|On Market Hill, in Cambridge|
|Four happy people walk down St. Mary Street, in Cardiff|
The only time when Ottawa's city core is reclaimed by the people is on Canada Day when the approaches to the War Memorial and the streets from Parliament Hill to the Byward Market are so thronged with partying crowds that it would be impossible for a vehicle to get through in any case. The only street that's permanently closed to traffic in downtown Ottawa is Sparks Street: "Canada's Most Unique Street" as it claimed to be (to our amusement as we discovered that there are degrees of uniqueness), when we first arrived here.
Where have the vehicles gone since they were forbidden access to the heart of the city in Cardiff and Cambridge? They have been diverted, of course. Driving into town now demands a bit of thought and planning, because you have to park around the edges and walk. Is that such a bad thing? People do get used to the idea when they discover how much more attractive their city has become since the ban on cars, and tend to stop complaining. My elderly mother told me yesterday that small vehicles––"shop mobility scooters"––have been laid on free of charge for the people who don't find walking so easy (although you have to know where to locate them). The city has obviously given this a good deal of thought, as can be seen from this leaflet. Of course it helps that the bus and rail network in and around Cardiff is very good, too.