Friday, August 03, 2007
Car Free Volunteers
CAR FREE WEEK in HAMILTON 2007
Transportation for Liveable Communities has been organizing Car Free
Day activities in Hamilton since 2000.
Starting in 2005 the events blossomed to a full week of Car Free
activities, giving us more time to explore various ways of enjoying
life without a car.
By focusing on the positive aspects of Hamilton's unique geography and
thriving communities, TLC has been able to introduce the idea of car
free living to thousands of people.
TLC has organized guided tours of Hamilton's natural areas like Cootes
Paradise with Councillor Brian McHattie as the guide; we've held art
shows and poetry nights celebrating walking, cycling and transit; we
have introduced many McMaster students and others to Hamilton's
waterfalls with guided Bus and Hikes to conservation areas, beside
distributing hundreds of Hamilton Cycling Maps and Conservation Area
During the last three years we've established a popular tradition by
hosting a night of family movies outdoors at the Gage Park Bandshell,
billing it as a Car Free Drive-In.
Participants have taken historical bicycle tours along the
Harbourfront Trail learning about the rich history there while
becoming familiar with the excellent trail system along the
waterfront. Still others have learned basic bike repair and
maintenance skills at free workshops run by Recycle Cycles, a
non-profit, volunteer, community bike repair workshop in Hamilton.
Last year Car Free Day branched out further as neighbourhood street
parties were hosted, parties not organized by TLC, but inspired by
TLC's ongoing efforts to raise Car Free Day's profile locally. We also
inspired the first Walking School bus in Dundas as parents, teachers
and students took it upon themselves to organize the event at Central
TLC has encountered willing partners to help broaden the scope of the
week, the most recent example being Mixed Media Art Supply on James
Street North who co-hosted a Car Free Sketch Walk last year.
STREETS FOR PEOPLE
Of course Street Parties are a big part of Car Free events around the
world, with municipalities being key players.
Street Closures allow for non-automotive use to flourish, while
enhancing commercial activity for local merchants.
TLC has held highly successful street parties in previous years on
King William Street downtown, bringing hundreds of people to the local
retail area, with the active support of local establishments like
Pepper Jacks and the Sky Dragon Centre. Local poets and musicians have
shown themselves happy to donate their talents.
TLC has worked in various capacities over the years with McMaster
University's Alternative Commute and Transportation (ACT) office, City
Parks Department (Gage Park rental), McMaster Cycle Co-Op, Recycle
Cycles, Pepper Jacks, Sky Dragon Centre, Mixed Media Arts, Transit
Gallery (film screenings), Hamilton Street Railway, Mac Green, the
Staircase Cafe and Theatre, the Art Gallery of Hamilton (film
screenings), Green Venture, the Ontario Public Interest Research Group
(OPIRG) McMaster, Ward One Councillor Brian McHattie, CFMU 93.3 FM,
and others to offer an eclectic mix of family events. We've also
garnered some positive media attention in local media like the
Hamilton Spectator, CHTV, CHML, CFMU, VIEW Magazine, the McMaster
Silhouette, Raise the Hammer and many others.
We are looking forward to making 2007 the best and biggest year so far
for Car Free Day locally.
Supporting Car Free events helps celebrate the sustainable
alternatives to the private automobile by raising the profile of
walking, cycling, transit, and car-pooling in a family oriented,
artistic and fun way.
A healthy community supports a diversity of transportation choices for
its citizens, and encourages active modes. Car Free Day is a high
profile way to enhance support while creating safe, pleasant,
therefore liveable communities.
Transportation for Liveable Communities is an award winning all
volunteer working group of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group
(OPIRG) McMaster. Since 2000, TLC has advocated for sustainable
transportation options in Hamilton and region.
905-525-9140 ext. 26026