Setyembre 20, 2007
September 22nd is International Car Free Day, a relatively new holiday which raises awareness about environnmental hazards of car use, and encourages people to bike, walk, take public transportation, or use other sustainable methods. Car Free Day started in Paris in 1998 as "In Town Without My Car!" day.
Other cities started to catch on, such as Bogota, Columbia. This city of 7 million people had their first Car-Free Day on Feb 24th, 2000, when the whole urban area was to cars, and restricted to cyclists, pedestrians, rollerbladers, and users of public transit. Now over one thousand cities worldwide are celebrating Car Free Days. Some cities offer free public transporation on these days, or free/cheap bike rentals.
National Geographic did a report on it last year, explaining the negative effects of noise pollution caused by cars. It is a huge success in Europe, one visitor remarked, "Rome car-free for day—it's a completely different city... People love it. They go walking around talking to one another. There's no noise, there's no traffic—it transforms the city.
Toronto's motto for the event is, "The less we drive, the better we breathe".