Stuff I Do

Experiences and Encounters in Pune

Vehicle Free Day 22 Sep

Posted by Sanskriti on September 10, 2009

by Sidhant Pai, Std XII DPS and student intern at CEE Urban
CEE and Sakal Young Buzz EarthCare page, September 2009

My friends and I used to play ‘gully cricket’ on the road adjacent to my house. It was great fun. Later my family shifted to another locality. Just a few days ago I visited my old haunt to see how it had changed …

When I got there, I thought ‘change’ is the wrong word to use … a sad transformation would be more appropriate. The road was busy with traffic. The children sat on the society wall, amidst the dust kicked up by the vehicles, looking sad and dejected. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. Most cities and towns in India are troubled by an uncontrolled surge in traffic.

I was happy to know that September 22 is observed all over the world as Vehicle-Free Day. Its main objective is to convey the message to everybody that car-based city travel has to be gradually phased-out. We should adopt walking, cycling and public transport which are cheaper, cleaner and friendlier to people and the environment around us. I am thinking of my gully cricket neighbourhood … what fun it would be to reclaim the street from the cars!

More … (opens a pdf in a new window)

Govt of India Policy Supports Walking, Cycling

India’s National Urban Transport Policy emphasizes safety of pedestrians and cyclists and encourages cities to:

  • Make separate footpaths and cycle tracks
  • Construct safe crossings for pedestrians

Bicycle Rental Systems

Several cities are creating bicycle rental systems. You rent a bicycle from a stand in one part of the city and return it at another stand. Now, isn’t that smart idea! And look at these sleek ‘public bicycles’

Bicing in Barcelona

Bicing in Barcelona

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One Response to “Vehicle Free Day 22 Sep”

  1. Lina said

    Sidhant, I can totally connect. Kids in my neighbourhood have to find spaces in between parked cars to play.

    Am trying for one year to be without personal transport, read car. So far 5 months have gone by. Its great to rediscover bus-ing, but for nearby places its still a problem. The upside is that you end up shopping very little and then only locally, because everything has to fit on your back. That cuts out lots of consumerism. The downside is you discover how un-geared for pedestrians Bangalore is, a manhole at every fifth step.

    Ciao

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