Can You Live Without A Car In Memphis?

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(Memphis) Some City of Memphis leaders want you to give up your car for a month, or just for a day.

The “30 Day Car-Free Challenge” launched Tuesday.

The point of the challenge is to get people to see that it is possible to live without your car, but of course, many people we spoke to don't want to give-up the convenience of driving.

Kyle Wagenschutz, who is the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator for the City, isn't your average guy.

“I ride from Cooper Young every day and I have been commuting by bike the last six years,” said Wagenschutz in front of City Hall.

“For six years every day? And even when it snowing?” asked reporter Sabrina Shall.

“Especially when it's snowing,” he said with a laugh.

The avid bike rider is also heading-up the project for the City of Memphis and challenging people to give up their cars.

“We have 18 Memphians we are going to be following throughout the month who are going to be car-free for the entire 30 days.”

Participants have registered online and plan to blog about their experience walking, biking or taking the bus.

The challenge is open to anyone in Memphis who wants to see what it's like getting around without four wheels of their own.

“Idealism is fine, but you have to also apply reality,” said Garry Wierman.

It's safe to say Wieman, a MidSouth resident, won't be taking his foot off the gas anytime soon.

“It’s not a bad idea but Memphis is not laid out for that sort of thing.”

“The roads are not built for bicyclers,” he said. “And buses don't go where I need to go, they don't pick up where I’m at.”

"Certainly, we still have problems that we have to address,” said Wagenschutz.

Wagenschutz says people who participate might find roadblocks living car free and they can blog, tweet, or post about those things too.

He says the challenge also allows the City to see what changes should be made to inspire more people to leave their cars behind.

“We want to understand the both good and bad, what is and is not working.”

If you want to take part in the challenge, you can give up driving for the whole month of April, a week, or just a day.

The City will be doing a drawing each week to hand out awards to some participants.

You can register here: or comment here:


  • thehood

    How many of our city leaders (who don’t know the meaning of that word) will give up their cars for 30 days? Think of how much money the city would save if AC would give up his caddy for a month.

  • Skeptic

    Until bike riders realize that traffic laws apply to them Memphis is to dangerous to ride. Yesterday just before noon I nearly hit a bike rider on Poplar between the Perkins and Dan West Nursery that was riding in the curb lane. Its bad enough for vehicles but a biker trying to ride, no way. Them guy even took on a bus. He had the right to be there but he also has a right to the funeral of his choice.

  • Skeptic

    Want to add. Memphis’ mass transit is a joke. The trolley’s are a joke. If you have to be some where and you want to use MATA you have to leave 2 hours early to get there. How are you suppose to rely on mass transit if they stop running a 6 p.m. on some routes.

  • 1midtownmike

    I saw a male on a bicycle in rush hour @ Goodlett and Central who had to be @ least 60 years old turning into oncoming traffic while TALKING ON A CELL PHONE.

    Yeah man. This is gonna work out great. I don’t even want to thing about commuters who are robbed at bus stops.

    • Joe Bo

      Mike you are such a broken record, you continue singing the same old songs. Blah, blah, and blah. Complain, complain, and complain. You never offer solutions, you just sit in cyberspace and wait for other people to solve problems. Perhaps you might consider relocating? It a big world out side of the mid-south. Sure others will be happy to have you. You need bus fair or gas money let me know, we will a benefit lottery for you.

  • patricia woods

    Honestly, I have to call BS on most of the commenters here. I live in Midtown. My office is near Poplar and 240. I take the bus almost every day. It runs every 15 minutes and takes about 10 minutes longer than driving. I pay $50 per month for my bus pass
    rather than $60 per week to gas up my car. On days I need to appear in Court I can get downtown in 10-15 minutes and be let out directly in front of the attorney entrance to 201 (or 1 block from 140 Adams). I do not need to park, pay or walk very far. I have never been accosted at a bus stop. While I have not yet loaded my bike on the front of a bus, I will get there one of these days.

  • smith

    I want bike rider to buy tags For there bikes, Just like cars have to do. I would say about 60.00 a year for tags. Then we see how many like there tricycle

  • Emma Devine

    I have to say a resounding YES!!!

    The engine went out in my truck in 2012 and I refused to get a loan – another bill – so I rode MATA to save the $4k I needed. Due to a couple of setbacks and having two sons in college it took me 16 months.

    I rode it to church, to work, to shop, to pay bills, to meet friends for dinner……there were very few things that I missed because of transportation issues. So I say again YES you can live in Memphis without a car.

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