Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is set to observe World Car Free Day for a week starting from September 22 in order to discourage motor vehicles along the roads in the core areas of the capital and encourage walking and cycling.
It is for the first time that the government has decided to observe the international campaign as “Kathmandu Walks”.
As the campaign is being observed for the first time, the KMC has decided to ban motor vehicles for several hours along over half a dozen roads in the core areas including the old quarters of Kathmandu.
The campaign will be organized in coordination with Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, local residential/business communities, Thamel Tourism Development Committee, Clean Energy Nepal and RECPHEC, among other local clubs.
Prashanta Khanal, program coordinator of Clean Energy Nepal (CEN), a non-governmental organization which is also a co-partner for the campaign, said, “The streets are largely occupied by motor vehicles, which has not only made the city less pedestrian-friendly but also contributed to traffic congestion, air pollution, noise pollution, and road accidents, making the city more unsafe and less livable. So, we are celebrating the international campaign throughout a week.”
During the campaign, different activities such as heritage walks, cycle rallies, food stalls, street performance including aerobic exercises will be organized on the street. Likewise, other promotional activities will be carried out to encourage walking and cycling.
Motor vehicles will be banned on the road stretches along Kilagal, Sathghumti [Thamel], Basantapur and Janabahal among other areas for several hours routinely for a week.
He said the campaign is being organized to make the public aware on the importance of walking and cycling and promote sustainable mode of urban transport. “Above all, we want the week-long campaign to contribute to making the capital city safer and more livable.”