The National Week Without Driving is happening right now! We’re here to catch you up with all the latest news and updates.
What is the Week Without Driving?
In 2020, Disability Mobility Initiative began documenting the experiences of non-drivers in the State of Washington. In 2021 and 2022, they challenged elected officials and other decision-makers to a Week Without Driving – with profound effects on those who participated. For 2023, Disability Mobility Initiative is partnering with America Walks to take Week Without Driving national.
Why a Week Without Driving?
Many of our communities are built around the ability to drive yourself in a personal vehicle and the prospect of not driving for a week sounds insurmountable to many US residents. But nearly one out of every three people in the United States doesn’t have a driver’s license, i.e. doesn’t drive. What sort of challenges do they face as they travel day-to-day? Participating in the Week Without Driving increases the understanding of the barriers that non-drivers face when trying to move safely in their communities, and spurs work with non-drivers to create better communities for all.
What’s happening across the country?
Over 140 organizations across the country are hosting Week Without Driving activities and almost 250 public officials have committed to participating. Here are some of our favorite local initiatives:
Denver advocates from Denver Streets Partnership, Pedestrian Dignity, and the National Organizations for Youth Safety are challenging locals to participate in their first-ever #WeekWithoutDriving challenge. Supporters are hopeful that drivers get out into the community, and encounter issues that hinder the daily travels of pedestrians and cyclists, some of which they may have missed being behind the wheel.
City officials of Milan are taking on the national #WeekWithoutDriving challenge and are encouraging their constituents to participate as well. The city’s leaders understand that rural communities like Milan present unique challenges for non-drivers, like lack of public transit, disconnected sidewalks, and significant distance to amenities. The hope is to continue the conversation after the challenge is over, use a public forum to share experiences and create a plan for accessibility to overcome commuting obstacles.
The Living Streets Alliance (LSA) of Tucson, AZ is leading the way to encourage drivers to go a #WeekWithoutDriving! LSA continues to challenge locals and city leaders to understand transportation inequities firsthand, and what better way to do that than to detach themselves from driving? LSA organizers are hosting events to share experiences and also inviting city officials to shadow a mobility justice advocate for a day.
La Crosse has taken a spin on their take for #WeekWithoutDriving. The city is offering incentives for finding ways to get around without driving. You can find free rides throughout the week and a bingo game to help document your experiences (someone tell us what the prize is!).
Bike Cleveland, Clevelanders for Public Transit, the Northeast Ohio Coalition of Disability Organizations, and Youth Challenge are all Clevelanders who are calling for leaders in the community to go a #WeekWithoutDriving. 22% of households in Cleveland do not own cars and rely exclusively on riding public transportation, walking to businesses, and using sidewalks and crosswalks. Organizers are hosting several events throughout the week: free coffee and donuts in the Public Square for car-free travelers, chances to learn about advocacy for mobility justice and even a happy hour to end the week.
Houston’s Mayor Turner has made it official: the City now recognizes October 2-8 as the Week Without Driving! Congratulations to LINK Houston for all their great advocacy that made this possible.
Want to watch more? Check these out!
King County, Washington
San Mateo, California
Charlotte, North Carolina
Learn more about the Week Without Driving
Follow America Walks on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to stay up-to-date with the latest Week Without Driving activity! Want a deeper dive? Register for the National Week Without Driving webinar – happening TODAY!