One Car No Car Series: 2011 1 day/52 week No Car Challenge

The New Year invokes change.  Our calendar resets itself, we get back to the gym after a long hiatus, and we usually look for something to improve upon in the next year.  Here is our challenge for you:

Go without a car one day a week for 52 weeks

Here are the rules:

  • Must chose an alternative mode of transportation for errands, work, or pleasure trips for round trips from your current residence
    • Walking
    • Bicycle
    • Public Transportation
    • Other non-motorized vehicle
  • Must be for at least one 24 hour consecutive period per week
  • Use the Honor System!
  • Submit a reply to this post once a week after your non-motorized vehicular day!
    • Describe your day; the highs, the lows and whatever else you’d like to share

Here are the rewards:

A pat on the back and a new perspective!


Sponsored by Car Share Co-Op of Oak Cliff



  1. Looking forward to doing this!

  2. Walked to work yesterday from East Dallas to the West End. Cold outside and very lonely, there were no people in the street until I hit the DART stations. Oh, and almost got hit by a car turning from the Central Expressway onto Live Oak. Couldn’t be bothered to stop at a red light and yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic I guess…

  3. @JT: Thanks for the great update on your no car day! Btw, what is your route? I used to bike down Swiss all of the time as it has nice visuals and low traffic.

  4. If I’m walking, I go from Exall Park down Live Oak and either down Pacific or just follow the DART rail all the way down. If I bike, I go down Live Oak and then down Elm St. to North Houston Street. I love riding on Swiss, but it ends at Good Latimer and then I have to pretty much go down Live Oak anyways.

  5. callmemisspriss · ·

    Car-free day! Not terribly exciting. I biked to Tacos el Guero for lunch. They seem confused when I ask them for options “sin carne,” but an egg and cheese taco with onions and cilantro is awesome. Also biked to work and back, stopping on the way home at The Libertine for a Snake in the Grass- amazing. After a few miles I even had to shed some layers. I ride down McMillan to avoid Greenville, but the road is pretty bumpy. I’d love to hear if there is a better option. The pavement on Swiss Ave between Carroll and Munger is not great, but if you head one block west to Sycamore it is much smoother.

  6. @callmemisspriss: Very exciting? Was this your first car-free day?

    Seems like we have several Eastsider’s in on this challange! That’s awesome! Can we hear from anyone else?

  7. Took DART (bus/train) into work downtown from the M-Streets. Fortunately the bus was late otherwise I would have missed it. I use DART’s mobile site ( for real time bus info. That helps my commute a lot!! (Confession – I work for DART and built the mobile site.)

    Took bus home from work.

    Biked to the gym and back home. Was a little chilly but not too bad.

    Have been working on going car-free for a while. Do it most week days and on the weekends I try to run multiple errands when I do use the car.

  8. @Bikeman: Nice! Thanks for your weekly posting. It’s cool to hear you’ve used the mobile DART application and even cooler that you actually wrote it. Would you be interested in attending a meet and greet for Car Share Co-Op of Oak Cliff? Here’s the FB event

  9. I’m excited about this challenge. I started biking to work last year, only to get my (locked) bike stolen. Nbd as it was a 15yr old bike I pieced together with parts in the garage. I’ve gotten a new bike (thanks, craigslist) and a lock that cost more than the bike. So far, I’ve only gotten up to four days on bicycle to work a week. This week looks the one I’ll break through with all five days commuting via bicycle. Committing to 24 hour no-vehicle is a great goal to add another dimension to my biking. Thanks!

    Btw, I ride Swiss and do not have any problems with the cars on that road. Ross and Live Oak are quite scary.

    You can see my route to work here:

    Btw, I’m not looking forward to the next couple of weeks weather on the bicycle, but I’m going for it anyway.

  10. @justpaul: That’s awesome! keep up the good work. You’re in the challenge.

  11. My car was stolen last July, and we were forced to become a one car family. It was a blessing in disguise. It was hard, but my wife and I made it work. In October we decided to put our house on the market in Garland with plans to move into a downtown apartment. House went up for sale on a Friday afternoon, had a contract on it on Thursday of the following week! In the mean time I purchased a new bike and started to plan my commute with the opening of DART’s Green line.

    Now that we live in Downtown, I take the Green Line from Akard Station to Walnut/Denton Station, the ride to Las Colinas. Here is my route:

    On my route home, I ride from work to the Irving TC, then ride the 202 route into downtown.

    Because of our move into an apartment, and me using DART we are saving nearly $400 per month! All this happend because my car was stolen.

  12. Sleepy Head · ·

    OK…Lulu and I are in. We got stories, yeah.

  13. Monday and Tuesday were quite easy for me as I worked from home both days (overslept and didn’t feel like dealing with getting my oversized bike on a crowded train) but during those days, I made 2 runs to subway for lunch on my city bike and a run to the store to pick up a few things.

    I live in the M-streets and work up in N Richardson. I usually bike to Mockingbird Station and take the red line up to work then have a short ride from Galatyn Park Station. Yesterday, I again overslept and took my car to the station and noticed the train wasn’t too bad and I could have gotten my bike on the train without too much hassel (it’s a rather large bike and a pain to deal with if I can’t hang it on the bike thingies on the train). Regardless, I’m back on my usual up-by-5 schedule so I doubt I’ll be in the car again this week.

    I just started biking in June of last year.. got me an entry level Trek road bike. Late last year, I fell in love with the looks of the Dutch-style bikes for commuting and running errands. Picked one up at RBM and have been using it almost exclusively for running around leaving my car to collect bird #!?& in the drive way.

    Anyway, I like the idea of the challenge but I think the hardest thing to do will be to remember to post 🙂 My next post in a week hopefully will say I went car-free for the week so long as the weather holds.

  14. Rand M’s wife here. It’s a little harder for me to bike to work b/c I have to dress up for work and there is no place to freshen up when I get there. But I’m going to give it a try. I might have to choose a weekend day each week, when Rand and I run errands, go out to eat, etc on our bikes. Great challenge!

  15. I work at an active lifestyle marketing company in Dallas and bike to work 4-5 days a week along with weekend commuting to my other job at cowboys stadium. other than the usual traffic I think Dallas is one of the best cities for biking (other than roads) the lanes are wide, cars seem to be respectful (helps when your bike is painted like the Texas Flag) and the weather remains optimal for biking. Moving here without a job biking for commuting has saved me a ton of money and while i am part of the lower socioeconomic class i have a decent savings account thanks to my “dizzy toes.” It is early January and I am still on my bike without the need for toe warmers or gloves! Since riding to work in Dallas I have biked enough to remove the 148 pounds of carbon a laptop creates a year *bikechallenge application.

  16. Some great stories on here. Am really impressed by Art’s. What a great way to turn a bad situation into something positive!!!

  17. Rick Titone · ·

    I live in the M-streets and started bike commuting to my West End office in October 09. My partner and I dropped down to one car about 3 months later, and since he also bikes or DARTs to work, the car spends many consecutive days untouched.

    Today’s my third day this week without setting foot in a car. I had a lunch date in Richardson, so I worked at home until noon, rode bike/train/bike to the date, then same back to the office. I even hopped off the train at Pearl and raced the train back to the West End since it was so nice out (it was a tie!)

    Ironic twist: we’ve talked about moving to Chicago for years so we could live without a car. Who knew we could pull it off (well, 90% of the time) here in Big D!

  18. TandeMan · ·

    This is great! We have been a 1 car family since we moved here form San Fran in August 2008. It has been a struggle at times but is well worth it having saved a lot of money only having the one car to pay for and insure. At the same time, when looking for work, some jobs had to be turned down due to the absurdity of the DART system.
    Count me in.
    We have 1 car, 5 bikes.

  19. I’m In! Have recently bought a car again, (after an 18-month bike commuter life without car in the N. Greenville Ave area.) Thing is, I miss my bike, and it was too easy to just start driving everywere again, and I know better. Rode in to work this morning to kick this challenge off!

  20. So far we have 13 people entered in the challenge! I’ll post the final list after this Saturday’s, midnight deadline.


  21. Jenny R. · ·

    Count me in. I biked from my house to the train station today, took the train to work and then took the train and bike again to get to a meeting this afternoon and back to the office. You may see my red mixte around as on of those “more bikes in the train” because, since my old bike was stolen from a DART station last summer, my bike now goes wherever I go.

  22. David Rodriguez · ·

    I want in. I am a college student and looking for a way to save some cash. I been riding my bike since August and I believe I am ready for the transition in using my bike for commuting. I just moved to north dallas from desoto so now I have more choices in getting around. I want to ride my bike to the Royal Lane station (1 mi) for school and from Forest Lane station to work (.5 mi).

  23. I don’t want to get disqualified before this thing even starts so next week I’ll be sure to post by Saturday. Let me do a recap of my bike free day for Week 1.

    On Sat, I started off with a short bike ride to my weekly Weight Watchers meeting and stop into Albertsons. Later in the day, Rand and I rode out to our favorite bar, Old Monk, for lunch, a friendly game of cribbage, and a few beers. On our way home we hit Blockbuster and Whole Foods. All in all it was a great day running errands in the sun before the cold weather hit.

  24. Austin Thrustlord · ·

    I may have already missed the deadline but will give it a shot. I leave my houise in the morning from Beckley Club Estates and bike, walk, bus to the Dallas Zoo Station and then catch LR to Union Station. TRE to Centreport Station and bike/shuttle the T to work. Repeat but sometimes get off at Union Station and bike the Jefferson Viaduct to Ewing and then back home.

  25. @Austin: The deadline did pass this past Saturday, however we’d love to hear from you weekly! We’ll track your posts and see how many times you went car free. At the end of the year, we’ll give out an honorable mention to those who kept with it and kept posting.

  26. Guess I missed the official entry deadline, but I’ll shoot for honorable mention. I left my car in the garage all day last week though, inspired by this challenge. Wednesday the 5th. Biked to work using the DART train into downtown. Realized later that I needed to pick up my dry-cleaning so biked up from the Tyler station to the cleaners at Davis and Windomere. Carried my coat in the bag on my arm. It worked-out pretty well, that 1.5 miles to the house. Got picked-up for dinner – is riding in someone else’s car a disqualification?? Looking forward to another adventure this week!

  27. This is awesome! If I hadn’t just moved to NYC, I would be doing this. Fortunately, I can get around just fine without a car.

    In Dallas, it seems like a lot of people don’t realize how small the city is and how easy it is to get around on a bike when you’re in the actual city i.e., inside 635. In the suburbs you’re mostly screwed, but it isn’t impossible to bus bike out of them or into them!

    For a long time I lived in Junius Heights and worked in Hurst. I rode to Union Station, got on the TRE to Hurst/Bell, then rode to work. It was two 4-mile rides with a 20 minute break in between. Depending on how fast I rode and if I didnt have to wait long for the train, it was sometimes faster than driving. I also lived in Mesquite for a little while and worked downtown. There is an express bus that runs between the two that was totally perfect. I even rode all the way a couple times – it’s a great ride. When I lived on Swiss and worked downtown, there was absolutely no reason not to ride. It was a 10-minute commute.

    So for everyone doing this, I salute you, and don’t get discouraged!

  28. Came across this blog via the WFAA story. Wow! I’m glad to see so many Dallas neighbors on this challenge.

    I gave up my vehicle in August 2010 and have been on foot / DART / occasional taxi (don’t excommunicate me) ever since. It’s been one of the most freeing things I could have done. DART, by the way, is awesome – I can go to my parents in Garland, my friends in Irving, my church in Park Cities, or iHop in south Plano.

    Walking has done wonders for the way I see my city. There are so much beautiful architecture and natural features in Dallas you miss when you’re driving from point A to point B. When it takes me fifteen minutes to walk through downtown, I get a pretty good long panoramic look at what’s around me.

    Other wonderful benefits are the relationships I’m developing with neighbors. Because it’s a smidge time consuming to go across town, I spend a lot of free time in local eateries, bars, and entertainment venues. You start connecting with neighbors who frequent them often; and now, I can’t walk down the street without running into someone I know from the area.

    Go team!

  29. Mike Walker · ·

    I just read about this on the OC blog on the DMN. I did not drive my car at all on Jan 1 or Jan 2 (actually rode my bike to Tom Thumb on Jan 2)… I still “owe” you a day for this week. 🙂

    I’d like to share my resolution with everyone, too. My goal for the year is to pick up one piece of litter each day… anytime I’m out & about, I try to pick up one piece of litter and throw it away on my way into where ever I’m going. I started a group on Facebook called “Pick It Up – 2011” More info there.

  30. callmemisspriss · ·

    I hadn’t ridden since Friday 1/7 because of the cold weather, and I missed my bike so much! Yesterday was car free. Last night I rode to Libertine around 4pm and was surprised at how fast I warmed up. I was wearing too many layers. However, on the ride home my hands were freezing, despite two layers of gloves (regular cycling gloves and lined leather gloves). I want to ride to work today but am concerned about the ride home at 9pm. I think 40 degrees might be my cutoff point for being too cold to ride. I’ll be back to biking more this weekend! Yea!

  31. How’s this- no license and no car has me biking and DART riding and walking every day of the year! I have gotten around fine for 34 years with no car. I even run a little home based art business that has me going to the post office multiple times a week ON MY BIKE. Groceries? BIKE + BASKET + BACKPACK. It’s not that hard if you’ve never gotten used to the luxury of cars.
    Love your planet.

  32. Technically, Sunday was my first qualifier day, since the family and I stayed home all day instead of going out in the snow-covered roads. For me, though, that’s cheating as it wasn’t a true behavior change (thus, not reducing my carbon footprint anymore than before I committed to the challenge.) Today, I took the bike to work and will use only the bike for my transportation needs, ensuring a true vehicle-free day. @callmemisspriss: I felt the same way about the cold and was also concerned about ice on the road. Getting out, I realized most of my concerns were in my head. I wore running tights under my pants, a thick coat, my thinsulate motorcycle gloves, and a cotton-wool-blend cap under my bike helmet (important as exposed ears are going to suffer the most). It made for a mostly comfortable ride. Tomorrow, I’ll wear double-socks; my feet were the only part that complained on the ride. @Patricia, I’m right there with you, I have a rear cage saddle bag + a backpack so I enjoy the challenge of seeing how much I can load up in one trip. I’ve even brought home take-out soup without problems. I call my commuter bike “the bagger,” though I’ve yet to figure out how to bring home one week’s worth of dry cleaning or 30 lb bags of dog food. The latter is doable, not sure about the former. @Mike Walker: I’m totally on board for that. Count me in. There’s a few “Pick It Up” pages on Facebook, which one is yours? Stay safe, all. Talk to you next week!

  33. Managed to go carless 3 days last week by biking to work downtown from the Cliff. Rode to work Tuesday of this week, but couldn’t feel my thighs when I got there. Will be trying again tomorrow…

  34. Car free Cycling on Thursday started out very cold, and then fell apart when my kids daycare called to come get my kid with a fever. Had to ride back home to get my car! Getting excited about a car free Saturday! – I will short post again to confirm before the week2 deadline.

  35. This was a rough week for me, had to take my wife to the ER on Sunday night in the car. Found out she needed to have her wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday so I was getting worried I would have to drive the car all week! But I rode in today and will ride back to work tomorrow too. I took the DART 202 bus from dowtown to Irving and rode the rest of the way in.

    BTW, I’m thinking of getting a Croozer Designs Cargo trailer for the groceries. Has anyone used one and how do you like it? I like it because you can fold it and store it.

  36. @Just Paul: Yeah the cat food and litter is a no go for me, thats where you call in the big dogs (no pun intended) -someone who is going to the store and you either ride with them or bake em cupcakes for the favor.
    It is a challenge to buy only what you can carry on your bike and back..and handlebars sometimes. I have been known to tie a whole chicken or brisket to my handlebars with twine.
    As for the cold- leggings under your jeans and an insulated vest work well for me. I can do 30 degrees easy, 25 degrees and you need a ski mask.

  37. Managed to go car-free all day yesterday with no problems. I’ll be curious to see the conversation continue about cargo and what creative ways we accomplish this. Right now, my bike has no racks, so it’s whatever I can fit in a backpack. I did go to the Thumb and ride back with 35 pounds on my back and a baguette in the water bottle holder a few weeks back…

  38. Art, I have the Croozer Cargo and I love it. It is great for grocery runs. It is really liberating being able to fill up a shopping cart and not having to worry if it will all fit in the panniers.

    BTW, you can also get it a Nashbar.

  39. Thanks Stuart! Looks like it’s cheaper too!

  40. Did it! Walked everywhere and stayed local today!

  41. I finished the work week on a high-note, with Thursday and Friday being completely vehicle-free. I’ve added @Mike Walker’s suggestion of picking up trash to my commute, picking up on average 3-6 items each ride (gives me something to do at the red lights). @daveholt, I may have to challenge you to a baguette joust one day ;). On weekend shopping trips, I usually bring my three year old son in the Schwinn two-seater trailer, with him sharing his ride with a bag or two of groceries on the way back. Next week looks like a good candidate for another 100% bike commute. For those Lakewood-Downtown commuters, has anyone tried the trail that connects by the spillway? I may try that next week, talk to you then.

  42. 47 degrees, a little rain and a grocery run from Edgefield Davis to Hampton and Wentworth- filled bike basket and backpack to the max and back. Trick- loosen those backpack straps and weight your pack so it actually rests on your seat while you’re riding. You will have to sit up straight like your Mama taught you. Good posture. I have a back injury so this is key knowledge.
    I even have photos to commemorate this Rocky Balboa like heroism.

    No car. Love your planet!

  43. What a great 23-degree morning!! Wore the full facemask under my helmet for the ride in to work! Wanted to ride yesterday to the City Hall meeting (great presentation!), but it was not ideal day for me. Today is looking great – glad to be alive and on a bike 🙂

  44. This morning ride was a lot of fun. I’ve only used the car once this week! Look forward to next week!

  45. Tuesday, I continued the tradition of biking to and from the office and picked up a good amount of trash in the process. It feels pretty good to think of having a net-negative impact on our environment.

    Next week, I hope to get out more on the bike. This week was just too crazy.

    Good luck, all. Talk to you next week!

  46. Just wanted to wish all the newbies good luck…I’ve been carless since 2003. Of course, I sometimes miss the freedom but I’m one of those people you don’t want out on the roads. Just plan wisely and you will see that you’re really not wasting as much time as you thought you would.

  47. bike day!! – weather was WAY better riding in!
    gonna add a second or third no-car day this week

  48. Crazy week for me. I had to be in Garland Monday evening, so I rode the blue line to downtown Garland Station. Tuesday morning I was running late to catch my bus in dowtown and I forgot to bring my riding shoes! I couldnt run back to my apartment because I saw the bus down the street, so I rode into work with Chuck Taylor’s and SPD pedals. LOL That was fun! When I got to work, I realized I forgot my wallet!

    Tuesday night, we drove to Austin so I could take the Austin Fire Department written test. My sister lives in East Austin so I decided to take the bike and ride to the convention center from her house. I was glad to see that so many people who were taking the test also rode their bikes to take the test.

    All in all, it was a good week to be on a bike!

  49. What a fantastic week for being outdoors! I am on hour 120 since being in a car and loving it. I find myself doing more and more errands on the bicycle. I’ve also noticed the commutes are getting easier. Not sure what the weather is supposed to be like next week, but I’m hoping to keep up the bike-to-everything momentum.

    Stay safe all, talk to you next week!

  50. I’ve been going car free at least 4 days a week since I moved into an office at 408 W. Eighth in November. Yesterday, Jason Roberts and I rode to the North Central Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Focus North Texas Symposium The ride was about 10 miles each way. Most of it was on the Katy Trail. It took about a hour and we made it just in time to present to about 80 urban planners and new urbanist type folks on the Better Block Project and our new consulting venture, StreetSpace.
    Full of energy from our ride we blew the doors off the session and had folks wanting to go home and paint their own bike lane! Bonus on the way home we ran into our friend Darren on the Katy and had a lively chat. Can’t do that while driving a car!

  51. Tuesday SNOW day! Well I actually rode my bike in the whipping arctic wind to get groceries in the backpack. Saved time cause my car was buried in ice anyway and would have taken 20 minutes to chisel out!

  52. Fish: thanks for the update! for future posts, please make sure you go to the latest posting for your weekly update. I’ve marked you for this week.


  53. I haven’t used my car all week! It’s amazing how easy it gets to use public transportation once you start using it more. Be safe out there folks!

  54. Like Art, I rocked the whole week without the car. Rode the bike into work, made two trips to the supermarket, and a trip for takeout Greek food. Yesterday’s takeout was pizza, so I walked that one (still not sure how to get a large pizza to balance on the bike.)

    Though my friends and coworkers thought I was nuts for riding the bike, I countered with I thought they were nuts for driving their cars. In fact, while riding my bike this past week, I stopped twice to help push some cars back onto the road. Advantage bicycle.

    I am seeing more and more bicyclists on the road, even with this weather. I hope we keep it up. Maybe Dallas *can* become the new bike-mecca. As for me, I am starting to see what is possible when I am free from the car.

    Be safe and watch out for the crazies this weekend.

  55. just found this site. car went kaput last may and i decided i would try to go one year without one. i bicycle everywhere. work. grocery story. concerts. bars. restaurants. and now that i have been doing it for 10 months, i realize that the thing i get most from being without a car is the very real sense of community i have. there is something about being out and smiling at people. or smelling woodsmoke from fires. or the trickle of melting snow in the gutter that connects you much more than the insulation of a car.

  56. Wednesday was the perfect bike day for me – a repeat of the icy store runs that I had been doing last week on the bike – a great alternative to scraping my car free from its parking space.

  57. Fish: Thanks for the post! For next week, be sure to post to each week’s update. Here’s the lastest posting from this week. You don’t have to re-post this, just want you to be familiar with it.

    email me a if you have any questions.


  58. Today is the end of the week and with the storms we never used our car this week! Even my wife didn’t drive, which is huge. She also mentioned that we haven’t filled up in almost 2 weeks! I did however drive into work today which I’m upset about because it’s so NICE outside. I woke up late so I had to use the car. Now I feel guilty for using a car. LOL

    The next few weeks will be awesome to ride in!


  59. Art, thanks for the reply. Moving forward, please post to each week’s new posting in order to tell us about your week. Don’t post to this posting anymore.


  60. Friday was bike day! – Beautiful outside!! – Hit my favorite little German place after work for a large Spaten Optimator.

  61. Bikin it today! Backpack w laptop and a pint at a wifi spot gets my homework done!

  62. Tuesday – –
    always offering to give my TRE coworker a ride to the platform – I forgot I had the bike, crazy!

  63. Did a car free Sunday – walked it everywhere!

  64. Did the bike commute on Sun, Mon, and Tuesday!

  65. Biked all week due to car in the shop. A blessing in disguse

  66. Yep – Am 100% commuting by bike and DART rail now – Car got totalled, and I’m in no hurry to buy another one. I’m gonna just ride for a while & look for a cash car so I don’t have payments.

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