The first spontaneous organization of Car Free Day took place 1970s, but definitive date of marking of that day was established in 1999. Belgrade took part in this organization and it was accompanied by many other manifestations.
Background & Objectives
The first spontaneously organization of free car day befell 1970s in the time of oil crisis, but in 1920s in some European cities the same manifestation took place because of problems of global warming and bigger and bigger pollution and noise which was caused by cars. But in 1999, everything became more serious, when Mrs. Margot Wolstrom, European commissary for natural environment, initiated organization of “European Free Car Day” as pilot project of EU campaign “to city without my car”. Everything is conceived like that, that every September 22, some part of each city (which take part in organization) get closed for cars. That day promotes progressing of cycling and other non motorized movements in the city and suburb zones, i.e. it promotes attempt to reduce presence of cars on streets, and to contribute progress of ecologically conditions of life.
Belgrade took part in organization of European Free Car Day. The part from city square of Republic (Trg Republike) across Terazije, through Srpskih Vladara Street, to Slavia, became a very long pedestrian zone until 15h. The city makes plans for better public traffic and unburdening town centre, and conception is to return central city core to pedestrians so today we have presently pedestrian’s Saturdays. On every first Saturday in month, central>town core is reserved for pedestrians, but only during tree seasons - except winter, and the named part is closed for cars, and it is not rarity to see hundreds of parents with little children who trying to ride bicycle or rollers…Assuredly, to realize that, and to provide zone without so many stops, it is necessary to provide better public traffic, because it have to motivate people to leave their cars at home and come to city for walk. So, central zones of cities will be closed for cars, except for service cars and public vehicles. Due of every city is to amplify free car zone and to measure effects of noise and air pollution reduce every successive year. In occasion of marking this especially day, citizens could see an ecological car supported by electric power. Otherwise, number of cars In Belgrade which amount 200 000, rise up to 400 000 during only six years, and much more over 50% are vehicles older than 14 years.
Benefits of mobility week:
- Better understanding of biker’s requesting on our streets and roads
- Important movement for starting of national cycling strategy
- Good marketing campaign for our bikers
The manifestation take place every year in many European cities which get seriously this initiative and proclaiming car entering even in broadly city’s core permanently or periodically, usually during weekends, while in some cities they doing selection of cars which will be allowed enter the centre depending of registered number (even or odd number) or entering in central zone requires paymen.