Week Without Driving, October 2-8, 2023
If you can drive or afford a car, you may not understand what it’s like to rely on walking, rolling, transit and asking for rides. But for nearly a third of people living in the United States – people with disabilities, young people, seniors and people who can’t afford cars or gas – this is our every day. We created the Week Without Driving challenge so that policy makers, elected leaders and transportation professionals can begin to understand the barriers nondrivers experience in accessing our communities.
What’s new this year?
In 2021, the Disability Mobility Initiative launched the #WeekWithoutDriving to challenge our leaders to better understand the barriers nondrivers experience in accessing our communities. After two successful years of hosting the challenge in Washington State (Including an official proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee), this year, #WeekWithoutDriving is going national in partnership with America Walks. So far, more than fifty advocacy groups from across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico are planning to join the challenge October 2-8.
How does the #WeekWithoutDriving work?
- You can get around however you want, but the challenge is not to drive yourself in any car. This applies to all your activities — not just your work commute. If you normally transport other family members or friends, it applies to those trips too.
- You can ask someone else to drive you, but make a note of how much you “owe” this person in their time, and if you felt obligated to support them in other ways (ie, doing all the dishes). You can use ride hail or taxis if they exist where you need to go, but again, think about how the cost could impact your decision to take this trip if this was regularly your only option.
- This isn’t a disability simulation or a test of how easily you can find alternatives. We know that it is far easier to give up your keys if you can afford to live in a walkable area well served by transit, or can outsource your driving and other transport and delivery needs to other people. Having to drive during the challenge does not signify failure. The point is to consider how someone without that option would have coped, and what choices they might have made.
Questions? Contact annaz at dr-wa dot org or ruth at americawalks dot org
Get inspired to organize your own #WeekWithoutDriving by checking out these videos and media highlights.