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car free urban zones

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  • De Clarke
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0502/p01s03-ussc.htm u2022 New York is proposing to shut down perimeter roads of Central Park and Brooklyn s Prospect Park all
    Message 1 of 3 , May 2, 2007

      \u2022 New York is proposing to shut down perimeter roads of
      Central Park and Brooklyn's Prospect Park all summer long.

      \u2022 Atlanta plans to transform 53 acres of blighted, unused
      land into new bike-friendly green space.

      \u2022 Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, and El Paso, Texas,
      are planning events to promote car-free days in public parks,
      most in the hope that the idea will become permanent or extend
      for months.

      "Cities across America are increasingly declaring that parks
      are for people, not cars, ... and closing roads within parks is
      one result of that," says Ben Welle with The Trust for Public
      Land's Center for City Park Excellence, in Washington.

      Resistance can be fierce at first, he and others say, because
      of worries about traffic congestion, parking problems, and loss
      of visitors for businesses and museums. But studies are showing
      that traffic problems can be minimized, shops and museums get
      more visitors, and residents begin to cherish their where-the-
      action-is location.


      The model city for road closure is Bogot´┐Ż, Colombia, which in
      1983 embarked on a program called ciclovia (bike path), in
      which designated streets were closed to cars every Sunday but
      open for jogging, biking, dancing, playing ball, walking pets,
      strolling with babies \u2013 anything but driving. One-and-a-
      half million people now turn out each week for ciclovia. Other
      cities in Latin America followed suit, closing parts of parks
      or whole urban districts to cars \u2013 some intermittently,
      some permanently. A result: revitalized neighborhoods and an
      influx of people.

      Smaller US cities, from Davenport, Iowa, to Huntington Beach,
      Calif., are also starting to create car-free zones, according
      to Mr. Welle's studies.

      Beginning this month, El Paso will detour cars from seven roads
      every Sunday from 7 to 11 a.m. so that cyclists, joggers, and
      pedestrians can use them instead.


      interesting that S America is leading the way and innovating
      while N America timidly follows.


      :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
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