World Carfree Day is Today!
I know some people who just can’t live through a day without their handphones. There are others, however, that I know of who just couldn’t do or go anywhere without their dearly beloved cars…
In this age of rising fuel prices, global warming, traffic jams and overflow of cars on our roads, human dependency on personal ownership of cars to get them to their destination, even a short destination, is quite a worry.
Therefore, it’s really good to have a day set aside in a year to remind us that cars are absolutely not that important in our daily lives as we have come to think that it is. This is one of the aims of what the World Carfree Network is trying to do. For 2006 – I quote from their press release – what they’re planning: –
On Sept 22, World Carfree Network (WCN) will reveal the results of its international Street Conversion Competition at the Towards Carfree Cities Conference in Bogotá, Colombia. The competition will compare blueprints from top professional and citizen urban designers throughout the world, depicting ideas for converting car-oriented spaces into multi-use, carfree urban spaces. The winning designs will be those that successfully concentrate destinations, reduce travel needs, create a sense of place and community, minimize the amount of space devoted solely to transport, use space efficiently and increase the quality of life. The competition will be judged by a panel of conference participants.
Other planned events range from educational carfree day events in Seoul, South Korea to a street fair in Portland, Oregon, which will convert a small central street into an area for art, music and games.
As many as 500 cities around the world will hold Critical Mass bicycle rides, which are cycling celebrations directed by participants. Budapest, Hungary has previously seen upwards of 30,000 cyclists participating in the ride and this year the city is set to break records yet again. World Carfree Day also coincides with the European Commission’s Mobility Week, which this year has the goal of combating climate change.
Do you have what it takes to live a day without driving or riding in a car or any automobile? I do. This week alone, I’ve only used my car once, and that was yesterday. Today, I’m not going to drive in conjunction of World Carfree Day but I will use other modes of alternative tranportation – such as my own two legs!
So, do you have what it takes to prove that you’re not car-dependent? Prove your mettle by NOT getting into a car or driving a car today (or if you like, for the next one week!). Let’s do our part to cut down on air pollution, traffic jams and rising fuel prices due to over-consumption of fuel. Let’s take advantage of public transport services we have in our country today! Support the public transport system by using it as often as possible, even though it’s not as reliable as having our own car!
On a side note, a positive one at that, in StarMetro today, Rapid KL’s bus network system will cover several new areas in the PJ and Klang area…and to serve as inspiration for you to NOT use your car, they’re offering the public free rides on their buses to anywhere you want for the next THREE days!!
Think about it, you’ll be saving up to THREE days orth of fuel and petrol! If you hadn’t read about it in the papers, read it here now and grab your chance on riding the buses for free!
Remember, it’s for a good cause! We’re saving the environment and the world! 🙂