On September 20, the world will celebrate World Carless Day. It is to remind people from all over the planet that we don't have to accept a world-dominated society. It seeks to remind people how it feels like to have a world without cars.
I believe that the main point here is to lessen the carbon footprint brought about by vehicles and the noise pollution caused by them. It seeks to encourage city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of the automobile.
In the Philippines, this will be celeberated by a Friday Night Critical Mass Ride in Metro Manila, kicking off to celebrate the International World Carfree Day on SEPTEMBER 20, 2013, 6PM, with pick up points in Makati, Ortigas, and Cubao.
|Photo credit: http://www.pinoyfitness.com|
According to Pinoy Fitness, they are calling on the participation of cycling groups from Visayas, Mindanao, and other parts of Luzon.
"Everyone is encouraged to coordinate with your local cycling groups, let’s ride and celebrate with the nation and the world the World Carfree Day no matter where we are. Should you wish to participate in this night ride in your area, let us know so that we can promote your poster and other details on the Night Ride Fridays page and official event page."
|For more details on this program, please go to |
World Carfree Network's website
For more details, please see their FB events page.
Just my two cents here: I believe in the cause and I think this is laudable. One day of mass ride would make a great change in the world's carbon footprint. But I do not think that biking as a main mode of transportation is sustainable - I mean cycling to work? I can't even ride my bike more than 7 miles or my butt and knees would fail to work the next day. Imagine, I live 25 - 30 kilometers from the office and I have to take the expressway, where bikes aren't welcome. I think a lot of commuters now come from the suburbs and these places are not exactly perfect for biking, distance-wise.
Consider also the very bike-unfriendly roads that we have: if I try biking to work, there might be less carbon footprint from me because I might be dead in a week, either from an accident or lung cancer.
Another thing, aside from the fact that there aren't any proper bike lanes in Metro Manila, even if there were, there's a great chance that my bike is no longer there when I get back after work. I also have to make sure that my bike is really of quality since I have to pedal about 50-60 kilometers everyday (to and from work). A bike that is bought from a Japanese surplus shop for P1500.00 (which is the usual price of a mountain bike in a surplus store) may break down after about two trips, so my bike must be really sturdy. Sturdy= Quality. Quality = Expensive.
You know what I believe in? Car pooling among neighbors (or people who live in the same area). I think this is a better alternative than driving a car (worse, a big one) and you're the only one inside. At least a vehicle is maximized, people are able to know their neighbors while travelling, and people learn the value of being on time, lest they earn the wrath of the others for making them wait, and the owner of the vehicle gets a "subsidy" for his/her maintenance expenses for the vehicle because of course, the ride is not for free. Another good thing about car pooling? The driver doesn't get sleepy easily because he/she has his/her neighbors chatting around with him/her.
|Photo credit: "My Pinoy Humor Blog"|
But you know, one time, I was in a car pool with some neighbors and one passenger alighted in Baclaran. The LTO stopped my neighbor's vehicle and claimed that she (take note, the driver is my ninang) was a colorum vehicle. We all claimed that it was car-pooling and we reasoned that we were all neighbors. We wanted to shove all our IDs to that LTO personnel's face. He was adamant and claimed that, "Car pool nga, naniningil ka naman!" May neighbor said, "Of course may pamasahe. How else would I maintain my vehicle? Ang bigat ng pasahero ko. San ko kukunin ang pang-maintain pag nalaspag ito?"
All of us wanted to tie up the LTO personnel and stash him on the roof because we were pretty pissed. Good thing he sensed what we wanted to do with him so he backed off and let us go. But imagine that, we were already car pooling and he still wanted to give a ticket to the driver for colorum. If that's how enforcers view car pooling then we are never going to fully reach the potential of car pooling as a means to decrease our carbon footprint.
So, I'll just do my part in spreading the word about saving energy, like participating in the Worlld Carless Day on September 20, 2013, in car pooling, and in blogging about unreasonable traffic enforcers who view car pooling as a colorum activity.