Zurich to start car-free Saturdays in city centre

Zurich to start car-free Saturdays in city centre

The city parliament of Zurich has approved a plan that would see “car-free” Saturdays in Switzerland’s metropolis. The idea would divert drivers away from several parts of the city, allowing people, families and cyclists to use the roads as they please.

Car-free Saturdays to come to Zurich streets

The motion passed parliament by 64 votes to 50, and will see several Saturdays every year allocated as “car-free.” This would allow areas of the city - called Kreis - to restrict motor traffic and give the roads up to pedestrians.

Car-free Saturdays is an idea that isn't without history, with many Swiss cities participating in car-free Sundays in the 1970s, during the oil crisis with Iran. The advocates of the initiative were quick to distance themselves from the idea that the plan had anything to do with rising fuel costs or the looming crisis in energy, instead choosing the days to highlight the impact vehicles have on the environment.

Drivers in Zurich would curse the idea, say opponents

To the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and FDP. The Liberals, the idea cannot be justified to drivers, who would “curse” the idea according to an SVP spokesperson. A spokesperson from the FDP said that the whole campaign was simply an attempt to implement a wider "Brings uf d'Strass" campaign - a smaller initiative that saw several streets of Zurich pedestrianised during the summer holidays. While it was deemed a success, the plan did draw criticism from some residents and business owners.

The text of the motion says that it will give residents the opportunity to “explore and liven up their neighbourhood safely on foot or by bike." Zurich will be announcing which Saturdays are to be included soon.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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