From the U.S. to Jakarta communities are embracing alternative transportation and going car free. Community-wide initiatives such as Car Free Days and Bike to Work Day have quickly gained popularity and even converted some from car commuters to bike commuters.
People all over the planet are making small changes in their daily transportation routines that have big impacts on their daily lives and health but also our shared environment. Jakarta is enjoying better air quality after a decade of car free days. Car Free Days encourage us to take a break from our cars for fun and healthier transportation alternatives such as walking or biking. And it’s making a difference in Jakarta where Rusman Sagala, from the Jakarta Environmental Management Agency, stated: “Over the last 10 years, data shows that there was a 34 percent reduction of dust levels, a 78 percent drop in nitrogen monoxide, a 70 percent reduction of carbon monoxide, and a 14 percent cut of hydrocarbons — all of which are parameters of air pollution.” In the U.S., May has been designated as National Bike to Work Month by the League of American Bicyclists. And Bike to Work Day, always in May of course, focuses on promoting the bicycle as an option for commuting to work. According to a survey of Bike to Work Day participants in Washington, D.C., 17% said they had never bike commuted before the event, 10% started riding to work after the event, and 22% started riding more often.
Sustainable transportation is an area that has received increased interest and attention over the years. Namely for its economic, health, and environmental benefits. Wouldn’t it be great to see more people and bikes and less cars in our cities? Several large cities in the U.S. have more than doubled their bike commuter share programs since 2000. These programs make bicycles available for shared use with the option to rent at point A and return at point B. To find out how bike commuting is growing in your city check out ‘The Growth of Bike Commuting’ infographic.
Now it’s your turn so mark your calendars for this year’s events. National Bike to Work Day is May 15th 2015 and Bike to Work Week is May 11—15th, 2015. World Car Free Day takes place each year on September 22nd,2015. And there are plenty more of these types of community initiatives. Find out when your city is participating in impactful events like these and join the movement!