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Could You Give Up Your Car for Lent?

9:36 AM PST on February 11, 2013

The season of Lent is coming up, and here's an idea we like a lot.

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The Catholic and Protestant Churches of Austria are encouraging their followers to give up, or reduce, car usage for Lent. Mikael Colville-Andersen at Network blog Copenhagenize has the story:

Our friend Paul in Vienna sent us a link to an intiative by the Catholic and Protestant churches of Austria. Car Fasting - or Autofasten, in German. A brilliant initiative to encourage people to go on a car fast and seek alternatives.

Here's what I lamely translated from their website:

Car Fasting is ...

- An initiative to encourage a change of independent mobility between Ash Wednesday (13 Feb) to Holy Saturday (30 March).- Suggesting choosing available alternatives like rail, bus, bicycle, foot, car-pooling in order to discover something new and to experiment.- Contributing to new experiences and to public health.- An opportunity to shape a better future -- together.- An initiative of the environmental officers of the Catholic and Protestant churches in Austria.

The church offered a list of suggestions to its followers for how to comply with the fast, including walking children to school, forming a carpool and urging political leaders to improve public transport. Sounds like a pretty healthy initiative.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Greater City Providence demonstrates the wrong way to plow snow, namely by removing an obstacle for cars and placing it on the sidewalks. This Big City looks at Seattle's streetcar renaissance. And Streets.mn shares a Valentine love note in honor of the pedestrian commute.

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