Picture of the Day
yesterday | today tomorrow

August 24, 2002


Car-Free Seattle
We decided to link existing street closures with a citywide bike ride. We
picked a date. We made tee shirts. We sent press releases. We hung posters.
We made signs. We sent emails. We kept the website fresh. Gina made a 24-p.
zine. Paul contacted the mayor's office. KEXP, KPLU, KUOW plugged it. The
Seattle Times covered it. After the first leg of our slow ride--when a column of
smiling cyclists peacefully commandeered a lane of a busy city thoroughfare--
a woman named Moore with LESS taped to her back handed me a sticker:

all comes to light if intent be free of ego & expectation

We painted CAR-FREE ZONE on the back side of a GRAND OPENING banner.
50-foot laundry line through each top eyelet, jute string for the bottom corners.
Tie each rope to roll of duct tape, toss over limb or other protrusion, hoist banner
aloft and secure--
instant car-free zone. Next time: more.

The ride across town was rad, but what tickles my imagination most is the breadth
of an empty street, the extra room for kids to play, the quiet air of possibility
permeating a suddenly liberated public space. Car-free day doesn't have to hap-
pen just once a year. In fact, every day is car-free day, for a few minutes at least,
usually around 4 in the morning, when the city takes a breath and if you listen
very closely there's nothing to hear. See it once and you'll want it to last.