Car-Free Community Opens In Arizona

Car-Free Community Opens In Arizona

As confusing as it may be for many of the people who live in the suburbs, a lot of people in this country actually enjoy living in areas where you don’t need to drive if you want to do literally anything other than sit in your house. Sometimes it’s because they’re elderly, have a disability, enjoy living in a community, believe it’s better for the environment, or would simply rather spend their money doing fun car stuff instead of commuting in something practical and boring, these people are all over the place. If you’re one of them, Culdesac Tempe may be for you.

The Ford Flex Was So Unexpectedly Cool

ABC15 reports that Culdesac Tempe, a mostly car-free community in Tempe, Arizona, is officially open. Unlike most places in the U.S., it’s a place designed to allow people to live, work and socialize without needing to own a car. In fact, there aren’t any parking spots for residents. But with a restaurant already open and a coffee shop, bike repair shop, and grocery store all coming soon, as well as a gym and a coworking space, Culdesac Tempe is designed so that residents won’t miss owning a car even as the rest of the commercial space is slowly built out.

They won’t be trapped in their new “five-minute city” either. The community also reportedly provides e-bikes for residents, as well as discounts on Lyft rides, light rail passes, access to electric scooter, and car rentals. “We are building for people rather than cars,” said Erin Boyd, the government and external affairs lead for Culdesac told ABC15, adding, “From a sustainability perspective, this is really important.”

“When thinking about Culdesac Tempe, this has huge potential to change the way we build in the U.S.,” Boyd continued. “Right now when you walk outside your front door, you see a parking lot, you’re in an apartment building, you rush to your elevator and you go down and try to avoid your neighbors. Right now, what we’re building is a way to connect with your neighbors instead.”

And while the apartments that are currently available aren’t exactly cheap, they’re not as unaffordable as you might think. You can get a one-bedroom for a little more than $1,400, and studios start in the $1,300-range. For brand-new construction in a community where you could sell your car, stop paying for gas and no longer need car insurance, that’s really not bad.

Tom Filla, a current resident, told ABC15 that he chose to move in specifically because of the way the community is designed. “The whole walkability and being able to use the public transit around is really nice,” Filla said. “Being able to go downstairs instead of going across town, it’s going to be wonderful.” But while amenities such as food trucks and community events are nice, he also said he sees a social benefit, as well, saying, “It’s hard meeting people as you grow up and so to have a community built around that is really cool.”

Is Culdesac Tempe going to be for everyone? Not at all. First of all, you have to live in Tempe, which at the time of writing is 103 degrees but feels like 107. So that’s not ideal. But at least it’s a dry heat, not the nonsense that is New Orleans currently feeling like 112 thanks to obnoxious, oppressive, human rights-violating humidity. Also, the idea of mostly giving up driving and risking having to interact with other people is horrifying for a lot of people.

But we appreciate that there continue to be more opportunities for people to choose how they want to live instead of being forced to drive whether they belong behind the wheel or not.