Work in Minneapolis?
If the answer is "yes," consider yourself under pressure not to drive your car to your job on Friday.
It's because Sept. 22 is "World Car-Free Day," and a local non-profit group is hoping to get drivers (and their employers) on board with a contest and other incentives.
Companies that sign up with Move Minneapolis and get their employees to participate – by biking, walking, carpooling, telecommuting, or taking the bus to work that day – have a chance to win things like trophies, and the title of “Best Workplace for Car-Free Commuters.”
On top of that, commuters who take "a World Car-Free Day pledge" can enter a drawing to win a Bianchi bike from One on One Bicycle Studio, or a "Staycation package" that includes a night at Aloft Minneapolis, dinner at Fogo De Chao, and tickets to Orchestra Hall.
Move Minneapolis will also be at Minneapolis Visitor Information on the Nicollet Mall (the downtown tourist center is best known as the temporary home of the famous Mary Tyler Moore statue), handing out free stuff like coffee, cookies, transit maps, buttons and "bike swag."
You can make the pledge through your company, or individually by clicking here.
SOVs in Minneapolis
All this is aimed at educating Minneapolis commuters about how they can quit their addiction to "SOVs" (single-occupancy vehicles), with the organization noting that going car-free "may seem intimidating at first."
According to census data quoted by Move Minneapolis, a solid majority of Minneapolis employees – nearly 60 percent of the local workforce – drove alone to work in 2015.
This might be why city leaders are backing the nonprofit's effort. The group says Mayor Betsy Hodges and the City Council "will hear a resolution declaring September 22 World Car-Free Day in the City of Minneapolis."
Move Minneapolis, which started in 1991 and promotes "sustainable transportation," says World Car-Free Day launched in Spain in 1996.