World Car Free Day
Every year on or around 22 September, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated society. According to The Washington Post, the event “promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance”. Studies showed that for short trips in cities, one can reach more quickly using a bicycle rather than using a car.
But we do not want just one day of celebration and then a return to “normal” life. When people get out of their cars, they should stay out of their cars. It is up to us, it is up to our cities, and our governments to help create permanent change to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who do not drive cars.
Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars…365 days a year. We all know about the dangers of too much pollution to our environment, yet every day we get in our cars and make the situation worse. This important awareness day aims to help highlight the pollution of the world caused by car use and persuade us to leave the car at home and have a no car day!
As the climate heats up, World Carfree Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of to the automobile. Some methods of public transport also shorten your journey time by avoiding congested roads and taking more direct routes offered by infrastructure such as railway lines.
Car use is seen as the norm in modern society but why should it be? Imagine a day when there is no traffic noise, everyone is car free and you can hear the birds sing! Beyond the day to day journeying and pollution, cars blight our environment with discarded parts such as batteries and tyres, oil leaks and then eventually the carcass of the car when it is no longer fit for use.
Actually World Carfree Day was first organized back during the 1970s oil crisis and more days were organized in the 1990s in cities in Europe. The problem is, that most people don’t take notice at all or take part for one day then revert back to the old way!