By Sivan Plotkin
Flying cars used to be considered the future. Now, the future may have no cars.
Culdesac Tempe is “the first car-free neighborhood built from scratch,” according to its website.
The neighborhood, currently under construction at 2025 E. Apache Blvd., will not have any residential parking.
For its 1,000 residents, Culdesac will have over 1,000 bicycle parking spaces and over 100 Bird scooters on-site, according to its website.
“I use my scooter to get everywhere. A neighborhood where that is a primary option for transportation would be an immense help, because then I wouldn’t have to worry about other cars or crossing busy streets,” said Gaby Dyess, a freshman on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.
The neighborhood will also provide residential discounts for ride sharing and public transportation.
Residents will get “complimentary Lyft Pink [and] carsharing starting at $5 with Envoy,” according to the Culdesac website. Lyft Pink is a membership service that, among other benefits, provides subscribers with 15% off every Lyft ride, for $19.99 per month.
For public transportation users, the Smith-Martin/Apache Blvd light rail station is a three minute walk from Culdesac. Residents will be given free light rail access, according to the Culdesac website.
“A community that has like-minded ideas about the benefits of using public transportation can help bring sustainability to the forefront of Tempe. Public transportation benefits everyone,” said Zoe Tselos, a current Downtown Phoenix resident who is looking to live in a car-free neighborhood.
The lack of residential parking lots allows Culdesac to utilize the space for its many amenities. All of Culdesac’s amenities will be open to the public, with limited visitor parking on-site.
The neighborhood will have a gym, a grocery store, a coffee shop, two pools, a dog park, and more.
Little Cholla, a weekly pop-up market in Tempe sponsored by Culdesac, will make the neighborhood its permanent home later this year.
The market is currently open every Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors who take public transportation, ride a bike, or walk get a $5 discount.
Because Culdesac residents will not have cars, everything in the neighborhood is in walking distance from the apartments.
“Culdesac is designing for widespread accessibility, and most people who come to live at Culdesac are diving into the future of work and remote work. I think the costs and benefits would vary from person to person, and many of those downsides would be eliminated if the whole world embraced the Culdesac method of being car free,” said Jordyn Hitzeman, a former Culdesac intern.
Another benefit of having no parking lots is that Culdesac will be cooler. Without parking lots, buildings can be constructed closer together, maximizing the amount of shade in the neighborhood.
Parking lots are typically made from asphalt and heat up very quickly. In contrast, walkways will be built from pavers or decomposed granite.
Culdesac will be opening in stages, with the first residents expected to move in during Fall 2022.