The same may not be said for the rest of Europe. Suffice to think about little hilly Malta with its pot-holes, heat, wind and a few uphill struggles on a regular windy-day where the force is quite strong (Just think what a mess it makes out of one’s hairdo, one’s best costumes on way to work…let alone if pregnant and trips, oops!
It was once being considered, if not actually proposed in an own-initiative report of the EP, to have every Sunday a car-free day-of-obligation. For those who know where this metaphor comes from and have personal problems with that, then they can eqully understand how my hair rises to think that a car-free day can be imposed on every one in Europe every Sunday! Just to remember what a nightmare it caused when towards the end of my pregnancy I wanted to enjoy car-freedom in Brussels and then suddently bang, bang, I just could not walk anymore. The nightmare was that to take the car we could not even, because we simply had not asked for prior permission from whom. The whom being who? Commune, Car-free day organisers, unknown big-brother? Sounds like a communist-state, recalling Malta back under the severe socialism of Mintoff! Have mercy, an imposed car-free day per week is certainly a no no!
For those who do not know me, yes I DO ENJOY cycling. I love the thrill of speeding, feeling the wind against my face, no pollution if that can be afforded daily from between the basilica to place Luxembourg. BUT the irony is that the ONLY and worse ever accident I ever had was precisely on a blessed car-free day a couple of years ago in Brussels! The Maddening crowd…..Nonchalantly one couple with thier two year old, walking just like a two year old, crossed the street just one metre away from me, who was about to startcycling. Hardly had I acquired tempo, to avoid hitting the child, I pressed the brake, enterered into a tram-line, got shot off a couple of metres away just to land on another tram line with the skin of my legs sliced open, and my shoulder dislocated. The worst was that I just thought that as on car -free day accidents do not happen. I mustered my strenght, took the bike again, kept on cycling unbalanced and never went to hospital, ridiculously thinking even they are on a free-day!
So my troubling question remains: is a car-free day an accident-free day? I am not sure. Statistics indicate that at least in Belgium the emergency wards are packed….
Perhaps the sum is not quite equal then. So be it, and in which case one should simply enjoy the occasional euphoria with just a bit of more attention to those traffic lights. All on a voluntary basis of course!