News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday March 19th 2019

Cape Town Car Free Day makes little difference, but more plans are afoot

Employees of provincial promotion agency Wesgro gathered in the Cape Town station yesterday morning to promote Cape Town Car Free Day and World Car Free day tomorrow. Photo: Katie de Klee/WCN

Employees of provincial promotion agency Wesgro gathered in the Cape Town station yesterday morning to promote Cape Town Car Free Day and World Car Free day tomorrow. Photo: Katie de Klee/WCN

20.09.2012

Despite today being nominated as Cape Town’s Car Free Day by Department of Tourism and provincial promotion agency Wesgro, there was no discernable easing of rush hour traffic congestion.

Wesgo organised for Cape Town to have Car Free Day to encourage the public to decrease their carbon footprint by using alternative means of transport to get around the city, encourages city planners and politicians to prioritise public transport and improve pedestrian and bicycling access.

However, there was a lack of publicity for the event.

Bicycle Cape Town organiser Marcela Guerrero Casas said that it was unfortunate how little attention Car Free Day has been getting.

“We reach out to a pretty good constituency and nobody has been talking about this event. It is a real shame but hopefully people will hear about it. I will make sure to advertise it on our FB page,” said Guerrero Casas.

Mayoral Committee member for Transport Brett Herron said the City was not involved, but they “ask residents to respect Car Free Day and use non-motorised transport”.

The City was not involved as they had earmarked October as Transport Month.

“One of the events happening in Transport Month is Open Streets,” said Herron. Open Streets was based on an initiative called Ciclovía that started in Bogota, Columbia in 1976 and since picked up by almost a hundred cities worldwide.

In Bogota every Sunday certain main streets are blocked off to traffic.

In Cape Town, Victoria Road in Grassy Park will become a car free street for the whole day to encourage pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers and skaters to use their non-motorised wheels.

Bicycle Cape Town are hoping that Open Streets will become a monthly event.

“If it goes well we are hoping to move it around the City, so that local residents can enjoy a car free day on one of their major arterial roads,” said Herron.

The City rolled out the Travel Smart scheme in 2011 and information and advice on trying to get around the city without a car can be found on the City of Cape Town website. It provides information on public transport, lift clubs and advice for being a greener driver.

Meanwhile, employees of Wesgro (The Western Cape Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency) gathered this morning at the Cape Town Station to educate the public and create awareness for World Car Free Day and represent the tourism industry, said Nomonde Ndlangisa, a Wesgro employee.

“It is a tourism initiative. More about the environment than about transport.”

The staff then travelled by train to Simonstown where they spent an hour picking up litter on the beach to combat pollution.

World Car Free Day is on Saturday 22nd September. – Katie de Klee

Tags: Brett Herron, Car Free Day, Ciclovía, Department of Tourism, Marcela Guerrero Casas, Nomonde Ndlangisa, Open Streets, Transport Month, wesgro

Reader Feedback

One Response to “Cape Town Car Free Day makes little difference, but more plans are afoot”

  1. Jon says:

    Wow – Wesgro did a terrible job of marketing this. Did hear about it at all until today.
    Do it properly please or don’t bother. Otherwise hire some professionals to do it for you.

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