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Saturday April 19, 2014
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Car-Free in Ann Arbor

 

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Harrington decided not to use his wife's car, either--a resolution he's broken only once, for an urgent run to the hardware store. He walks about twenty miles a week, making regular trips downtown from his historic north side home to run errands and visit the library. For longer trips, he employs a vintage 1970s-era folding bicycle outfitted with a collapsible basket and a tire repair kit containing spare tubes for the bike's unusual twenty-inch wheels. For his commutes to Detroit, Harrington rides to the Enterprise car rental location on Huron and then folds up the bike. "I just toss it in the trunk and I'm on my way," he says.

Harrington says he regularly encourages local friends to follow his lead, and he claims to have converted a couple of his neighbors to a car-free life. And given his enthusiasm, it's not hard to believe. At age seventy-three, he says he's enjoying the health benefits of living car-free and has saved "piles of dough" as well.

He's in it for the long run. "This has not been inconvenient for me in the least," he says. "And I'm happy I did it. I'll probably never buy another car."

Mary Morgan

Journalist on a scooter

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