Some Cities Are Cutting Back On Cars


Yes, it’s a bit ironic. Recently the number of cars on this planet passed the one billion mark, yet there are growing movements to create specific areas where internal-combustion-powered transportation is not allowed. Generally speaking, these “sanctuaries” are large cities where car and truck traffic is a real problem and has been for decades. After a spirited discussion with Browns Alfa Romeo of Patchogue, NY, a factory authorized Alfa Romeo dealer, we’ve got the details:

Paris, France

As of July 1st, 2016, Paris has banned all older cars (registered before 1997) from the city on weekdays between 8AM and 8PM. By 2020, those older cars will be banned entirely. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is a strong advocate of a city with few cars. Last September, Paris tried out a “day without cars” across large swaths of the city and the feedback from residents was strong.

Oslo, Norway

Assuming plans aren’t nullified by the city’s business owners, the Norwegian capital city of Oslo could be car-free as early as 2019. According to the anti-car advocacy website, Oslo would be the first world capital to ban the automobile. Transportation within the city would be via buses and trams.

Great City, China

China is now the world’s largest car market but the Chinese government is planning many new cities where cars won’t be allowed. For example, a planned city near Chengdu, southwest China has a projected population of 80,000 and zero cars. Public transit will get commuters to Chengdu, and many residents will be able to walk to work in the dense, high-rise community itself.

Hydra, Greece

There are no cars, trucks and motorcycles allowed on the Greek of Hydra. Besides your own two feet, horses and mules are the de facto method of transportation. Town elders have assured that Hydra’s charm is not destroyed by parking lots or gas stations, and a prohibition against new construction preserves its beautiful architecture.

Michigan, US

It’s a bit ironic that the traditional center of the US car industry would be home to the country’s only car-free state highway. This road is located on Mackinac Island, in Lake Huron. With a permanent population of only 500, the island has made its views on cars clear since 1898, when it banned “the running of horseless carriages within the limits of the village.”

New York City, US

Manhattan has had a car problem for decades and still does. In fact, it is visited by over a million and a half cars every weekday. Despite this, the city is experimenting with car free areas. A great example is High-Line Promenade. Built on a defunct 1930s-era elevated rail line and extending 1.45 miles from the Greenwich Village to 34th Street, it allows city dwellers to skip taxicabs in exchange for flower-lined stroll, 30ft above Manhattan’s West Side.


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