As everyone knows by now, apart from taking you from point A to point B, cars and motorbikes are not the friendliest of things you be using for the environment. With the modern day focus on creating a better tomorrow and trying to live a sustainable ‘green’ life, the ‘car free’ day initiative is starting to spread all over the world.
This day entail an entire day finding another means of transport apart from driving in a car. These days also encourage individuals to think about the ways in which streets are being used. Should the streets be used primarily for cars and traffic, or is there another way? Would it be possible to create a community where the roads and street sides are used for socializing and shopping? Even though cars will still be around for a long people are yearning towards alternative transport systems. Motorways are transformation into fields of pollution and constant traffic is surely not making us a more tolerable race.
The 22nd of September has recently become known as World Car Free Day, but some countries try to encourage motorists to let go of their automobiles for more than one day in the year. ‘Car Free Day’ gives the community a glimpse into what the world would be like if we should rely less on motors and lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
Let us take a look at some of the countries that support and celebrate ‘Car Free Day’
The town of St Ives in Cornwall is a supporter of ‘Car Free Day’ and they even have a list of things to do on their website in celebration of a day without the use of cars. St Ives offer a range of activities including picnics on the beach, a ride on the Cornwall Explorer bus, art museums, surfing and hiking. All these things are great ways of appreciate nature and art on no car days.
On the 15th of June 2008, Vancouver had its first Commercial Drive Festival which was the first community based ‘Car Free’ day. This day was the initiative of the government’s Gateway Program and was run by over 30 organizers and 300 volunteers lending their time and skill to a worthy cause. The event was an enormous success and played host to over 25,000 people partying in the streets to celebrate car-free streets.
In Jakarta every Sunday is dubbed as a car-free day from 6am in the morning until midday from JalanSudirman to JalanThamrin. Even though this is just applicable for the before mentioned strip, the area is one of the busiest districts including embassies, malls and business headquarters. This gives you the chance to experience the life of the city on foot with an early morning walking without being disrupted by traffic and motorists.
Brussels is taking the Car Free initiative a step further and trying to establish the capital as being entirely carless. The reason why Brussels can rely on being carless is because of its highly functional public transportation system where you can use almost all forms of transport like trams, trains, metros and buses by the simple purchase of one ticket. What a great example as to how beautiful and tranquil a city can be when limiting the use of personal cars and motorcycles.
Montreal plays host to being one of the largest towns in North America to go Car Free in the city central. The ‘In Town, Without my Car’ campaign attracts over 50, 000 people on Car Free Day. It is said that noise goes down about eight decibels on this special ‘green’ day and the levels of pollution through car exhausts drop by 70% during this day. Imagine what a week of car free living can do to counter pollution!
These are just a few towns and cities all over the world that focus on going car free for a day by planning celebrations whether it’s through peaceful beach picnics and nature hikes or high energy parties in the streets of the particular town. Car Free Day is a great initiative to teach the world to rely on other means of transport than the overuse of automobiles. These days might even inspire individuals to commute to and from work or at least form a lift club if public transportation is not an option.
This is a Guest Post by Jim Stockton. Occasional guest poster on car repairing and full time car enthusiast. Nate currently represents http://www.partsgeek.com the best source online to find automotive parts & supplies. Photo by Dave O