A Car-Free Experiment Rolls into Jackson, Mississippi

Today on the Streetsblog Network, news of a car-free week coming to Jackson, Mississippi. We heard about it from one of our newer network members, Jackson Bike Advocates:

3931952801_db9d6acef2.jpgCars are king in Jackson, but some are working to change that. (Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr)

Let’s turn in our keys for one week and see how carLESS Jackson really can be. I think we can do it!

We would love to turn this into a mini-study for the Jackson
Community and Design Center…we could keep track of where we could and
could not go, our routes, and finances. Here is a link to the JCDC website.

Here are the rules if you care to participate: On Sunday night stop
using your car. See if you can live your daily life by bike, bus, and
walking. I will post some maps that you can keep track of your routes
if you would like…

On the following Sunday, go back to using your car — if you have decided you still want to.

Car-free
weeks and days are becoming more common around the country. But this
one is particularly exciting to me because my spouse is from the
Jackson area and I’ve visited there several times. I know from
firsthand experience that it is the archetype of a car-dependent
community.

So to see Jackson taking the initiative to try a
car-free experiment, and not only that but to document and study it, is
from my perspective something of a watershed moment. Jackson,
Mississippi — if you can make it car-free there, you can make it
car-free anywhere.

We’ll keep you posted on how this experiment turns out.

More from around the network: Bike Jax in Jacksonville, Florida, has evidence that even the police are showing a little bike love. Tucson Bike Lawyer has a startling report on how Japanese law treats car owners involved in crashes with cyclists. And the US DOT’s Fast Lane blog has some help for employers who want to implement a no phoning/no texting while driving policy for their employees.

  • Bob

    Does anyone else see a problem here?
    Advocating that folks give up their keys and take the bus on SUNDAY?

    Of the non-bus-riders I’ve met in my lifetime, all made their decision based on one experience, and never looked back. Encouraging someone to take the bus when service levels are at their worst will only convince the public at large that the bike and bus crowd are to be ignored.

  • Giorgio

    Holy shit. Something’s going on in the core of possibly the worst state? Though Jackson’s only slightly bigger than a small town, they have big fat streets and low traffic so bikes are definitely doable, you just have to break that southern mindset. However if you want a model for any city emanate high bike ridership, you must cut down the main arteries of cheap oil and low density, that’s right, Houston and Phoenix. You succeed there, car culture is utterly decimated.

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