Today, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee was joined by colleagues Chin and Crowley, Nilda Mesa, Director Mayor’s Office of Sustainability; several organizations such as Citi, NYLCV, Earth Day Initiative; groups such as BikeNYC; and universities like host NYU, and CUNY – to unveil the plans towards making this year’s Earth Day one for the books.
Inspired by recent events ranging from the People’s Climate March in September 2014, Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, the COP21 in Paris in late 2015, and more; Councilman Rodriguez put forth the idea for a car free Earth Day here in the City.
With the support of 37 Council Members, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, and organizations like the NYLCV, Citi Bike, Earth Day Initiative, and more; this idea has been able to come to fruition – we will see the first ever Car Free Earth in our country day being hosted here in NYC.
Transportation not only contributes to over 30% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, but it also poses threats to public health, air quality, pedestrian safety, and overall well-being, we must take action now! Car Free Earth Day is just the start, with the goals of promoting and exhibiting how reliable carpooling, buses, subways, cycling, and more can be! By reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles, we will see not only a decrease in traffic congestion, but an increase in quality of life and health.
To help, several organizations have taken the pledge towards what they plan on doing towards on Earth Day to promote a #CarFreeNYC! CitiBike announced today that they will be pledging to a free 24-hour pass for users on Earth Day; the city has designated specific street closures, including the surrounding area of Washington Square Park, a portion of Wadsworth Avenue in Washington Heights, and a portion of Broadway from the Flatiron Building down to Union Square.
Our very own Ya-Ting Liu provided welcoming remarks, and served as the moderator for a very diverse panel. NYLCV’s pledge is to promote the event out on social media, as well as encourage partner organizations, and Board Members and their relations to join in on the movement.
We are very excited to be taking part of this monumental activity, and encourage all of you to get out and make the pledge to go car free on Earth Day – Friday, April 22, 2016!