Driving Towards a “Carfree City”

The Event: Six miles of North Portland roads closed off to car traffic Sunday to allow pedestrians and bikers to occupy the middle of the road

The Cause: To encourage walking, biking and rollerblading and discourage driving

The Procedure: Three simple steps

1. Drive your car up to the edge of the carfree zone.
2. Park your car and take the bike off your car roof.
3. Ride the bike and get entertained for free.

The Cost: $150,000 (including a major grant from the Environmental Protection Agency)

The Result: The Oregonian devotes more than a full page, including the first page, to celebrating Portland’s first “carfree” day.

The Lesson: Such expensive events only work on SUNDAYS.

Sreya Sarkar is Director of the Asset Ownership Project at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s premier public policy research center.