Carless car free Sunday


Carless Sunday, Car Free Day

***** Location: Europe
***** Season: Autumn
***** Category: Humanity


Every year from 16 to 22 September is European Mobility Week, a week in which the major cities of Europe try and encourage the ever greater diversity of transport. The aim is help motorists to choose more environmentally friendly ways of moving across the city and, increasingly also, to help cities plan their transport policy in such a way that sustainable transport can flourish.

2012 was the eleventh year of the European Mobility Week. The movement has now expanded well beyond Europe, and in 2012 included 11 non EU Member States, some as far afield as Brazil, Canada, Japan and Taiwan. Altogether, 1983 cities participated (for more information, see http://www.mobilityweek.eu).

The highlight of European Mobility Week is the Sunday within the week, which for participating cities has become the Carless Sunday. In 2012, this was 16 September.

On this one Sunday of the year, the people of Brussels (where I have often spent the day) may not use their cars from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm. The only vehicles allowed on the road are public transport (providing their services free of charge on this day), taxis, ambulances, police and any citizens who absolutely need to use their cars and have acquired a permit from the authorities in good time beforehand. The police rigorously enforce the ban, and fines are heavy if cars are caught on the roads or if those allowed to drive exceed the special speed limit of 20 km/h.

So many cyclists on the rue de la Loi

Carless Sunday is one of the best days of the year to be in Brussels. Everyone, young and old, are out and about with bicycles, scooters, skateboards, rollerskates, prams and whatever else. The weather seems to be fine each year, and people enjoy themselves outdoors for what may be the last time before the onset of autumn and winter. The streets are taken over by pedestrians and those using their own power to move. Activities are laid on for children and families all over the city, and many of these are organised or supervised by the police, who endear themselves to the public on this day and have an exhausting time.

The noise level in the city is much reduced, and people enjoy the fresher air and the calm atmosphere. For many, it is one of the highlights of the year and a real family day.

Text and photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


A Car Free Day encourages motorists to give up their car for a day. Organized events are held in some cities and countries.
September 22 is World Car Free Day.

According to The Washington Post, the event "promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance".
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Worldwide use

Autofreier Sonntag

Things found on the way


For the past few years, I have enjoyed writing haiku on carless Sunday.
Here are some of them :

carless Sunday --
the traffic lights change
from red to green

carless Sunday --
the peal of church bells
reaches my ear

once a minute
another plane takes off --
carless Sunday

the distant sound
of a baby crying --
carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
parents and children
out with their bikes

Activities for parents and children
in the Cinquantenaire Park

carless Sunday --
each bounce of the ball
so audible

the city seems
filled with human voices --
carless Sunday

two children playing
in the middle of the road --
carless Sunday

music wafts
across the roofs --
carless Sunday

seven o'clock --
carless Sunday ends
with a peal of bells


carless Sunday --
even the smallest birds
have a voice

silencing the radio --
enjoying the sounds
of carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
the rustling of leaves
in the garden below

a small girl
dragging a small dog --
carless Sunday

even one taxi
makes so much noise --
carless Sunday

rue de la Loi
rings with human voices --
carless Sunday


a long row
of neatly polished cars --
carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
he walks out to buy
a car


the voices
of the smallest birds --
carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
listening to the television


a bird sings
a new song from the roof --
carless Sunday

teenagers wobble
their bicycles on the cobbles --
carless Sunday

the voices
of unseen children in the streets --
carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
left on the zebra crossing
an abandoned shoe

an aircraft takes off --
its sound floods our street
on carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
bells from a distant church
call us to prayer

sharing some sweets
with a stranger --
carless Sunday

relaxed police
buying a Tibetan lunch --
carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
rollerskating the pram
up the road

carless Sunday --
my neighbour snores all day
in his bed

cars return --
the cyclists ride home


carfree Sunday --
voices of children playing
in the streets

carless Sunday --
tea and a read
in silence


Haiku and photos © Isabelle Prondzynski


carless sunday -
lovers cross the road
without care

carless sunday -
kids skate on the road
holding hands

Monday morning -
painful noise invades

Dr. Kumarendra Mallick

Related words

***** . Silence .




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