Car-Free Day Lets Europeans Breathe Easier

On September 21, millions of people breathed easier as Europeans
and others in over a thousand communities in at least 20 countries
observed the sixth annual international ‘car-free’ day. Started in
France in 1998, ‘car-free’ days have spread around the globe as a
way for local activists and officials to demonstrate the impact of
private cars on air quality and showcase sustainable transportation
alternatives. According to the European Mobility Week web site,
nearly 40 percent of all transport-related carbon dioxide emissions
come from private cars in cities. On this ‘car-free’ day, cities
from Athens to Paris to Dublin closed off major roadways, allowing
only pedestrians, bicycles, buses, emergency vehicles, and trucks
powered by clean alternative fuels or electricity. British
organizers even prepared a humorous Car User’s Survival Kit on bus
etiquette, reports TerraDaily, including helpful phrases like ‘Is
that seat free?’ and ‘Is this the correct bus stop for…?’
Canadians got in on the act as well, shutting down major streets to
auto traffic in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Victoria.
Leif Utne

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European Mobility Week web
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