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  1. #1
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    September 22, 2004 is International Car Free Day

    I'm reposting this from another thread:

    If you want to get the cars out of your city, even if for starters it's just in a small area for one day, September 22 is Car Free Day all over the world. Participate or organize an event in your city. Portland has organized a street fair during which we're going to reclaim some public space for a day with workshops on how to be car-free, art, music and bike fun.

    Portland: http://shifttobikes.org/carfreeday/
    Seattle: http://www.thinksmall.org/car-free/
    Canada: http://www.carfreeday.ca/
    Europe: http://www.22september.org/
    Somewhere in the UK: http://www.lbwf.gov.uk/index/news/car-free-day-04.htm
    Int'l index: http://www.ecoplan.org/carfreeday/cf_index.htm
    History of Car Free Day: http://ecoplan.org/carfreeday/general/origins.htm

  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Everyday is carfree day for me.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  3. #3
    Chi
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    Rides with Cows Chi's Avatar
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    Aye aye

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    Everyday is carfree day for me.
    Darn it, you beat me to it.

    Be seen to be car-free everyday and set an example.

    Believe me, in my experience, one-day-a-year events like this allow the arm-chair greens/ conservationists/ environmentalists to feel all warm and fuzzy and to assuage their consciences, then go back to their destructive lifestyles for another 364 days.

  5. #5
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Be seen to be car-free everyday and set an example.

    Believe me, in my experience, one-day-a-year events like this allow the arm-chair greens/ conservationists/ environmentalists to feel all warm and fuzzy and to assuage their consciences, then go back to their destructive lifestyles for another 364 days.
    I generally agree with being car free by example, but I also think that Car Free Day street fairs and celebrations have more traction than you acknowledge. How many people do you think an event like this needs to reach to be worthwhile? 3, 5 or 10% of all attendees? On the other hand, if your city isn't already working to make itself bike, transit and pedestrian friendlier, probably no amount of Car Free Day celebrations will change anything (it's probably unlikely to be a big event someplace like Detroit or Dallas, anyway...).

    IMO, the downside is not that hypocritical 'destructive' environmentalists will turn out just to feel warm and fuzzy, but that most attendees will already be car free and you will only be preaching to the choir...

  6. #6
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    ,,,it's probably unlikely to be a big event someplace like Detroit or Dallas, anyway...
    Down here in the Lone Star State, 'car free' means you only have a pick up truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    ... most attendees will already be car free and you will only be preaching to the choir...
    Agreed.

    The main thrust of my original post was that we have seen a substantial increase in my part of the world for bicycle commuters (and riders generally) not because of so-called car-free days, but because people see others out on bikes and then think "I can do that too". By comparison, car-free day or sustainable transport promotions, where cycling is competing against other modes such as public transport, have not shown similar significant success.

    For what it's worth, I found at the Velocity conference in Paris last year a consensus that cycling was taking participants from public transport, rather than converting drivers and passengers from motor vehicle transport.
    Last edited by Rowan; 09-05-04 at 09:12 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    For what it's worth, I found at the Velocity conference in Paris last year a consensus that cycling was taking participants from public transport, rather than converting drivers and passengers from motor vehicle transport.
    Interesting! Are transit systems in general picking up motorists, for a net gain, or are the transit ridership numbers going down in general? In Portland, the transit system is good and lots of people use it; there are also many more cyclists than in most other US cities. Maybe transit is the intermediate step; i.e. motorist --> transit rider --> bicyclist?

    IMO, a local transit system needs to be pretty decent in a lot of ways before it's taken seriously as an alternative by motorists, but I'd almost always rather ride my bicycle if possible than use even a good transit system...
    Last edited by randya; 09-06-04 at 11:46 AM.

  9. #9
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    I think more helpful than car-free days, would be to start putting car-free (better known a pedestrian zones) in more and more cities and steadily expand them over time. They are just so popular, with shoppers, people in cafes, etc. I might add they are bike free zones as well, so you don't have to worry about clocked by delivery boys and speed freaks.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    Interesting! Are transit systems in general picking up motorists, for a net gain, or are the transit ridership numbers going down in general?
    Unfortunately, in my reading of it, there was little to no net gain caused by motorists transferring to public transport.

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