Car Free Sundays in Coimbatore

Sundays are special. Sundays are meant to be family time. Family activities on Sunday usually include an outing, going to a movie, shopping or visiting friends for lunch or dinner. It can be anything that gets the family to spend time together doing things that they all enjoy doing. And today when you hit the road on weekends you see more cars on the road than people. Cars along with the other motor vehicles make travel time horrible. The roads of Coimbatore are no exception. People are so accustomed to use their vehicles that even to cover a short distance; they want to use their private cars instead of public transport. Coimbatore city corporation along with the police authorities and an NGO called the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDB) has come up with car free Sundays for Coimbatore.

History of Car Free Sundays

The first car free Sunday was organized in Brussels, Belgium on 18th November 1973. At that time, to beat the high prices of fuel, the Government introduced this scheme. Later it was encouraged to bring awareness to the people about other modes of transport in the country. This concept has been adopted later by France followed by other European countries. The car free Sunday forbids use of any vehicle that runs with motor and all the public transport is free on that day.

Car free Sundays in Coimbatore

Car free SundayThe corporation has identified two streets in the city which will be used to implement the car free Sunday plan initially. The two streets identified are, the arterial Diwan Bahadur Road and T V Swamy Road. The plan will be in operation from the second week of July. The two streets will be closed for cars and other motor vehicles four hours from 7am to 11 am every Sunday. The traffic will be diverted by the traffic police. Activities like cycling; jogging and many other recreational activities will be organized for the public. There are also plans to make seating arrangements on the pavements for the people where they can relax. Some musical events are also being planned in future where people along with their family and friends can have fun. In future, the car free Sundays will be extended to other areas of the city too.

What is a car free Sunday?

Car free Sunday encourages people to give up their cars for a day and enjoy the beauty of their city by walk or on bicycles. People can participate and enjoy the activities that are being organized on the streets.

How the concept works?

Even though car free Sundays are difficult to organize, we must appreciate the authorities for making efforts to make it work. The main aim of this exercise is mainly to get the car addicts on the road if it is even for a day. The car free Sunday mainly works by
  • Making the people to spend the day without using their cars,
  • To observe closely and understand what's happening around them in the city and
  • Making people reflect on what they learn from this experience.

Coimbatore is the first city in India to adapt car free Sunday. The authorities are starting with two streets at first to see how the public will respond. The public is being encouraged to participate and make this idea a success in implementation.
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