September 22, 2015

Car Free Day

On World Car Free day I walked down my kids to their school, 2kms from home. Great experience. Walking on the road with kids is lot different then walking alone or with an adult.

Many realisations - one, we are talking about need of cycling tracks but there are no walking tracks to begin with. There is no option but to walk on the road. And as such there is no incentive doing that - took me more time to drop them, cars and buses zoomed past with less than a foot to spare many times, and more pollution to inhale. Cars tend to put you in risk to avoid a pothole, and we have ample of pot holes as well. And not to talk about honking.

But interestingly, kids were very excited since day before, woke up early, and on reaching school, kids declared that they would walk down to school every Tuesday. Great! And I was glad too for having contributed to a social activity.

One thing is clear, there is no more space for additional cars. Any more cars on the roads is a lose-lose situation for everyone. And I don't know why its a economic-crisis like news whenever car sales dip.

And solution is not in banning car sales or taxing them higher. We just need to connect city with walk-ways and cycling tracks. People want to walk or cycle. Raahgiri days in Gurgaon have shown the way. Service lanes can be converted into non-motorized roads once a week.

Finally, hats off to Gurgaon Traffic Police that is demonstrating so much creativity in the form of Raahgiri Days and now Car Free Days.  Its very rare that a govt establishment like police is so creatively involved with its citizens. 

Together, we will get somewhere & without a car.

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