Implement Car-Free Sundays in Huntington Beach

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Target: Mayor of Huntington Beach, CA Don Hansen

Goal: Declare every second Sunday of the month as Car-Free Sunday to cut air pollution in the city

Huntington Beach, CA is the fourth-largest city in Orange County. It also boasts more than 387,000 cars on major roads and freeways per day. By implementing a Car-Free Sunday every second Sunday of the month the city could cut air pollution and contribute to better public health.

Motorized vehicles are one of the largest sources of air pollution. Combustion of fuels through engines releases chemical by products such as soot which can stay in the air for a long period of time and contribute to respiratory diseases. Another is carbon monoxide, which results from incomplete combustion from cars and trucks that interferes with the body’s ability to absorb oxygen and can worsen heart and respiratory diseases.

Implementing Car-Free Sundays would have many benefits for the Huntington Beach community. The event would contribute to community development. Such a large-scale event would require city-wide coordination and would build a sense of community between residents. The program also provides social encouragement to be physically active and stay healthy. Reductions in air and noise pollution occur with the collective reduction in use of motor vehicles. By closing a 10- to 15-block radius near downtown Huntington Beach, the program could highlight what the city has to offer and boost the local economy. Because of the bike and walk-friendliness of the city it would give people a reason to visit, increasing tourism, but it would also give residents a reason to stay.

Car-Free Sunday programs are being seen around the world. Southern California, specifically Huntington Beach, can be a leader for the United States in showing what an environmentally responsible and healthy community should look like. What is good for the environment is also good for the economy and public health. Write to the Mayor of Huntington Beach to let him know you support Car-Free Sundays to better ourselves and the environment.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Hansen,As the fourth largest city in Orange County, Huntington Beach has the opportunity and obligation to set a good example for other cities in Southern California and the US of what an environmentally responsible and healthy community should look like.

By implementing Car-Free Sundays once a month, Huntington Beach will be able to take over 43,000 vehicles off the roads for one day. This program will not only help reduce noise and air pollution, but it will also build a sense of community between residents, promote physical activity, and boost the local economy by highlighting what downtown Huntington Beach has to offer.

Please consider closing a ten- to fifteen-block radius near downtown Huntington Beach every second Sunday of the month for a Car-Free Zone in which people can walk, jog, bike, or skate without having to worry about sharing the road with cars that pollute the air they breathe.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

photo credit: Colin Smith via geograph.org.uk

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