In a society where driving ubiquitous is the norm, people who don’t drive much – or at all – are seen as weird or extreme. But the really radical thing is not to try to do something else.
Disability Rights Washington (DRW) Promotes statewide “A Week Without Driving” Challenge Starting Monday, several elected state officials — including Governor Jay Inslee — have committed to participating. Inslee released a Advertising To make the celebration official.
“Spending a week without driving is a great way to understand how we can improve our current transportation system to better meet the needs of Washington residents and improve and enhance transportation options such as transit, light rail, biking, and walking trails as key strategies in decarbonizing efforts,” states the Inslee announcement.
It is worth noting that Disability Rights is spearheading this mission of car-free commuting in Washington. Disability advocates have been at the forefront of many transportation reform efforts, but there remains a common misconception that encouraging transportation options other than cars is capable or that getting around without a car is exclusively for able-bodied people. This narrative neglects to consider the many persons with disabilities who cannot drive and rely on alternative means of transportation to get around.
Transportation without a car Can Being accessible to all if we make this a priority, and hopefully the careless challenge of DRW will encourage people to apply this lens to their thinking about our transportation system.
I know from experience that challenging yourself to temporarily change your travel habits can lead to a permanent paradigm shift. Even a day without driving can lead to the realization that it may actually be possible to go to many places without ever setting foot in a car – and surprisingly avoiding sitting in traffic for hours or coughing up a small fortune on a regular basis to pay for gas.
Many people who now happily live car-free lives (myself included) were once unthinking participants in car culture. Whereas it would now take a concerted effort of me for a day with Driving, it wasn’t always this way! I could go on talking forever about how not using cars has dramatically improved my life, but I’ll just urge you to try it out for yourselves, even if it’s only for one day.
It would be nice if our political leadership in Oregon could follow Washington’s lead and rally around a car-free challenge as well. But just because it’s not an official statewide event, that doesn’t mean Oregonians can’t participate in the no-driving challenge. Call Transportation in Portland not-for-profit Street Trust He promotes World Car-Free Day on September 22, inviting people to try a new form of transportation for a day, so if you want to fit in with a local group, you can take their pledge over here.
I would love it if there was no need to commemorate a “car-free day” at all because it was the way most people live their lives. But challenges like these may be the first step to getting there.
Hope to see you on your bike (or scooter, or bus) next week!
Taylor has been a writer for the BikePortland team since November 2021. She has also written for Street Roots and Eugene Weekly. Contact her at email@example.com
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