05 September 2007

Car-free day for the city in 2008

Last a night a group of five young environmentalists won support from Melbourne City Council’s Planning Committee to close some central streets to motorists on Friday February 15 next year. The event will coincide with the Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival. See the full story in today’s newspapers

What do you think? Is a car-free day for the city the best way to get people to think about how they travel to work? Will it lead to an increased focus on improving Melbourne’s public transport?

See whats happening around the world at http://worldcarfree.net/


Marcus said...

This great idea being poo-pooed is yet another example of a government lacking the sort of vision and imagination this car-dependant city needs. And why should the idea only have come from a group of young environmentalists? Surely all Melburnians can see there is a fundamental problem with how we get around, and showcasing an alternative in a confined part of town would serve as a fine example with minimal disruption.

Citizen-journalist said...

I think that a car free day is a brilliant idea!

For two reasons:

1. It gives Melbournians a chance to see what the city would be like without cars - there could be lots of activities on the streets, additional bike parking etc.

2. It promotes making the switch to public transport.

And this is where the difficulty lies.

I feel that with a train system full to bursting, this is a difficult time to be asking people to leave their cars at home. They might get inspired, take PT and find it so packed and horrible getting into work on a weekday that they would never try it again.

Why not have more regular car free days on the weekends (ie once a month - last Saturday, first Saturday... whatever) and continue campaigning for better PT to the CBD so that we can extend this excellent initiative to weekdays.

Connex Whinger said...

When I saw this proposal being discussed on the news the other day, my reaction was much the same as citizen-journalist's.

Our trains are already overflowing to the extent that occasionally people are being left behind on the platform today. If you tip people out of their cars, that would greatly reinforce their views that PT is not for them. Not sure that that's the aim here!

nee said...

I second the idea for a regular carfree day, especially on a Friday. People seem to be more relaxed going to/from work on a Friday, they know the weekend is coming up, a lot of people stay back in the city to socialize, I'm sure it would prevent a lot of drink driving too.

The PT system is definitely not up to handling a great influx of commuters leaving their cars behind. Hopefully it will show the government how insufficient their plans for the PT system is.