Ditch the Motors: Inspiration for Car Free Day

September 22 is World Car Free Day, an annual event when participants around the world set aside their car keys and find alternative methods for getting to work. This annual observance goes back to the 1970s, and gained more ground in the 1990s to coincide with the European Union’s “In Town Without My Car” campaign.

I personally like to walk everywhere I can, but this got me to thinking whether there could be more creative ways of getting around, and I took to searching our collections for some ideas!

You could take the traditional walking option…

Walking to Work, 1916. Photography by Bain News Service, 1916. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.22722

Walking to Work, 1916. Photo by Bain News Service, 1916. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.22722

Or perhaps you prefer to ride your bike, with child and pup in tow!

Man and boy riding a bike with a dog perched on the man’s shoulder near the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool. Photo by Laura Patterson, Sept. 1991. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.38847

You might like to roll around on roller blades:

Roller skater passes the Chess Pavilion in Lincoln Park along Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Carol Highsmith, between 1980 and 2006. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.18149

Roller skater passes the Chess Pavilion in Lincoln Park along Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Carol Highsmith, between 1980 and 2006. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.18149

Or maybe your taste for alternative transportation is a bit more adventurous, and you decide to go the equestrian route…

Man and woman riding on horses, Washington, D.C. Photo by Harris and Ewing, 1931. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.36369

Or maybe join together with friends and ride off in a carriage:

Martha Ewing and George W. Harris out for a buggy ride in California about 1903 / McLeod The Wild West Photograph[er]. Photo by Norman E. McLeod, 1903. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.38921

So how are you going to get around on World Car Free Day?

Richard Mahler (5) is the Fire Island School's youngest pupil and lives the farthest away. His father is the lighthouse keeper and, since the lighthouse is about four miles away, school is a long ride by jeep. Photo by Roger Higgins, 1952. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.09037

Richard Mahler (5) is the Fire Island School’s youngest pupil and lives the farthest away. His father is the lighthouse keeper and, since the lighthouse is about four miles away, school is a long ride by jeep. Photo by Roger Higgins, 1952. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.0903

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