CEI - 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

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.