Carless Weekend in Emerald Avenue

A road free of cars

F. Ortigas Jr. Road formerly Emerald Avenue is usually busy with cars passing. It is also frequently seen as a road dotted with professionals walking along its sidewalk. However, the whole stretch of the road is closed to cars every weekend for it to be utilized by families. Walking around it with no vehicles on sight but just people relaxing and enjoying their leisure time seems a bit strange. On carless weekends, the road surrounded by high rise buildings is occupied by people who are exercising and bikers that rode up and down the road. Shoppers go to different booths along the sidewalk. Hungry residents take delight in buying appetizing meals on the Banchetto food stalls. Joggers and pet-owners stroll the wide space that is free of cars.

Reintroducing the appreciation for parks and pedestrian zones

The carless weekend project enables people to appreciate open spaces, parks and pedestrian zones. It assists in bringing back the old tradition of strolling around the outdoors instead of the present form of recreation of loitering in an air-conditioned building. In recent decades, the charm of walking around the city has diminished and has been less considered as a fun activity. Due to the increased number of cars, pollution, and the climate, the country has shifted to embrace a mall culture. People have been engrossed with the trend, as malls offer convenience by acting as one-stop-shop while providing comfort among its shoppers.  This has resulted in an increase in malls and lesser traffic in pedestrian areas. 

Benefits of Carless weekend

Carless weekend is a part of the “Bayanihan sa Daan” or Road Sharing Program that aims to promote clean air, low emission, and low impact vehicle activities to help save the environment from pollution for the next generation. Carless weekend project helps alter the mindset that roads are just for vehicles, but roads can also be enjoyed by people. 

Aside from promoting a clean environment, and healthy and green living, the project also has a social advantage. Traffic consumes family time and community time, but with the Carless weekend, recreational activities can be done on the road. This restores the bonds of family, establish friendships with others, and preserves community unity. It brings back the lost connection between people and improves our appreciation of the outdoors.

The commendable project transforms the busy Ortigas Center into a bonding place for the family. It has been appreciated and supported by many that some even hope it can be adapted in other parts of the country. On your spare time this weekend, why not stroll along Ortigas and join the locals having fun under the sun.

Happy Travels! 💛

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