Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Car Free Day!

Photo from Time: European Car Free Day. Whoa.
It's that time again: World Car Free Day! Now somehow, I remember Ottawa doing more for Car Free Day a few years back: I remember having a booth at an all-afternoon info fair on Marion Dewar Plaza, where I was selling the jewelry I used to make out of bits of broken windshield. (Really.) And I remember seeing advertising around town. I even got a Car Free Day T-shirt (it was ugly, but it was.) But this year, it's been pretty quiet. I didn't really know if there was anything going on in Ottawa, which I suppose is a bit of a surprise: what with the NCC's focus on cycling, and the Ottawa Citizen's new policy that 'no cycling story is too small' you'd think more people were thinking bikes, whatever the tone is in City Hall itself. But I didn't know if there was anything planned until a quick Google this morning got me a listing on for a series of events, including a couple of presentations, a parking lot something-or-other at U of O, and a celebratory ride into downtown at - get this - 7:30 a.m. this morning.

Hi, organizers? Just because I ride a bike doesn't mean I want to get on the bike at 6:30 in the morning to meet up with you ten miles from my house at Tunney's Pasture. (And once again I run into the assumption that people who bike are like people who jog: joyful to be up at the crack of dawn and 'pumping that adrenaline.' Remember, cycling is also for us roll-groggily-out-of-bed, stumble-around-looking-for-coffee, hit-the-road-feeling-sloggish-at-nine people too!)

Ah well. It's Car Free Day, and it's a chance to think about how awesome it would be if there were more bike lanes, more and better public transit, and fewer cars. It would be nice if this was a day when you'd actually notice a drop in traffic because people were choosing some other means of transportation, but I didn't really: things seemed pretty much the same as usual. You can't expect miracles, I suppose. In fact, I had the bike path pretty much entirely to myself, maybe because of the misty rainy morning. Have to admit, I enjoyed that. Zipping along over the wet pavement and flattened leaves and dodging puddles, all by myself. Why wouldn't you be car free, when you can?

1 comment:

  1. Ya, I heard this on the radio this morning as I drove to work feeling guilty for not riding today. Oh well, not like I need the City to tell me what day to ride to work.

    It was funny - the talk radio people on 88.5 FM mentioned it and were slamming the lame promotion of this by the NCC and City, contrasting it to what Montreal does. Apparently Montreal closes a large chunk of downtown to automobiles in favour of bikes and peds FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK.