Carfree: Epiphany – Panel Discusses Multi-Model Life

“People do tend to do a double take, when they see me with my kids in the cargo bike, ” biking enthusiast David Coles said, “but I’m always happy to explain why this is better; better for me, better for kids, better for everyone.” 

The Community Room at the Culver City Julian Dixon Library was filled On Wednesday, August 16, 2023, as were the bike racks out in front. A screening, panel and program launch all in one, the evening was hosted by Art Nomura and David Metzler of Bike Culver City. Living a car-free life in Los Angeles (even in Culver City)  is a challenge, but many people choose public transit, biking and walking over driving for a number of reasons. The expense of car ownership, relentless traffic, personal and planetary health are among the many reasons given by the panelists. 

Nomura created a series of short films that have run on Facebook interviewing folks who chose to use multiple kinds of transportation rather than simply drive a car. The evening began with a short sample of those interviews, offering stories that illustrated why people opted to be car-free.

Metzler facilitated the panel, which included Katrina Kaiser of Streets for All, Patricia Bijovet, Jen Yonda of the LA Skate Hunnies, and David Coles. The conversations about when and why people chose to focus on other means of transportation were as varied as they were intriguing. 

Kaiser noted that “The expense and upkeep of a car is just more than I want to spend when I can get around by bus and bike,” and Bijovet offered that “45 minutes, one way on the bike, is my limit, but I can get just about anywhere I need to go,” and even told of riding home from a Tango dance class in Inglewood after midnight, “the streets are empty, and really, it’s downhill the whole way.”

Yonda said that “in-line skating is my preferred mode of transportation,” but that she was also using a cargo bike rented by Wombi, a company just opening up in Culver City. “Wombi rents by the month, and of course, they take care of any maintenance or repairs.” 

The evening closed with an appeal from Nomura to have more films made by – well, anyone who was interested and able to do so. Spreading the word online was central to shifting the culture towards being ‘car-free.’

Bike Culver City will have more information on how to participate on Facebook. 

Judith Martin-Straw

The Actors' Gang