Seattle Starts 'Car-Free' Sundays

City closes streets in three neighborhoods
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2008 2:07 AM CDT
Traffic moves along Interstate 5 south of Seattle. The city is experimenting with 'car-free' Sundays, closing roads in several neighborhoods.    (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – Seattle is about to stage a series of "Car-Free Sundays" to encourage people to drive less, save money and combat global warming, reports the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The city will close streets in three neighborhoods in August and September, and the mayor aims to expand the program next summer if it's successful. A number of business owners are upset about the plan they say will reduce customers, but the mayor urged everyone to "chill."

"Neighbors will have three to six hours to experience our streets in a new way and to see how livable a city can be when people drive less," said Mayor Greg Nickels. "This is our chance to experiment and evaluate how these events work for people. Get out of the car and walk."