Car-Free Arizona Suburb Gains Residents

The project, dubbed Culdesac, offers EV rentals, free light rail passes, and other perks instead of private parking.

1 minute read

March 6, 2024, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


People ride bikes past outdoor restaurant patio with misters in Culdesac car-free development, Tempe, Arizona.

Culdesac / Culdesac

Writing in Fast Company, Adele Peters describes the growth of the Phoenix suburb billed as America’s first built-from-scratch car-free development. Culdesac now has 150 residents, all of whom gave us private cars for the experience.

When tenants at Culdesac need a car for an occasional errand, they can rent an on-site EV for $5 an hour; they also get discounts on Lyft and Waymo and a free all-access light rail pass. A new separated bike lane will soon connect the development to a nearby outdoor mall and a larger bike network; the first 200 residents get a free e-bike when they sign a lease and discounts at the local bike shop.

When complete, Culdesac will have 700 housing units in addition to stores and restaurants. The development also includes features to reduce the heat island effect (no asphalt on the ground) and offers e-bikes so residents can bike in the Southwestern summers.

As Peters points out, “The company plans to later expand to other areas, though the concept may arguably only work in places that already have access to strong public transit.”

Monday, March 4, 2024 in Fast Company

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