Residents get around… without their vehicles

Red Deer residents parked their cars to join others around the world as they cycled, walked or skated instead of getting behind the steering wheel on Saturday.

Red Deer residents parked their cars to join others around the world as they cycled, walked or skated instead of getting behind the steering wheel on Saturday.

World Car Free Day, held every year on Sept. 22, encourages motorists to leave their cars at home and use alternate modes of transportation.

This was the second consecutive year the city urged residents to park it.

City staff and local vendors manned information booths and handed out information on car free alternatives in the area at Barrett Park.

“We’re really working as part of the city’s environmental plan to change how people are getting around,” said Lauren Maris, environmental program specialist for Red Deer.

“I think people are interested in getting around the city in not just their cars. They are doing it both for health reasons and the environment.”

Maris said the city wants to highlight those options around Red Deer which include using the path systems, the transit system and carpooling services.

“If you were to leave your car home on regular commute day, a day you go to work, you’d save 2.6 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Maris.

“So if everyone did that even one day a week, it would make a huge difference. Not to mention it’s good for our health.”

Like last year, the city offered free city transit rides throughout the day.

Gerry Gummo, city transit planner, said the ridership on that one day increased by 15 per cent compared to the same day, the previous week. Gummo said there are many advantages of taking the bus.

“In Red Deer about 90 per cent of the trips are made by single occupant vehicles,” said Gummo. “It is easy to see why transit is very efficient and makes a huge effect on the environment. The bus routes are scheduled. They are running. Whether you choose to leave your car at home and take the bus or not.”

He said ridership is gradually increasing and expects it to increase as more people are paying attention to the environmental and health benefits.

“We have an excellent transit system in Red Deer,” he said.

“We have excellent coverage. We cover the entire city with our network. I would just suggest people give it a try. See how relaxing it is as a passenger instead of driver fighting traffic.”

During Carpool Week 2012 (Oct. 15 to 19), the city and its partners will officially launch a new ride share option through carpooling.ca. The commuting service matches ride seekers and drivers in Red Deer and surrounding area.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer churches easing back into services

“To be able to do that again was just incredible”

Sylvan Lake man charged with child luring

A 38-year-old Sylvan Lake man has been charged with child luring. Sylvan… Continue reading

Spike in bike thefts prompts Red Deer RCMP warning

Nearly a dozen bikes reported stolen in Red Deer in last week

If an MP heckles in a virtual House of Commons, does it make a sound?

If an MP heckles in a virtual House of Commons, does it make a sound?

How much will be enough when it comes to Canada’s COVID-19 supply?

How much will be enough when it comes to Canada’s COVID-19 supply?

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors in early June

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors in early June

Advocates push Ottawa to fix long-term problems with long-term care

Advocates push Ottawa to fix long-term problems with long-term care

COVID-19 shows need for long-term-care reform but solve crisis first, Trudeau says

COVID-19 shows need for long-term-care reform but solve crisis first, Trudeau says

Alberta premier says targeted approach needed to prevent COVID-19 resurgence

Alberta premier says targeted approach needed to prevent COVID-19 resurgence

Military has located wreckage of helicopter and remains in Mediterranean

Military has located wreckage of helicopter and remains in Mediterranean

Five things to know about the Meng Wanzhou extradition case

Five things to know about the Meng Wanzhou extradition case

Most Read