Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ZZzzz... Mayor to Propose Car Free Days in Seattle

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will announce today, during a press conference, his plans for car-free days throughout the city. The move is meant to help combat global warming. While it's a cool idea, I think it's full of hot air.

Imagine if all the streets around Alki Beach were shut down. What a fun pedestrian friendly place it would be. Well... that's part of the plan exactly.

On Sunday, September 7, from 12 to 6 p.m. cars will be banned from a section of Alki for one afternoon. Bicyclists will be allowed -- of course. Hopefully, bus traffic to the area will be increased.

The details about other car-free days and locations, to be held in August and September, have yet to be announced.

While I like the conscious-raising aspects of the events, I doubt random car free days around the city is going to make a dent in Seattle's carbon emissions. It sounds more like a publicity stunt to bolster the Mayor's image as a leader in the fight against global warming -- which I think is a real thing (you go Al Gore).

Whatever the true reason, car free days can't hurt but big talk and small actions don't solve big problems. We need a bold vision for our region and we need someone who can convince even the most glutinous among us to join the fight.


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