A Car-Less Day in a Big City

24 September 2015

Can you imagine what would happen if a large city totally restricted the use of cars for one whole day? That would have such an amazing impact on the environment! Seems impossible though, right? Maybe not.

On September 27, 2015, many roads in Paris will be closed to motor-powered vehicles. This day is meant to highlight the impacts that cars have on the environment, especially since the pollution levels in Paris are so severe. In addition to helping the environment, it could be an amazing experience for tourists and natives alike.

Imagine visiting the Eiffel Tower and looking down to see a street full of bicyclists and pedestrians instead of cars jammed together. Imagine walking through a beautiful Paris park and being able to enjoy the nature around you, including the birds chirping, because there is no honking or revving of engines. Doesn’t that sound peaceful, and extremely beneficial to the environment?

Smog almost reached critical levels in March, briefly exceeding the smog levels in Beijing and New Delhi. Last year, half of the vehicles were banned and the air pollution levels plummeted 6%. For these reasons the government wanted to take initiative and implement this car free day in hopes of inspiring other large cities to do the same while demonstrating the immense effect traffic can have on the environment.

Why limit it to just Paris? In a few weeks, Carleton we will be having “Bike to Work Week,” so why not get started early? Join Paris on September 27 and go car free. You may find you don’t need a car to get where you want to go. I challenge you.