Five Reasons You Don’t Need A Car in D.C.

This article is sponsored by District Department of Transportation

If you are ready to ditch high car insurance rates, paying for gas, the cost of parking and trips to the mechanic for easier and healthier living, it may be time to unload your car. Washington, D.C. has many options for a car-free lifestyle. In fact, between 2010 and 2012, the number of car-free households in the District increased by 12,612, according to information from the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, 88 percent of new households citywide were car free.

During that same timeframe, the number of car-free households in the District grew by 14.3 percent, increasing the total amount of car-free homes from 35 percent to 37.9 percent, according to Census Bureau data. To put this in perspective, the number of car-free households rose from 88,390 to 101,002. In addition, the percentage of households with one, two or three cars all decreased.

D.C. residents who do not have a car, have many options for getting around the city.

  1. Walking: The District is among the top walking-friendly cities in the country. The city has been recognized for its focus on improving sustainability, walkability and pedestrian safety. Walking is a safe and efficient alternative to driving in the city. Many D.C. residents make their way through the city on foot.
  2. Biking: Among large U.S. cities, D.C. is No. 3 in the percentage of people who bike to work, based on data from the federal government. The percentage of D.C. residents who bike to work rose from 2.2 in 2010 to 4 percent in 2015, based on information from the U.S. Census Bureau. This amounts to nearly 13,000 D.C. residents who bike to work and 1,200 new bicyclists every year. City streets have protected bike lanes, making cyclists feel safer.
  3. Metro: Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail serves 91 stations in Virginia, Maryland and the District. It has six lines providing transit for nearly 748,000 each day.
  4. Uber, Lyft, Taxis: Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing apps have completely changed carpooling and commuting for many D.C. residents. The companies offer inexpensive fares and convenience. Taxis are also an easy commuting option. It’s usually easy to hail a taxi in many neighborhoods in the District.
  5. 5. Zipcar, Car2Go, Enterprise CarShare: Zipcar, Car2Go and Enterprise CarShare all serve the Washington carsharing market. They all have slightly different business models. Zipcar, for instance, has a fleet of 1,000 in the District. Within the past year, ZipCar – which has offered carsharing in D.C. for 6 years – updated its business model to allow for one-way rides. This move allowed the company to be more competitive with Car2Go.

Whether you drive in a vehicle, walk, bike or take other transportation it’s important to make sure you obey the rules of the road. Safety is shared a responsibility. Drivers should to stay alert and keep their eyes open for pedestrians.  Make sure to slow down, drive the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop when turning or approaching a crosswalk. Drivers must always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop several feet from the crosswalk to make sure other cars can see crossing pedestrians.

Pedestrians should be mindful of using crosswalks and waiting for the walk. If a crosswalk is unavailable, find the most well-lit spot on the road to cross and make sure there is long enough gap in traffic to make it across the street safely. It’s also important to stay on sidewalks whenever possible.  Bicyclist should stop at stop signs and red lights

Drivers,bicyclists and pedestrians need to know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals.

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