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19RE: [etacarfreeday] Digest Number 25

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    May 30, 2000
      Dear Friends,

      I read with real interest that letter of Kevin Hayden (reproduced below) and
      if you have an email address for him I would like to reply to him personally
      with copies to this forum.

      We have been struggling in a number of ways and places with the car free day
      concept for almost a decade now, and if you take a real swipe at it you will
      see that there are quite a range of differences of opinion and enthusiasm.
      In this context, I find Mr. Hayden's attitude worthy of close attention and
      serious discussion.

      Awaiting that, I can report to you with pleasure that we have been selected
      as finalists for the Stockholm Challenge award, together with the mayor and
      city of Bogotá, for our joint work to make that car free day the biggest and
      best that the world has yet seen back on February 24th of this year. For
      more on that, you may wish to have a look at the Challenge site at
      http://www.challenge.stockholm.se/ Next Monday evening, Mayor Peñalosa will
      be joining me for the award ceremony which is taking place in Stockholm's
      world famous Blue Hall (which is where they give out the Nobel Prizes). That
      morning there is a conference at which we will be explaining how the car
      free day concept fits into the broader scheme of sustainable transport - as
      reality not theory. If you are in Stockholm that day I hope you will be
      joining us.

      If I were to guess, even in a place like Bogotá where ultimately some 87% of
      the population surveyed the day after reported that they thought it was a
      good idea, there were an awful lot of people who maintained some rather
      different views on the subject. Indeed, when the project was first announced
      on January 26th, barely half of those surveyed answered that it might be a
      good idea. In the weeks that followed, we had to work with the Kevin Haydens
      of Bogotá, and that included listening to them, giving them a chance to
      sound off, and making an effort to find out if they were saying something
      that we should be trying to understand and take into our plans.

      As we say, if you think that organizing a car free day is going to be an
      jolly romp without a lot of hard work and hard listening, then you may be in
      for a disappointment.

      Eric Britton

      The Commons ___ technology, economy, society ___
      Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, 75006 Paris, France
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      "Please understand that the silent majority of people are not the slightest
      bit interested in your day of action. In fact many people such as me for
      instance, see this "day" as further evidence of educated idiots with their
      heads buried firmly in the sand, with nothing better to do than force their
      idiotic views in the faces of the rest of us! I suspect that many of the
      people instigating this "day" would in fact prefer life without any cars at
      all!!! I can see them now, sitting around the "camp fire" congratulating
      themselves on their fantastic efforts in the anti-capitalism marches.

      Agreeing the virtues of this "first step" towards a carless society in which
      the value of life is truly appreciated .. GARBAGE.
      * i do not want a car free day
      * i do not want your minority views to influence my life
      * I hope you make public a list of people who voice an opposing opinion!!"

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