The other day, we were driving to the hospital when we noticed the engine would stall whenever we hit the accelerator from a dead stop. We had the good sense to not just keep driving it, and took it in for repair. It ended up being something minor -- some connections had come loose from the battery, and when the battery shifted around, connections had come loose. We're told it could have caused a car fire, but luckily it was an inexpensive problem (but then we put down a good chunk of change to get a tune up, new spark plugs, flush/fill transmission fluid, and other scheduled maintenance).
It got me thinking again about how much we depend on our automobiles for our activities of daily living. Over the past several years, I've made up my mind that, in my retirement years, I don't want to be in a situation where, if unable to drive, I would be stuck at home miles from where I buy groceries, eat out, see a movie, or just walk around. We're now looking to relocate to a more unified community, where it would be possible to walk a short distance (less than 1/2 mile) to public transport, in a city where safe, affordable and comprehensive public transportation is available.
I've found a couple of interesting movies, available on Netflix streaming, that covers the subject well:
It will be a difficult search. Most modern American cities are built on the Urban Sprawl model, where life via public transport would be just about impossible. Most living space near public tranportation is very expensive, and most are forced to live more than a mile from a public tranportation stop, which isn't what we're looking for.