Car-free cities might be catching on. - Grist

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Look Ma No Wheels

Car-free cities might be catching on.

This week, cities mark World Car-Free Day, an annual event to promote biking, walking, mass transit, and other ways to get around sans motor vehicles (Solowheel, anyone?).

Technically, World Car-Free Day was Thursday, September 22, but participating cities are taking the “eh, close enough” approach to get their car-free kicks in on the weekend. Said cities include Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Brussels, Bogotá, Jakarta, Copenhagen, and Paris, where nearly half the city center will be closed to vehicle traffic on Sunday.

But going car-free, municipally speaking, is becoming more of a regular trend than an annual affair: Mexico City closes 35 miles of city streets to cars every Sunday; the Oslo city government proposed a ban on private vehicles in the city center after 2019; and in Paris, the government is allowed to limit vehicles if air pollution rises above health-threatening levels.

But even if your city isn’t officially participating in World Car-Free Day, you can be the change you want to see in your own metropolis. And by that, we mean: Just leave your keys at home. Horrible, no good things happen in cars.