Yesterday, I decided to spend my day-off down at the Car-free day event where the organizers blocked off Yonge St. from Queen to Dundas and various exhibitors put out information on various environmental initiatives, responsible traveling and alternative commuter methods. I slowly cruised on my semi-recumbent and noticed a number of the television camera crews swing over to me. One of them stopped me and after taking some video that might have appeared on SunTv my wife and I were interviewed. The story ran today in the paper complete with picture. A few of my surprised friends called me this morning to remark that they liked the story.
I've copied it here for you, if you're interested.
Freedom on two wheels
International Car Free Day rides into T.O.
By JACK BOLAND, TORONTO SUN
For downtown Torontonian Joe LaFortune, every day is car-free day.
LaFortune, who owns five bikes, said he hasn't owned a car in five years and loves to commute via two wheels from his home near Dovercourt Ave. and Dupont St.
"I'm a firm believer in lowering the number of cars we have in this city and finding alternative means of transport," said LaFortune, as he sat on his recumbent bike at Dundas Square. "It is too important to this city. There is too much smog and there are much easier, faster, cheaper and convenient ways of getting around.
"Quite frankly, with what you'd pay for parking, gas, insurance, you don't need it."
Yesterday, it took LaFortune about 12 minutes to ride from his home down to the the International Car Free Day event, held at Dundas Square, put on by the Sierra Club of Canada and the city.
BET ON TRIP
LaFortune and his wife, Sue, bet on who would arrive at the event faster.
It took Sue under 30 minutes to arrive after taking a bus and two subway trains, plus a brief detour, to meet up with her husband.
The LaFortunes aren't completely against car use. If needed, Joe said, he rents a car for a weekend to do chores or go on trips.
Dan McDermott, president of the Sierra Club of Canada's Ontario chapter, said the Car Free Day program originated in Europe in the mid-1990s and has become a global event.
"Europeans drive as many automobiles as North Americans, but their cities are structured in a way that you can get around without private automobiles," he said. "So Canada needs to get with the global program in terms of new transportation."
At least 20 Canadian cities participated in yesterday's event, with Montreal being the leader closing down a large section of rue Ste-Catherine, their counterpart to Toronto's Yonge St.