22 of September is the European Day without a car. In Brussels, it was one of the most exciting days of the year. You could rollerblade across what were normally busy streets, with only the buses and occasional taxis to maneuvre. (Ubers were not allowed to go into town that day).
It was fantastic feeling of freedom, even for drivers, to have a day when children could play where they wanted, where you could see a businessman take a skateboard to work and not be surprised.
It is like the greatest festival that town has ever known, like a second national day. Even if you are on a bus rather than on your feet, you can see the lack of congestion through the windows, the men and women on shorter wheels look as if they have just been liberated from a despotic tyranny.
But for the past three years in Cluj, well, I didn’t even notice it. I thought it was a Belgian day, not a European one.
Bikers seem to gather at the central square, and they are planning to do something again this year. Maybe, hopefully, the day without a car will become a thing.
If enough bikers get out this year, not just to make the traffic notice, but to create a personal sense of freedom, then maybe the day without a car will become a thing. The tyranny of the majority who drive cars and congest the streets can only be overcome when they free themselves of the need to get everywhere five minutes faster.