A place to socialize with community members, to get fresh air or take a bike ride with family and friends – that’s what organizers of this year’s Car Free Sunday hope the people will do for a few hours later this month.
Pieter Vorster, organizer of the event and member of Imagine Comox Valley, said the event is in solidarity with similar events in Victoria and Vancouver, and hopes to nurture a car-free space and to educate the public about sharing the road.
“They’re not only for motor vehicles, but for cyclists and pedestrians,” he noted.
“There’s places where traffic is slowed down around school areas, and the priority is safety and the ability to walk on the roads without being worried of being hit by a truck going 90 km/h.”
While Vorster noted roads were originally made for cars, the infrastructure has changed over the years and now they are becoming more open to different forms of transportation and people.
He said while traffic in the Comox Valley is not similar to Vancouver traffic or other large cities, it’s important to recognize an increase in bike ridership and that roads should be shared.
“The attitude that roads are exclusively for cars has passed its prime, and we need to adopt more modern perspectives.”
Confined to a small road closure on Fifth Street June 21, Vorster explained the event is aimed to showcase the wide range of ways people can get around in transportation other than by fuel-driven cars and to challenge people to consider leaving the car at home. The event, he added, is not anti-car, rather, it’s an opportunity to allow people to think about alternative forms of transportation.
“It’s very family-friendly, and will feature live music, bike decorating, vendors and a temporary skatepark.”
He added the absence of traffic can make the streets a pleasant place to congregate, socialize and connect with fellow community members.
The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a small closure of Fifth Street, and partial closure of the side streets of Duncan and England avenues.
The event is being organized by Imagine Comox Valley. For more information visit bit.ly/1GbPPxc or visit them on Facebook.