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For the 2011 Chicagoland Car-Free Day on Thursday, September 22, the City of Evanston will be partnering with the Active Transportation Alliance, CTA, Metra, Pace, RTA and communities around the region to shine a spotlight on ways of getting around without driving.

Everyone is invited to take the Chicagoland Car-Free Day Pledge, even if you were already planning to walk, bike or take public transit on Car-Free Day.

In addition to taking the pledge, Evanston will be holding a Car-free Day Pit Stop at the 909 Davis Building from 6-9 a.m. on Chicagoland Car-Free Day. The event will be full of surprises including appearances by local officials, free food and drinks, free bike check-ups, an extra bike parking corral, raffles and more!

Visit www.cityofevanston.org/carfreeday to take the car-free pledge and learn about the special offers available to everyone who takes the Evanston Car-Free pledge.

“Evanston gives residents many different transportation options in order to make Car-Free Day as smooth of an experience as possible,” explained the City of Evanston’s Sustainable Programs Coordinator Catherine Hurley. “For those traveling in and out of Evanston on September 22nd, Metra and the CTA provide easy to use public transportation options that run regularly throughout the day.”

For those that are traveling within Evanston’s borders, remember that the downtown area is perfect for walking. Additionally, many of the roads are bike friendly and there are plenty options for cyclists to securely lock their bike within close proximity of their destination. For more information on bike routes and parking options, see the information that the City of Evanston provides here>>>

“The idea of being car free can be daunting to most commuters that have been driving for a long time. Like most adjustments to personal habits, it is best to take small steps towards being more ‘car free,’” said Hurley. Here are some actions for residents to consider when pursuing their car-free goal beyond Car-free Day:

Develop a car-pool to help lower your personal car usage during the week

If it is nice outside, try walking to do your errands and enjoy the weather.

Take public transportation to save on gas and parking costs.

Research car sharing services such as Zipcar and iGo.

“It is true that there will always be occasions where residents will need to take a car, but if residents follow some of the above steps to reduce their overall car usage, they will begin to enjoy savings and the environment will thank you,” concluded Hurley.