Today is the day Parisians get to experience a quieter, less polluted version of their city, if only for a day.
Car-free days are not a new idea –they’ve been happening around the world since the 1950s for various reasons, often as a result of a crisis of some kind. Paris is holding a car-free day today in response to the level of air (and noise) pollution that is normally smothering the streets of the iconic city.
The decision to shut down traffic for an entire day was Paris officials’ way of taking a stand against the severity and effects that pollution has on the city. Coinciding with European Mobility Week and the United Nations climate conference COP21, the celebratory day will reach across the most popular areas of the city. Cultural hubs like the Left Bank, Champs Élysées, Bastille, and the Eiffel Tower will be experienced in a new way, allowing pedestrians to take in the landmarks without urban chaos.
We’ve spoken to a number of people on the social networks, keen for Cardiff to do the same. There was even an article in WalesOnline talking about it.
And Cardiff councillor Richard Cook will take it one step further when he makes a proposal to Cardiff council next month suggesting planning begins for a car-free day in the city.
Councillor Cook said: “We’ve been talking about it for a while. Cardiff council has an ambition to move to a 50:50 modal split between cars and public transport/walking/cycling.
So, we know that Councillor Richard Cook will be bringing it up at a council meeting next month, but it would no doubt help to grease the wheels if we could get other councillors onboard too. This is where you come in.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get…
It’s all very well the usual cycling and walking groups getting in touch with the council, but it would add more weight if normal citizens added their own endorsement.
All you need to do is head to the Council’s Councillor Search page, select your area from the drop-down list and find out who your councillor is. Next, you can either write to them, tweet them or email them and ask that they lend their support to Richard Cook’s proposal for a Car Free Day in Cardiff.
While you are at it, if you’d like your area to get a 20mph limit, mention that too! It can’t hurt to ask.