“One city in America where cars have been banned since 1898”

Car-less city Source: Treehugger.com

Stephen Messenger writes for Treehugger.com about the one city in America where cars are not allowed.  I guessed that this city would be on an island.  Messenger spent a paragraph or so building up the suspense before revealing this city in the Great Lakes region.  He reports:

Located just offshore of mainland Michagan, in Lake Huron, Mackinac Island and its namesake city have long been a favorite spot for a relaxing getaway. So, when automobiles first began to arrive, loudly sputtering along the island’s once-quiet roadways, startling horses and spitting out smoke, it quickly became apparent to locals that this new invention was not for them.

One resident at the time was quoted as calling cars “mechanical monsters” — clearly not a glowing review.

City legislation to ban the automobile from Mackinac Island was passed before the turn of last century and has yet to be repealed, Messenger continues.  Here’s a description of the city:

Although the small island is home to only around 500 people, in the summer, that number swells to 15,000 during tourism season; aside from a couple of emergency vehicles, there’s nary a car to be seen. Transportation on Mackinac is limited to walking, horse-drawn carriages, and bicycling — a pleasant departure from the car-centric society that exists beyond its borders.

“The air is cleaner and injuries are fewer,” writes Jeff Potter, who published an article about Mackinac. “Island residents are healthier due to the exercise. There’s a cherished egalitarianism: everyone gets around the same way. They also save a tremendous amount of money that would normally go to commuting by cars.”

Read the full article, click here.

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