This week, Washington is switching gears.
A Week Without Driving is an initiative organized by Disability Rights Washington that asks people to ditch their cars for a week. The purpose is to help build understanding for how those with disabilities, youth, and folks who don’t drive cars get around the city — which in Seattle accounts for about 55,000 people.
While it’s easy to understand how traveling via only bus can be a challenge or why dedicated bike lanes foster safety, it’s a whole different thing to experience for yourself. Disability Rights Washington hopes the week-long experiment can create a more robust advocacy network and in turn, a better community.
You won’t be the only one who’s trying it. Several Seattle + King County councilmembers, Sound Transit’s incoming CEO Julie Timm, Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson, and many other local officials are also jumping in on the challenge.
So, how does it work?
There are only a few parameters, since the point is to get people to think creatively and have a well-rounded experience.
- You’re free to use whatever mode of transportation you want, but try not to drive your car at all.
- Think about how using your mode of choice might affect your day-to-day in the longer term. How quickly does the price of Ubers add up? How would you repay a friend who drives you around for a month? How would your walk change if you had a broken leg or bad ankle?
- Share your experience by using the hashtag #WeekWithoutDriving on social media, or by sending an email or voice memo. You can use the initiative’s prompt tool to get you started.
Want to give it a try?
Here are some resources you might find beneficial.
- Public transit users can use the Transit app to help plan their trips and view real-time information. This can also be a good opportunity to try out the new ORCA card system.
- Bikers can map out their route on the Seattle Department of Transportation’s website.
- We also have some tips for getting around without gas and enjoying bike paths.