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D.C. area to host three car-free days September 21 through 23

The event will occur during a week of expected climate action in the District

Cars in traffic on a major road in D.C. Buildings and trees line the road.
Traffic on New York Avenue NE
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Regional officials are encouraging residents to ditch cars and get around using greener modes of transportation from September 21 to September 23 around Car Free Day—an annual worldwide event on September 22. Commuter Connections, a program from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), is organizing the D.C. area version and soliciting pledges. The event is poised to take place during a week of significant climate action in the nation’s capital, including demonstrations by youth and other groups.

“Be among the thousands who want to reduce their carbon footprint by exploring more sustainable ways to travel to work, school, or anywhere you need to go,” Nicholas Ramfos, the director of Commuter Connections, says in a statement. Residents who enter an online pledge will receive a $30 credit for purchases at local businesses and be entered to win raffle prizes, among them a pair of D.C. United tickets and Capital Bikeshare annual memberships.

So far, over 2,800 people have taken the pledge, according to Commuter Connections, which says carpooling counts as well, since it helps remove vehicles from the roads. The D.C. region is reputed for some of the worst traffic congestion in the U.S.—particularly after the summer.

Activists are preparing to protest in the District over climate change on September 20 and September 23, according to community organizers. On the latter date, they expect to shut down roads in the city’s downtown area, which could cause disruption and boost gridlock.