New Belgium Brewary Promotes Going Carfree

Would u trad ur car 4 a bike? ©New Belgium

Would u trade ur car 4 a bike? ©New Belgium

If you are a beer enthusiast, or even a cyclist, then you’ll know the name New Belgium Brewery. They have long been the organizer and sponsor of the Tour De Fat Festival that travels in the US and ends up giving away many bikes for festival competitions

This year is a bit different as New Belgium is promoting going Carfree through a video contest in each of this year’s locations. They want people to trade in their cars for bicycles and at this years 11 Tour De Fat locations (Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Boise, Fort Collins, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin) they will give away 11 hand-crafted commuter bicycles and trailers to the winner of the video contests. New Belgium will promote the winners through a Tour De Fat ceremonial event in each city and will follow people’s carfree success over the next year.

This is very interesting for the carfree movement. Such a huge sponsorship and promotional campaign of the carfree lifestyle is something that only a few years ago would have seemed unthinkable. I’m sure this campaign will evoke a lot of media attention, mostly for the novelty, as “normal” Americans wonder why the hell someone would give up their car. But at the same time this will give a big boost to the idea of being carfree.

Anything that promotes the idea of getting people out of their cars is great and this is the kind of creative marketing that can help the carfree movement really gain some ground. Cheers to New Belgium for trying this.

Thanks to Imagine No Cars for sharing the news.

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More colours in car adverts?

On the streets just outside the EU Parliament in Brussels we’ve asked people about the information in car adverts, showing two versions of our imaginary MOTOKA car advert.

In the first ad the info is very similar to the way it is currently displayed on car ads. In the second ad the info is more prominently displayed with a colour code label.

Which one is more clear? Do you understand the figures?

Video by Friends of the Earth Europe : http://www.drivingthechange.eu

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Brand new Carbusters 39 issue is out now!

What’s the view from your window? Do you like what you see? Do you want to change it?
So now’s about time we change the outlook – of our cities, towns and streets – let this issue be a source of inspiration for you and others: take a walk, spread the word with others on two wheels, or simply take pleasure in the artwork of carfree cartoonists.

So what does new issue offer us? Karl Fjellstrom guides us through Guangzhou, a carfree oasis and a leading model for changing cityscapes in China.
We talk to Chris Carlsson, co-founder of Critical Mass, and get a glimpse into the success of the monthly movement and how it can help alter attitudes.
Someone who clearly recognises the benefits of cycling is Kim Nguyen; his two-wheeled world tour is a source of inspiration for others – helping change the environment we live and the lifestyles we lead. Read an interview with him!
Then we escape the city and take a scenic walk with Tim Woods, who shows us that taking a sustainable step outside of the city is an important move toward preserving and improving public transportation services.

And much more in a new issue of Carbusters 39 “Changing the Outlook”!

Check more on Carbusters website

September 22 is World Carfree Day!

World Carfree Day Wiki

World Carfree Day Wiki

As you know, every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets and neighbourhoods to celebrate World Carfree Day and to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated societies.

World Carfree Day, promoted and supported by the World Carfree Network, is intended to advance the economic, social and environmental benefits of self-propelled or mass transportation. It is meant to promote more sustainable ways of transportation and new ways of building and thinking the urbanism of our cities, allowing streets to be a living space, rather than only a transit space.

With the global economy in freefall, carmakers are facing turbulent times and people around the world are re-evaluating their relationship with the car. So now is the perfect timing to try out the alternatives, spread the carfree word, join or start a World Carfree Day in your area! It is also time to push for a new use of car factories that could be used to build public transportation, providing employment and allowing us to build a better urban environment.

Before the 10th anniversary of World Carfree Day next year, let the 2009 edition be a showcase for how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars 365 days a year!

World Carfree Network invites organisations and individuals everywhere to share information. You can add your event online at: http://editthis.info/wcd/Main_Page

And join the World Carfree Day Page on Facebook

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An Open Letter to your Representatives

A good way to spread the carfree word: Send an open letter to your represntatives. It is what did Willie Weir (http://www.willieweir.com/) in Seattle, USA.

According to Weir, “We are a long way off in Seattle, WA to being carfree. But you have to dream.” We can share the same feeling in many other cities…

It is also nice to know that he already get some answers: http://www.yellowtentadventures.com/2009/07/30/give-it-up-responses/

"Now I’m asking you all to give up your car"

"Now I’m asking you all to give up your car"

Mayor Nichols–give it up. Seattle City Council members. You too. As well as King County Council members, Governor Gregoire, State representatives and ALL candidates for the above offices.

I’m talking about your car. For a week. Just a week.

You see, my wife and I answered the call to help the region and the planet by giving up our car over four years ago. With climate change upon us, it was imperative that we transition out of our auto-centric society. Get on the bus. Get on our bikes. Get out and walk.

There were plenty of incentive programs offered by our city and county governments, including the Way to Go Seattle–One Less Car Challenge. We took advantage of the Washington State Vehicle Redistribution Program … our car was stolen. We opted not to replace it.

We were in a good position to give up our car. We don’t have kids. We live on Beacon Hill with frequent bus service (and now Light Rail). We have stores, restaurants, a library, and a park all within a ten minute walking distance of our house. We both do most of our work from home.

Easy.

OK. Walking up the hill from the grocery store with a 20lb Thanksgiving turkey in an excursion-size backpack wasn’t easy. Waiting outside in a 40 degree drizzle for a bus that never came wasn’t fun. And taking 4 buses and a ferry to get to Sequim wasn’t convenient.

It didn’t take long to understand that for someone who owns a private vehicle, our city and region’s public transportation, bike paths and pedestrian corridors are top notch. Because when it isn’t easy, fun or convenient … you take your car.

When I joined the ranks of the carless, I began an education in how auto-centric our green little region is, and how far we have to go to get to be a truly livable place … for everyone.

How many of my neighbors park their cars across the sidewalk. How cracked and poorly maintained those sidewalks are. How fast the cars fly by on our residential streets. How few cars yield to me in a cross walk. How few bike racks there are outside the businesses I frequent. How poorly signed (or not at all) the bike routes are throughout the city. How terrifying biking can be in downtown Seattle. How little park space we have downtown and how much space we devote to parking.

So many issues and problems invisible to me while driving in my own personal vehicle.

Now I’m asking you all to give up your car. Not for four years. Just seven days.

For seven days live the life that few have chosen and many have no choice but to live.

Believe me, no matter how long you have lived in or served this region, you’ll learn things that will surprise you.

I know I did. And I’ve lived here for 25 years.

The best decisions about transit and neighborhood planning will be made by government officials who have taken the time to live a life without a car as an option.

Give it up.

We’ll all be glad you did.

Sincerely,

Willie Weir
Beacon Hill, Seattle

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Space Bikes

Maybe some of you heard about the Walkmobile from the Professor Hermann Knoflacher.

The Walkmobile was invented in the 70’s as a smart way to address the issue of public space usage. It is a simple frame made from light wood which, when whorn, occupies the same amount of space as the average car. It exposes that behind the metal and glass of a car is a human being – while it is a direct criticism on how our systeme allocates so much land for just one person.  Several actions have been organised in Austria, featuring walkmobiles, with people parking and walking on the road.

This concept has been used by several collectives, inspiring new creations like the “manif spaciale” – developed by the Montreal group Le Monde a Bicyclette (the world by bicycle). It is simply a group of cyclists riding around downtown with giant “space frames” attached to their bikes, making them take up the same amount of space as a car.

The idea is inspiring and here is the draft version of a space bike from Roanoke, USA. The final version will have balloons, graphics etc on it, for fun and to increase visibility of the frame. A workshop was organised to help people to make their bike frame in preparation of a ride Friday.

For more information about the event in Roanoke, please visit: http://carlessbrit.tumblr.com/tagged/space_frame

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New Auto*Mat video teaser

Auto*Mat is an organisation and a movie. The movie is about the organisation, which is based in the city of Prague, Czech Republic. It also discusses the love for the automobile and the thinking of people in early 21st century Europe. The organisation is the movie. The two are inseparable. We make the movie, we watch the movie and we live the movie.

Find more about Auto*Mat actions here

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