.

-DJ WALDIE, WRITER AND PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER

FOR THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD, CAR-LESS SINCE 1966

LAKEWOOD

BEING SOMETHING THAT I NEEDED TO DO AND WANTED TO DO MADE IT THAT MUCH EASIER. I WAS MISERABLE- I DROVE SO MUCH AND I WAS ALWAYS IN THE CAR. SOMETIMES IT WOULD BE A GOOD TWO HOURS TO WHERE I NEEDED TO GET TO, AND THEN DRIVING AROUND ALL DAY, AND THEN ANOTHER HOUR AND A HALF TO TWO TO GET HOME. SO, ’D BE IN THE CAR FOUR OR FIVE HOURS OF THE DAY- AND THAT’S A LOT OF THE DAY. IT WAS REALLY, REALLY TIRING.

-ALAIA WILLIAMS, BUSINESS OWNER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

SILVER LAKE

IF SOMEONE HAS NEVER HAD A PUBLIC TRANSIT EXPERIENCE AND THEIR WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN ABOUT A CAR, THEY’RE GONNA SEE IT AS SUCH AN INCONVENIENCE- TO NOT HAVE THAT INSTANT GRATIFICATION OF GOING TO YOUR OWN CAR, GETTING IN, AND DOING WHAT YOU WANT, WHEN YOU WANT TO DO IT EXACTLY, WITHOUT HAVING TO WAIT OR BE A SLAVE TO ANYONE’S SCHEDULE. BUT I JUST DON’T SEE IT THE SAME WAY. I ARRANGE MY LIFE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY AND IT WORKS.

-INE WILLIAMS, INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADVISOR, CAL STATE LONG BEACH, CAR-LESS ALWAYS

LONG BEACH

NOW THAT I HAVE THE BABY, PEOPLE USUALLY GIVE ME THEIR SEAT AND LET ME SIT DOWN. BUT WHEN I WAS PREGNANT, PEOPLE WOULD OFTEN LOOK THE OTHER WAY AND PRETEND NOT TO SEE ME RATHER THAN LET ME SIT DOWN.

-CASANDRA WILLIS, UNEMPLOYED, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

LIVES IN HAWTHORNE

THERE’S THIS FEELING OF VULNERABILITY WHEN I DON’T HAVE A CAR- BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE CITY IS GOING AFTER THEIR GOALS AT 75 MILES, ON THEIR TIME, WITHOUT STOPPING EVERY 3 BLOCKS TO PICK UP PEOPLE- THERE’S A KIND OF HELPLESSNESS SOMETIMES ABOUT IT… BUT THERE’S SOME VERY SWEET THINGS- WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I WITNESSED TWO STRANGERS IN THE CITY INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER AT ALL AND BE GENEROUS TO ONE ANOTHER IN A VERY KIND OF UNCONDITIONAL WAY. IT’S A WHOLE DIFFERENT WAY TO LOOK AT PEOPLE IN THE CITY. I THINK WHEN PEOPLE COMPLAIN THAT LA IS FULL OF FAKE PEOPLE, THEY’VE NEVER TAKEN THE BUS. YOU DON’T KNOW REAL UNTIL YOU’VE SEEN SOME GUY WEARING HIS UNDERWEAR ON HIS HEAD ON THE BUS.

-KRISTINA WONG, PERFORMER, CAR-LESS SINCE 2008

LIVES IN SILVER LAKE

DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME IN WHICH THE 100 PEOPLE IN THESE PHOTOGRAPHS HAVE BEEN

CAR-LESS, THEY HAVE COLLECTIVELY SAVED

$6,953,957

IN 2009 ALONE, THEY SAVED

$952,170

IF THE 100 PEOPLE IN THESE PHOTOGRAPHS HAD A CAR EVERY YEAR THEY WERE OF LEGAL AGE TO DRIVE, THEY WOULD HAVE EMITTED

4,576 METRIC TONS OF CO2

THE 100 PEOPLE IN THIS PROJECT REPRESENT ONLY

0.0000246%

OF THE POPULATION OF THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES