Wood Green Car Free Day
November 18, 2008
Cars pour down our roads in noisy smelly rushing rivers, and we have all seen flowers left in memory of children violently taken while trying to hop from one island of safety to another. But for one brief Sunday in September a stretch of Wood Green High Road was closed to traffic. Stalls were set up and the crowds out shopping were entertained in the street. Children had the chance to try out bicycles on a small section of the road in safety.
Many of the stalls were handing out useful information or selling goods and food. There were a lot more smiling faces amongst the usual Sunday shoppers, and something of a carnival atmosphere. People were enjoying the freedom to wander in the road from stall to stall without the stress of traffic. This is a foretaste of what our streets could be like.
It was local campaigning groups such as Sustainable Haringey that convinced the Council to close the road for the very first Car Free Day in Haringey. But despite its enthusiastic reception it may be the last – rumour has it the Council are not minded to do it again next year. But why wait for them? If they won’t help, then do it yourself. Street parties are becoming more popular, whether it is your own street or a major road like Wood Green High Road. Why not get together with your neighbours and take back your street for a day, making it a place where people can meet and children can play safely outside their front door?