Anti-Automobile Activists Gear up for "World Car-Free Day"

Anti-Automobile Activists Gear up for "World Car-Free Day"

Car-Free Lifestyle Not for Everyone
September 21, 2009

Washington,
D.C., September 21, 2009—As
organizers prepare to observe “World Car-Free Day” tomorrow, the Competitive
Enterprise Institute would like to remind observers and participants of the
value of personal mobility and the advantages of car ownership.

“While many people love the idea of a car-free lifestyle,
for most people it would be difficult, inconvenient and isolating,” said Sam Kazman, CEI General Counsel. “The
handicapped, the elderly, parents with kids and groceries, suburban residents
getting to work, rural residents running their lives – all depend on cars. The
car-free lifestyle itself requires other motorized vehicles, which deliver
everything from organic flour to fair trade coffee.”

While the one-day-a-year observance of the event may be
harmless, policies that seek to restrict consumer choice are not. There are a
host of activists and policymakers who would like to use taxes, fees, zoning
restrictions and other regulations to make owning one’s own car more difficult
and expensive. For that reason, supporters should have a clear vision of what
their lives would be like without access to a car before endorsing the agenda
behind events like Car-Free Day.

For a realistic day of car-free living, try it:

  • When it’s raining
  • When you’re carrying several
    bags of groceries
  • When you’re carrying a baby,
    with a toddler alongside you
  • On crutches
  • After midnight
  • Without using a car or cab to
    get to the train or bus station
  • Any combination of the above

Watch CEI’s video from Car-Free Day 2008 here.

For more on CEI’s work on automobility, see “Cars, Women, and Minorities: The Democratization of Mobility in America,”
by Alan Pisarski and “Car-Free Days? No, Thank You,”
by Waldemar Hanasz. 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public interest group that studies the intersection of regulation, risk, and
markets.