Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Go Car Free on Sept. 22

A Different Approach to Traffic
 We spend hours each week fighting traffic during our morning and evening commutes.  Yet on the weekends, many parts of the Valley are so congested that any relaxation we are attempting gets lost as we spend our precious free time behind the wheel creating noxious fumes and dangerous emissions.  At the same time, studies show that young adults are less interested in driving and want to live close to public transportation.

 A group of Studio City and Sherman Oaks residents is taking a step to stop this madness and make our communities attractive to the next generation.  We are organizing Car Free Sunday Studio City/Sherman Oaks on September 22, 2013, which coincides with International Car Free Day (which is celebrated in 1,400 cities around the globe).  On Car Free Sunday, we are asking our communities to drive less or not at all to reduce congestion and create a greener environment. 

Although a day without your car may seem scary, it is actually quite liberating.  The view from behind your dashboard is quite different than the scenery you’ll take in on foot or on a bike.  And, you’ll be able to interact with others—and maybe even talk to a neighbor or friendly stranger—in a way you could never do with the windows rolled up. 
The health benefits of walking or riding (or even walking to the bus) are immeasurable. Walking or riding can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and glaucoma.  They also help manage weight and control blood pressure.  Decreasing exposure to traffic and long commutes also reduces stress, which over time increases the risk of conditions like heart disease.

 We urge you to join this community effort and go car-free on September 22.  We will be having a community picnic between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the LA River between Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Radford St., and local businesses will be offering special promotions.  Wear blue to show that you are participating and favor a less congested, healthier environment.
 On Car Free Sunday, I’m giving my car a break.  Will you?