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10 American Cities Where You Can Ditch Your Car Keys

10 American Cities Where You Can Ditch Your Car Keys

Whether you had a traumatic experience behind the wheel or you just want to do your part in helping the planet, there are plenty of reasons to not love driving. For starters, buying a car is expensive and driving one costs about 59 cents a mile.

Thankfully, there are plenty of cities where you don’t need a car to get around. Take a look at these 10 cities where you can ditch your car:

1. New York, NY

Cities that are densely populated typically have great public transit. New York City is as dense as it gets, and its public transportation shows it.

Many New Yorkers who don’t have cars don’t miss driving. In fact, the subway is one of the best ways to get home safe — and it still allows you to take a nap on the unfortunate passenger next to you.

car less city NYC

    2. San Francisco, CA

    Perhaps to satisfy its “garage dwelling” entrepreneurs, San Francisco has a great public transportation system. It’s a smaller city, making it easily walkable.

    But it also has a fantastic cycling culture, as the city has committed to building out cycling infrastructure with bike lanes and paths. Biking the Golden Gate is also a scenic and beautiful way to enjoy the city.

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    best city if you hate driving

      3. Providence, RI

      This gem in the smallest state has a tendency to be forgotten, but ditching your car in Providence is easy. You can walk Providence in its entirety within five hours. A good portion of that walk can be done while strolling next to the Providence River, which bisects the city.

      Downtown Providence has an exciting nightlife and the best spots are condensed within two miles of one another (check out Whiskey Republic), so walking is a breeze. Providence also has a dynamic cycling community with plenty of steep hills for anyone looking for descending speed or an ascending challenge.

      best city for cyclists

        4. Philadelphia, PA

        Philadelphia, America’s birthplace, might ironically be one of its best kept secrets. The city is a fantastic mix of modern metropolis and monuments from the 18th century.

        The city also has a subway system that’s clean and efficient. If you live in Philly, the city is small enough to walk and due to low traffic, bicycling is a breeze. There are also plenty of people who enjoy their daily jogs across the city and runs up the famed “Rocky” steps.

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        alternative transportation

          5. Miami, FL

          Most people don’t believe you can live in Florida without owning a car, but Miami proves the assumption wrong. Downtown Miami has a fleet of buses and a metro rail service in case you’re traveling further than normal.

          The real draw of Miami for those without a vehicle, though, is how much there is to do year-round. Constant pleasant weather means you’ll find people walking the beach in the middle of January or working out at one of the beach’s fitness stations.

          best cities where you can walk everywhere

            6. Savannah, GA

            Savannah is one of the original colonial cities. As a result, you can easily get where you need to go on foot or carriage. Savannah is divided up into a series of historic squares that are all within walking distance from one another.

            Walking through Savannah can be even more enjoyable due to their lack of open container laws. When your legs tire out, the small city even has a decent bus line to get you back to where you started.

            park

              7. Washington, DC

              No matter what feelings you have towards our nation’s capital, you can’t criticize its public transportation. Washington, DC has an expansive bus and metro line which is affordable, clean, and thorough enough for you to see any monument.

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              One metro stop will easily provide plenty of American history.

              Benefits of living in DC

                8. Chicago, IL

                Chicago is a great city if you’re trying to get out of the driver’s seat. In addition to a solid public transportation system, it’s probably one of the best cities to own a bicycle in.

                Chicago’s bike sharing program, Divvy, has exploded over the last two years — more than tripling in size and promoting the addition of bike lanes and safety.

                best cities for those who love to walk everywhere

                  9. Boston, MA

                  Boston serves as a hub for trains traveling to just about every major destination in the Northeastern United States. During the summer, you can grab a train to any of the coastal areas and visit the beach.

                  Alternatively, you can always stay in the city and enjoy the nightlife and music at the Brighton Music Hall or take a walk down Freedom Trail. Either way, no car is necessary for you to take along with you.

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                  walking down the street

                    10. Portland, OR

                    Portland is a city-planning marvel. Regardless of its small size, it is consistently ranked among the most public transit-friendly cities in the United States. The small city has rail lines, buses and streetcars that constantly run.

                    It’s also riddled with bike lanes and it’s a great destination for nature lovers. The nearby Mount Hood is also a stunning site to see from any of the city’s taller buildings.

                    walk to work

                      If you choose to live in — or visit — any one of these American cities, you’ll be walking, cycling or taking public transportation everywhere you want with ease.

                      Featured photo credit: David Marcu via finda.photo

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                      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                      Boundaries are limits

                      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                      • When do you feel disrespected?
                      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                      • When do you want to be alone?
                      • How much space do you need?

                      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                      Sample language:

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                      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                      Final Thoughts

                      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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