Ahmedabad : Are you prepared to leave your car home and choose public transport for a day? It could be a Sunday or any weekday of the
month. This could happen if the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the traffic police with people’s co-operation identify a stretch in the city as ‘no car zone’ for just a day.
Mexico City and Bogota have actually observed car-free day’ and the idea clicked with them when certain road stretches, which were congested tunnels earlier, became pedestrian zones and people enjoyed walking and cycling with their families on it. Imagine roosting at busy eateries and sight of certain junctions transformed into play zones for children for a day.
Studies in Bogota and Mexico City showed that creating the car-free stretch led to a 25 per cent to 30 per cent reduction in pollution on that particular day as compared to other weekdays. It also reduced the stress produced by traffic jams, decrease of 10 to 15 decibels and no major automobile accidents on that day.
“One could organise transportation in groups with neighbours and fellow workers in taxis, buses, or a bunch of cyclists in neighbouring area can plan a trip to the car-free zone,” said Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) senior programme director Shreya Gadepalli.
Experts suggest that the stretch declared car-free’ zone could have a festive look and can also be used to spread messeges of environmental degradation and national integration. Cultural programmes can be also organised on the particular day in different parts of the city observing the car-free day.
Activities on the car-free stretches should not have a stationary character and performances must be short and artistic in nature. The city administration can deck up the public spaces and create a colourful atmosphere. The programmes can be held at places where greater concentration of people is expected, such as bus stops, roadways suggested for alternative transport use, buses and parking lots.
Screens projecting images and information about the car-free day and images from other cities, when it is held simultaneously there, can also be installed.
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