[New Mobility/WorldTransport Forum] CEI's challenge to "environmental enthusiasts"
- Thanks to Ken Orski, I learned this evening that today was World Car-Free
Day. Until then, today had been an ordinary car-free day. I biked to work
and back, lugging the family cat to the vet in a huge cat carrier I bungeed to
my rear rack. In mid-afternoon I picked up my 6-yr-old at home in TriBeCa and
biked him to and from his eye-doctor apptmnt at 2nd Ave and 54th St. Our
conversation, which was possible over the traffic din 'cause he sat within my
arms, on the little kiddie seat fastened to the top tube, ranged from the loveliness
of the Hudson River seen from the W Side bike path to the atrocious noise
of the sightseeing helicopters alighting at the W 30th St. helipad, from the
abundance of cool license plates ("Look Daddy, 'beautiful British Columbia!'")
to the question of what was more responsible for the Rockefeller Center
gridlock -- the big buses or the SOV SUV's. The 10-mile round-trip, and
the welcome absence of a car radio, gave us lots of time to chat.
So without knowing about it I seem to have passed two of CEI's four tests.
We got home well before dark, but there's always tomorrow, when my older
boy (he's almost 10) and I will ride home from his early-evening Hebrew
School lesson in Greenwich Village. And I guess the Hudson River spray
churned up by the helicopter blades that briefly soaked us today doesn't
qualify as rain, but we have the ponchos ready just in case.
Like I said, just another ordinary day in our happy car-free life. So there, CEI!
At 04:02 PM 9/22/04 -0400, C. Kenneth Orski wrote:
The Wall Street Journal
REVIEW & OUTLOOK
Honk if You Hate Cars
September 22, 2004; Page A28
You may not know it from all the traffic, but today is officially "World Car-Free Day." As for all those environmental enthusiasts who intend to mark the moment by parking their Beamers and hybrids for the next 24 hours, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is issuing a little challenge.
. . .
The real test, says CEI, is for all those participating in today's experiment to make it as real-world as possible. The group suggests that participants make their car-free trips today come rain or shine, carrying several bags of groceries, toting a baby if they have one, and to be sure to include a nighttime trip. This is, after all, how the world's love affair with the automobile began.