World Car Free Day

September 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

This Saturday, September 22, is World Car Free Day, the annual celebration of a day without the noise and pollution of cars. Car Free days have been occurring in some form since the early 1970’s but didn’t gain worldwide attention until the mid 90’s.  In honor of this day, I thought I’d let you know easy ways you can get involved and lower your car use Saturday and into the future as well.

Walking – Walking is a simple alternative to driving. If your destination is within a mile and you have twenty minutes, you can easily walk instead of drive. Walking also provides health benefits we miss out on while driving. Walking is an especially good alternative for college students and campus faculty members who often live, work, and socialize in areas that are clustered together. If walking is too slow for you, give rollerblading a try!


photo courtesy: UC Riverside

Biking – Biking is another great substitution for driving. Biking can actually be quicker than driving for trips under 5 miles. Biking also saves money that driving requires for gas and repairs. Madison has a large web of bike paths and recent efforts, including brightly painted boxes and lanes, have made routes safer. Madison’s newly implemented B-Cycle program provides an easy way to start biking more. 32 bike stations and 300 bikes in the downtown area give riders easy access to transportation almost anywhere in Madison.


photo courtesy: Wisconsin School of Business

Public Transportation – Madison Metro offers a wide variety of services to make your commute as simple as possible. With over 60 different routes throughout the city of Madison and beyond, plus park and ride options, your commute via public transportation can be easier than you think. You can even plan your trip with Madison Metro through Google maps.  And compared to current gas prices, bus fares are a relatively cheap option for commuters.

Carpooling – If you work far from home or just aren’t able to give up driving, carpooling is a great way to make your drive more efficient. There are several carpool and rideshare programs in Madison that you can take advantage of.

So many of us have grown accustomed to using cars in our daily routine, that we might forget to think about alternative modes of transportation. While it may take a little more thought, it doesn’t have to be difficult to reduce your car use. I hope you take part in World Car Free Day this Saturday and think about reducing your driving habits during the rest of the year too.

EnAct Intern, Grace



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