Some things you just believe when you see and experience them. One of those things for me was: Tel Aviv without cars. To give you an idea of what it usually looks like, check out a Google Maps screenshot from a couple of weeks ago:
As I’m biking through that, it’s a constant fight to get out of the city towards the beach, where I head north towards Herzliya. Besides that, the pollution is bad and the noise level extreme. But not so today.
Today there was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism. It also means everything shuts down during an entire day of fasting from sunset to sunset. And everything really means everything. On shabbat public transport is limited and most shops are closed, and we’re used to that, but on Yom Kippur there aren’t any cars on the road at all. When I came home from the city yesterday it looked like this:
Today then, pedestrians, families with kids and a lot of bikes took over the streets. Niklas and Linnéa biked on the highway and I took my tri-bike out for a nice 40k ride on perfect roads on the highway to Netanya.
The feeling was so surreal. Everybody seemed to enjoy it - a lot. Kids went from the left to the right on the bike without fear. A lot of people were simply out taking over all the space that is usually reserved for cars. It was a wonderful experience which made me wonder why we can’t agree on once a month. It sounds weird, completely unrealistic and hard to believe - until you see it. :)