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Maciamo
17-09-06, 16:46
Today was the 5th car-free Sunday (dimanche sans voitures (http://www.dimanchesansvoiture.irisnet.be/)) in Brussels. All motor vehicles were banned, except for public transports, which were free for the occasion, and a few thousands people who managed to obtain an exemption. The streets were flooded with bicycles, and to a lower extent pedestrians.

The purpose of this day is to save energy and reduce pollution and CO2 emissions.

The authorities have set this car-free day on the same day as "Heritage Day" (journee du patrimoine), giving free access to many museums or historical sites usually closed to the public. This year the theme was "Body & Mind", with special access to some schools, universities, academies, stadiums, but also century-old swimming pools.

The event also coincide with the start of JCDecaux's Cyclocity (http://www.cyclocity.be/) project in Brussels. After its sucess in other European cities like Lyon or Vienna, the French advertising group has launched bicycles for rent at various points in central Brussels as well. The principle is simple: public bicycles are parked next to an automatic vending machines dispensing tokens to unlock the bikes parked. Rates range from 50 euro cents for 30min to 1.5 euro for a weekly pass. So far 250 bicycles are available in 23 locations. However this was just a drop in the ocean of bicyles on this car-free Sunday.

Kinsao
22-09-06, 11:46
I think we ought to have one of these in the UK, too... We ought to have a compulsory car-free and computer-free day. Too many people think they rely too much on these things!

Maciamo
22-09-06, 11:50
Well, London already has a tax on cars, which I think is a very good idea as it reduces traffic a lot. But they are so many taxis and buses in London than it may not change that much on a car-free day. Maybe in another city, but the bigger and the more effective. There are no British city outside London with an equivalent number of cars to Brussels (pop. 1 million, but 2 million commuters a day, mostly by car).