Memphis challenges you to go car-free - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphis challenges you to go car-free

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Tim Andrassy / FOX13 News Tim Andrassy / FOX13 News
EAST MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Could you go a day without a car in Memphis?

How about 30 days??

The city of Memphis is challenging citizens to go car-free and use a different form of transportation to get to work or home.

MORE: City of Memphis 30-day Car-Free Challenge

It's a concept not sitting well with most Memphians. Shamira Shivani and Bradley Frezza both say they prefer to drive.

"They don't have constant trolley or bus service from Germantown to here," Shivani said. "It's like 25 miles. At 4 o'clock I  have to open this store. I'm not relying on those services because they don't have constant service."

"I'm in Hickory Withe," added Frezza. "I don't even think I can get a taxi out there. If I were closer, absolutely I would like to be able to do that -- riding a bike, be out there, get some exercise. I think it's a wonderful plan."

It's a challenge, literally. The Bluff City is trying to focus on improving air quality, reduce traffic congestion and the public cost to road infrastructure.

"Driving, being in a car all the time, doesn't always help, so things like dealing with public health and obesity issues, getting people active more often is going to address those issues," said Kyle Wagenschutz, city of Memphis Pedestrian Coordinator.

Ninety-percent of Memphians drive often alone to and from work or home every single day. So the city wants people to look at the Memphis Area Transit Authority trolley lines, the Shelby Farms Park Greenline, carpool, or even use MATA buses as an alternate form of getting about the city.

It's the kind of challenge most Memphian appreciate at least recognizing the health benefits. Even still they refuse to give 30 days or even a day any traction.
 
"I just like autonomy be able to go when I please," said Rogerick Williams, who also prefers to drive.
 
FOX13 News also asked Councilman Harold Collins about the city's idea to go car-free.

"He wants the citizens to abandon their cars and use other measures of transportation?," the councilman asked.

Councilman Collins called it a great and even noteworthy concept, but in Memphis where public transportation isn't always practical, many still drive.

"If I was challenged and had to, I could get here for 30 days, but I don't think I would like to do it for 30 days," said Deborah Griffith, who likes driving. "I like the freedom of my car."

Remember this is a challenge. The Bluff City realizes it's not an easy one, but believe there are some who are up to at least trying out other ways to get to their destinations.

You can log onto to carfreememphis.com where you can register, get information but also check out some of the other resources the city of Memphis has to offer.

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