Tag Archives: Main Street

Vancouver celebrates Car-Free Day

22 Jun

As a cyclist who often finds herself fighting for space on the roads,  I was thrilled to be a part of this past Sunday’s Car-Free Day.

Highlights of the day:

At 26th Avenue and Main Street, I came across a spot where people were invited to test their balance on unicycles. It was not for the faint of heart, but it came with a little bit of help–a pole guided riders through their first few pushes.

On my first try, I plunged forward in a classically awkward dismount. But it was fun! And a great alternative to moving the streets without a motor.

The folks at the Car-Free Vancouver Society, a volunteer-powered organisation, put on the event in five Vancouver neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive, West End, Main Street, North Vancouver, and Kitsilano.

The society claims that events like these encourage the creation of more car-free spaces in the city, such as bike paths, pedestrian boulevards and new transit lines . It’s an idea that enjoyed a lot of support judging by the large turnout on an overcast Sunday afternoon.

The City of Vancouver was on board and eager to show its commitment to a future less dependent on oil.

On display was a city-owned Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. It represented part of the city’s promise to become an electric vehicle friendly city.

But Vancouver’s neighbourhoods must inevitably accommodate cyclists, transit users and cars.

So perhaps the most unifying part of Car-Free Day Vancouver could be found at the northern end of Commercial Drive. If you strolled past the food stalls, volunteer booths and bike valets, you would have found yourself surrounded by a swaying, bobbing crowd of all ages.

Cyclists dancing next to motorists, pedestrians next to public transit users.