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As noted here earlier, En ville sans ma voiture (Car-Free Day) has been reduced to a joke with no car-free perimeter at all, just some meaningless “family events” to be held in the Old Port on a Saturday. Ho hum.
Kevin, Kate, Stefan, and 3 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
I can’t even comprehend how this happened. Isn’t the point to inconvenience drivers? How do motorists even have the gusto to complain that street closures are “inconveniencing” them? I wonder, does anyone call in to complain about street closures for cancer research, even is it does take place on weekends? Anyway, it saddens me to have had to explain the concept of congestion charge to some friends of friends I met over the weekend. “But what if you live downtown?” To which the only response was “if you live downtown, you shouldn’t own a car.”
The AMT runs the event, and odds are all the decision-makers drive themselves and/or listened to other drivers kvetching for 9 years and caved in.
My question would be: if it’s OK to close streets for music and comedy festivals – for months, in fact, in the Village for summer partying – why is one day not acceptable for pedestrians downtown?
because 80% of adult Quebecers have a car, and even more have drivers licenses and drive occasionally. It’s a large voting block to piss off. :(
If the goal of Car Free Day is to get people to envision a more human-scale, pedestrianized city, I don’t know that just removing cars from the urban landscape, in its current state, and for one day only, is really going to do the job in a compelling way. I’d prefer maintaining present efforts to get people out via public transit to existing events, and focusing real effort into developing neighbourhoods which can be car-free permanently.
kate: i guess village summer partying creates revenue (commerces are stakeholders) while car-free day does not (in the immediate, for the AMT). this shows the balance of power well.
i guess there are enough parking spaces in the old port for that ‘car-free day family event’ though.
Pedestrians are drivers are bus riders are bicyclists.
Nobody is limited to one and only one mode of transportation. We all make choices based on a multiplicity of variables, including number of people being transported, number of destinations, cargo to haul, time in transit, etc…
Kevin, it would be great if people only drove if they had something heavy to haul or several people to transport, but you know it isn’t so.
Well, it’s the only reason I ever get in a car.
It’s easy to point at the highway and say ‘look at all those Single occupant vehicles’, tsk tsk.
How many of those people have already dropped off kids at school / daycare?
How many are planning to do groceries on the way home?
How many are contractors with a trunk full of tools? (I know the stereotype is to have a truck, but about 1/3 I know prefer cars).
With a city that is as spread out as Montreal many people will prefer the flexibility and privacy of a car until public transit is drastically improved to where people already live. Laval’s metro system is a key example. Those metro stations are uber-packed and have been since day one.
(And yes, Montreal is really, really spread out. I only realized this after moving back after a decade away.)
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