Monday, September 19, 2011

Go car free this Thursday!

Leave the car keys on the counter and break out that bike helmet. Or walking shoes. Or maybe take a look and see if you have a few bucks left on on your SmartTrip (TM) card. Go car free this Thursday. All the cool kids are doing it.

Car Free Day is apparently an international event meant to encourage us city folk to get around without cars. Activities are organized in various cities throughout the world in different ways, but with the common goal of taking cars off the streets. There are all kinds of reasons to be a part of a less individual-car-reliant culture: less traffic congestion, no parking issues, a greener environment, reduced gasoline consumption, getting in a bit of exercise or socializing instead of grumbling in your car alone while sitting in traffic. The list goes on. According to the website, Car Free Day includes celebrations in 1,500 cities in 40 countries. Certainly there are lots of partners in Northern VA, MD, and DC, so you don't need to live/work in DC proper to participate in our local activities.

Around the District, we have lots of options: in addition to walking or bicycling, we can take a commuter train, metro, bus. We can carpool. If you absolutely need a car for a long commute from home to work, try being a "slug" for a day and hop into the HOV lane for a change. (I can't help giggling every time I read a reference to slugging, which apparently originated in Springfield, VA. Mom and dad, I wonder if there will soon be a Slugging Museum down the street from you, heheh.) You can also arrange to telecommute for the day. Car Free Day is open to everyone in the DC metropolitan area, and even if you don't drive anyway you can still pledge to add your non-driving effort to the larger group's effort (and get some free pizza or a free bike in the process). To participate, all you need to do is fill out the pledge form, then go car free (or at least carpool, ya slug!) on Sept 22. Go on, do it.

p.s.- In the event that I don't see you in the bike lanes on Thursday, perhaps we'll see each other at WABA's 50 States ride this Saturday!

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