Car-Free Culdesac Tempe Is Proof the World Is Full of People Willing to Make Bad Decisions

In news sure to make people who live for their cars and motorcycles sick to their stomachs, a new community in Arizona is being billed as “the first no-driving community built from the ground up in the country.”
Culdesac Tempe 8 photos
Photo: Culdesac Tempe
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When it opens next year, Culdesac Tempe will have its residents “contractually forbidden from parking a vehicle within a quarter-mile radius of the site” - and that is easily the most horrifying sentence I will write in the foreseeable future.

You may well ask how the residents will get from point A to point B, and the developers of this futuristic vision of hell on earth have an answer for you: mobility services. In fact, your monthly rent will include a package of such services.

It’s a $170 million residential development set to feature car-share parking, ride-hail ‘pickup zones’ and a light rail station across the street. As the first units are set to open in the summer of 2022, residents will find themselves gifted with complimentary access to a ‘Lyft Pink’ subscription, special pricing for use to grab onto a fleet of Bird scooters, a car share membership courtesy of Envoy, and free unlimited use of the Valley Metro transit system.

And not surprisingly, the target for this forward-looking but nightmarish community will be millennial-hipster types. The General Manager of Culdesac Tempe, Lavanya Sunder, says that residents that have been moving in don’t drive, don’t own cars and are - pray for their immortal souls - not interested in driving.

While a few misguided souls have praised the idea of being part of “a model for retrofitting suburban sprawl for a post-car era,” the sensible among us are concerned that having no set of handily parked cars means no simple access to the nearby Phoenix for commuters and many phone calls from grandma to pick her up at the rail station.

But it seems, against all common sense, that people are actually interested in this sort of lifestyle. Should you be one of those superior beings, you’d better sign-on post-haste as studios start at $1,090 per month while one-bedrooms go for $1,250. The community is slated to offer 260 units between summer 2022 and spring 2023, 33 leases are already inked and another 300 buyers have plunked down $100 each to be added to a waiting list.

But fear not, there is no mention as to whether or not motorcycles will be welcome in Culdesac Tempe and for me, that could change the entire dynamic of the idea and get me on board.
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