Car-less Sunday clarified

Dear editor,

As founder of Imagine Comox Valley, a non-profit society dedicated to promoting sustainable communities, I wish to provide clarity regarding the purpose and vision behind Car Free Sunday.

Simply stated, we wish to provide an opportunity for the public to take to the streets and celebrate community.

Dear editor,

As founder of Imagine Comox Valley, a non-profit society dedicated to promoting sustainable communities, I wish to provide clarity regarding the purpose and vision behind Car Free Sunday.

Simply stated, we wish to provide an opportunity for the public to take to the streets and celebrate community.

As a father, business owner of an engineering consulting company in Courtenay employing some seven people, retired military officer, and dedicated community ambassador, my personal objective is to enhance our experience of community.

I attended the Royal Military College of Canada where I obtained a degree in Civil Engineering and served for 11 years, including six as a combat engineering officer. Through this experience, I am comfortable with taking risks, co-ordinating events, and organizing people to achieve a common goal.

I say this as I think it is important to assure residents of the Comox Valley that the idea and planning behind Car Free Sunday is based on very solid planning principals, organized by a “command team” of over 15 dedicated volunteers from various backgrounds.

As to the vision of Car Free Sunday, perhaps we did not choose the best name for the event.

I wish to be clear that this is most definitely not an anti-car event. Instead, this is a “pro-people” event.

We are proposing to close some roads and streets so that they can be available to all of us in a way they aren’t on a regular basis. The roads and streets of our communities make up a huge public space that we all pay for and, for the most part, can only really use with vehicles.

Car Free Sunday is intended to be an event where — for four hours — anyone can go out and enjoy this public space.

Residents of any age can be walking, running, roller blading, biking, scootering, dancing, or mingling with other members of the community.  It’s a chance to talk to your neighbours, stroll down the street to the park, enjoy some live, free music, or go and participate in free exercise or fitness classes.

If your home or business is along one of the roads that will be closed or partially closed, yes, you may be somewhat inconvenienced if you need to use your car. We recognize this, and have addressed it.

However, you will also be sitting on a huge opportunity!

What better day to have your annual yard or garage sale with hundreds of people potentially walking past your property? What better day to set up a stand in front of your business and promote your wares?

How about offering a discount for folks who arrive at your business without a car? Why not get together with your neighbours, throw your lawn furniture in the street and host a block party? If you are a car, truck or motorcycle enthusiast, why not put it out on display?

This event is for everyone — everyone of all ages, backgrounds and occupations. It is a chance to go out, have some fun and be a part of your community! We hope you will join us the afternoon of Sept. 25, and we hope you will bring your ideas forward to create an outstanding community event!

Andrew Gower,


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