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We Live & Work in Michigan's second largest city boundaries, but still own two cars. Why?

Why do we own multiple vehicles if we reside in the city center and work within a 10 mile radius?

Photo of Meagen Coburn
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For myself and my husband, we continue to own two vehicles because of what seems like a challenge to drop to one vehicle. And here's why: For our lifestyle, we have a one year old child in daycare and after an impossible time finding childcare - the location we were able to get into is at College and Leonard, we both work full time (both in the city limits) and have to split baby dropoff and pickup. In addition, we have parents in the Flint area and Saugatuck. We also have a travel trailer. We live in Cherry Hill Historic District, and just like everyone says - we don't have a grocery store. Our closest is at Fulton and Carlton and if we want a full service Meijer for cost savings we are traveling to Cascade, Alpine or Knapps Corner. I have a craft hobby that sends me to 28th street weekly. My husband has band gigs around Kent County.

All of these things, at present, make it such that we maintain two vehicles to keep up with running about town. I've certainly considered the possibility of what it would mean to drop to one car. The Rapid goes up and down our main intersection near home. We walk everywhere that we can, nightly. We have bikes. We have moped scooters, even. But at the end of all of it, we've found that we just have to maintain two vehicles to be able to keep up with our lives.

I'm curious how big city residents have transitioned to a more urban lifestyle found in big cities. Being a rapidly growing mid-size city, we just haven't reached that break point yet


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Photo of Rob Paxton

The truth is how efficient is the car design? If you could use a personal dune buggy allow to travel on roads or a smaller personal buggy. Storage under the seats, or additional removabe trunk. With swivel seats for easiest seating. And winglike access to avoid getting soaked in snowy or rainy days would the help? It requires no gas, and has either motor or pedal operation.

Photo of Meagen Coburn

I think we have to select the vehicle that meets the daily average of our demands. For us, it's something that can transport two adults, one baby, one dog, our belongings and keep up with safety in Michigan climates. We have the added hitch of having a camper to tow, and family living over 100 miles away at best. It equates for us to choosing a couple mid-size SUVs. We do have scooters, and I used to LOVE riding around on those pre-baby and when we had a garage. Today, we don't. So our scooters had to be in the basement (vs dealing with the beating of environment in our backyard - which we did for a couple months and it wasn't good). Because they were in the basement, we used them drastically less. Then we had the kid - so we have loaned them indefinitely to friends. The complication, too, was literally every time I was on my scooter in the city limits? I had someone roll their window down and yell something inappropriate at me or intimidate me with their vehicle driving. The overarching theme of those responses was either something about my being a woman or that the driver had no concept of how scooters operated on the road. They weren't pleased with my very-legal and 100% appropriate use of traveling close to the center lane (keeping myself most visible, as advised by scooter and motorcycle drivers nationwide) and at speed limits of 35 and under. Those in vehicles wanted to pass me, and couldn't -- thus breaking a couple laws themselves.

Photo of Rob Paxton

Yes society does have many ignorant thinking people. But if you were in something enclosed that was designed for when you needed to go on the sidewalk only, not road. And a second version that had room for all the things you listed. The question remains would you use it, if it was available to rent for 3 hour intervals for $7. Or $21 for 12 hour rental would you?

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