Re: [carfree_cities] New Directions
- OK, here's final after some very useful suggestions. Thanks folks!
Now, please distribute far and wide!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Carfree.com Contact: J.H. Crawford
14 September 2000 +31 20 638 6057
September 21 is World Car-Free Day:
Where is the USA?
Except for Boulder, Colorado, the USA and Canada are observing
World Carfree Day in the breach. While more than 700 cities around
the globe are observing, even celebrating, World Carfree Day, the
USA and Canada are studiously ignoring it, even in the face of
skyrocketing oil prices and grave concerns about energy supplies
for the coming winter. The EU is actually holding their carfree
day on the 22nd, while for some odd reason the Netherlands is
waiting until the 24th. Whichever day, you pick, you'll find
little to mark its passing in the USA and Canada.
The future for continued automobility on the scale to which we have
grown accustomed is not rosy. Oil production is not ever going to
increase substantially above its current very high level, yet demand
continues to rise even in the face of concerns about global warming
caused by burning fossil fuels. Now we are at the peak of global
oil production, or so close to it as not to matter.
A carfree day gives the public a chance to experience the changes that
occur in a city when the traffic disappears. The improvement in the
quality of life is large, more than offsetting the loss of convenience
of being able to drive everywhere.
Over the long term, urban public transport can easily replace the
mobility lost as cars are removed from cities. The social, ecological,
and economic costs of shared service are far lower than even the
current low cost of driving.
Given that we are eventually going to have to reduce our level of
driving anyway, the carfree day is a wonderful opportunity to show
the public the good effects that this brings with it. The sooner we
start making the change to carfree cities, the longer we will have
to accomplish this difficult task, and the less painful will be the
economic dislocations that must follow the end of cheap oil.
Why, then, has the USA simply decided not to join World Carfree Day?
For more information on carfree cities, visit http://www.carfree.com/
See also _Carfree Cities_ by J.H. Crawford (International Books, 2000)
Toolkit for organizers: @World CarFree: http://www.EcoPlan.org/CarFreeDay
J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities