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Car-Free Day at Humboldt State University

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What is World Car-Free Day?[edit]

From the World Carfree Network:

World Carfree Day is an annual celebration of cities and public life, free from the noise, stress and pollution of cars. Each year on September 22, people around the world organize events of all sizes to showcase alternatives to the automobile. World Carfree Network invites organisations and individuals everywhere to join.

See World Carfree Day or the official website for more info.

History of Car-Free Day at Humboldt State University[edit]

On 22 September 2003, Humboldt State University was the first U.S. university to celebrate Car-Free Day. The day of celebration was sponsored and coordinated by what was then the Alternative Transportation Club of Humboldt State University, founded by Renee Stork. The ATC changed its name to Green Wheels in the fall of 2006. HSU has celebrated Car-Free Day in 2004, '05, and '06. It has become a regular annual event on the HSU campus. Each year it is an opportunity to highlight the fun, healthful, aesthetic, and community-building benefits of sustainable transportation by bringing the community together for a morning bike ride to campus and free breakfast, and by closing "B" street to automobile traffic to create a pedestrian corridor and artistic space for pastel artwork, among other events. It is also a venue for Green Wheels promote itself and its sustainable transportation initiatives and projects for the year.

Purpose of this Appropedia page[edit]

Green Wheels dedicates considerable time and effort to plan and coordinate Car-Free Day. Many of the same tasks must be performed every year, most often by new club officers, members and volunteers, as there is constant turnover in any student organization at a university. This page is document the necessary steps to making Car-Free Day happen, streamlining the process for busy student organizers. Since the document is on a wiki, it is well-suited to be adjusted and refined with each successive year. This page is being maintained on Appropedia, not privately on Google Documents or another online collaborative space in hope that other university campuses might use this information to coordinate their own Car-Free Day celebration. Putting Car-Free Day planning information on Appropedia is also an effective way to introduce more people to Appropedia, a website begun at HSU, which is becoming an increasingly useful tool for the appropriate technology community.

Planning and coordinating Car-Free Day[edit]

Spring semester prior[edit]

Decide what day to have CFD[edit]

World Car-Free Day is September 22nd, so HSU has generally celebrated on Sep 22 with the rest of the world. In 2006, however HSU celebrated CFD on Thursday, Sep 21st because the 22nd fell on a Friday, when fewer students would have been on campus. If September 22nd falls on a weekend day, Car-Free Day at HSU obviously needs to be scheduled for a different day.

Create a schedule of events[edit]

It is imperative that a schedule of events is decided upon even before the fall semester begins. If a schedule of events is still being created when the fall semester begins, CFD promotion including fliers, advertising, press releases, brochures, webpages and email announcements must all be delayed until the schedule of events is determined.

Events for consideration:

  • Tour d'Arcata
  • Breakfast
  • Speakers
  • Music
  • Art on "B" Street
  • Contests
    • Log-pull
    • Fix-a-flat
    • Heaviest bike
    • Best-decorated bike
    • Best bike commuter outfit
    • Longest commute
  • Forums
  • Films
  • Parking space demonstrations
  • Tune-up and bike maintenance assistance

Promoting Car-Free Day[edit]

Fliers & publications[edit]

  • Produce Community Wheel newsletter before CFD with special "CFD insert"
  • In 2006, 500 trifolds were printed by HSU Graphic Services with info on what is going to go down. For $50 you can have 500 printed on both sides on a color of your choice. For an additional $5.00 you can have them fold them, which is worth your time. It is good to pass out trifolds with class announcements.
  • 250 full-color tabloid-size posters were printed in 2006 using HSU Graphic Services
  • Posters can be hung around the community; divide up responsibility for hanging posters by regions - in Arcata and other towns
  • Stickers: In 2005 Green Wheels purchuced 1000 blue and white bike stickers from Blackjack at 801 K street in Arcata. Their number is 707-826-0331. Allow a couple of weeks for printing. Now, you can see Car-Free Day stickers all over town.

Chalking & staking[edit]

  • Get a poster staking and chalking permit from the Clubs office. This permit will need to be approved by HSU Plant Operations and returned to the Clubs Office. Streamline this process by sending the permit via campus mail to Plant Ops, with a note asking them to return it by campus mail to the Clubs Office.

Press contacts[edit]

Announcement opportunities[edit]

  • Submit announcement for "HSU Weekly University Notices" sent out via email
    • Submit through clubs office
    • Submit before Wednesday of the week before CFD.
  • Schedule Car-Free Day on the green wheels facebook page. Ask all group members to broadcast invite out to their facebook network.
  • Class Anouncements: Have people tell all of their classes what is going on and when. This is a good time to pass out trifolds, stickers, and write a message on the chalk board.

Organizing breakfast food[edit]

Sources & contacts[edit]

These are the sources that we have contacted in the past:

Los Bagels
Store phone: 822-3150
While they may only be able to donate a few dozen bagels for breakfast, they have been wonderful about letting us take their frozen day old bagels. All you need to do is find some freezer space and they will let you take as many as you need. In 2005 we had 200 bagels total and this was plenty. In 2006 we had 250 bagels which was way too much.
Northcoast Co-op
Karen Brooks (karenbrooks at northcoastco-op.com)
The bakery donated day old bread that we then froze, but last year they did not have day old stuff.
Safeway
Wildberries
Manager: Phil (822-0095 x12)
You need to talk to Phil if you want more than 10 bucks. If you only want 10 bucks you can go in and they will give you a gift certificate. If you talk to Phil, we can make more possible.
Don's Donuts
I am sure if we contacted them early enough they would donate
Sacred Grounds
Store phone: 822-0690
Spoke to (manager): Derek
Sacred Grounds has been wonderful in the past, lending us several airpots
Royal Cookie Capers
Every year they donated a ton of cookie ends that can't be sold but are devine. Contact far enough in advance so they can start saving them for us.
Tofu Shop
Store phone: 822-7401
Their spreads are excellent on Bagels
Brio Bread
1309 11th St Ste 101, Arcata,707-822-0791
They need at least 2 months notice because so many people ask for food.
Murphy's Market
785 Bayside Rd, Arcata,(707) 822-7665
Donated a box of melons every year.
Mad River Jam
Donated several containers of jam in the past. Need to remember to save jars and return.
Coffee Break in Sunny Brae

Other things besides Food that you need to get for breakfast:

Cups
R.O.S.E. has about 50 cups you can check out. You need to clean then before returning.
The "J" checks out cups. Last year we borrowed over 200 cups from the J. However it is hard to make sure they all get checked back in, and we had to pay $3 per cup not returned. Borrowing those cups cost us close to $25.00. Be sure to have some one responsible for making sure cups are returned. We had a sign, but an anouncement would be good.
Bagel Slicer
The J has let us borrow a bagel slicer the day of in the past. Be sure to have someone responsible for returning it.
Tables
The Clubs Office has tables for clubs to use. You need to get the key for the table closet the night before, because they are not open at 6:00 when you start set up. Tables can be stored at the BLC if you ask before. If your name is on the BLC key list you can get a key from UPD anytime.
Serving Stuff
You are going to need knives, plates, platters, spoons, cream pourers... Stuff for cream and sugar has been borrowed from Sacred Grounds in the past. The other stuff from people. I would suggest making arangement to have peoples stuff returned or you will never get it all back.
Napkins
Buy non-bleached napkins so they can be composted. These can work for plates.
Compost
You can get a couple buckets from the HSU compost program. Put them out during breakfast to divert organic waste. Buckets can be emptied at the compost site over by CCAT[1].

"Serve Safe Training"[edit]

Two volunteers or club members serving food must watch the "Serve Safe Training" video prior to the breakfast. For more information, see this page on Clubs & Activities Policies.

Form letter[edit]

A pre-written form letter is available on Google Documents to ask businesses to donate food.

Thanking donors[edit]

Afterwards, businesses need to be thanked for donating food. See section on Car-Free Day follow-up.

Permits & safety precautions[edit]

Organizing volunteers[edit]

In 2006, Google Docs & Spreadsheets was used to share volunteer sign-up sheets. The 2006 volunteer spreadsheet can be viewed here. You will need a Google Account and an invitation from a Green Wheels member to view this spreadsheet. If you need an invitation to view this spreadsheet, email wheels at humboldt.edu.

Last year's volunteers can first be emailed from last year's spreadsheet. Then the google group, greenwheels at googlegroups.com can be used to request volunteers. By including a link to the volunteer spreadsheet, prospective volunteers can see an up-to-the minute picture of exactly where and when help is still needed.

Event day[edit]

Tour d'Arcata[edit]

All participants must sign a liability waiver:

Breakfast[edit]

Green Wheels members or volunteers should personally greet every bus- or bike- commuting breakfast guest and ask them to register, taking down their email address for the announcement list if they are willing. Personally greeting each participant and writing down their email address for them will not only increase the number of addresses we are able to collect, but will also ensure that each email address is legibly written.

Green Wheels contact cards with website, email address, and meeting times should be offered, preferably, again, by a human being, instead of just sitting on the table.

Breakfast is the opportunity to make announcements of interest and use to Green Wheels and the sustainable transportation community:

  • Point out any dignitaries to encourage their continued annual participation:
    • HSU administrators
    • City council members
    • Leaders for other sustainable transportation programs
  • Thank volunteers
  • Highlight upcoming events of the day
  • Outline benefits of sustainable transportation
  • Bring up current projects on the sustainable transportation agenda for campus and Arcata
  • Thank food donors

"B" Street[edit]

  • Volunteers at top and bottom of hill with vests provided by Parking and Commuter Services allow campus and emergency vehicles through
  • Make pastels available for all participants to interact with the street through art!
  • Hang Car-Free Day posters or Green Wheels posters at the top and bottom of "B" street so people know what the @#$% is going on.
  • Offer Green Wheels contact cards and email list sign-up at top and bottom of hill
  • Bicycle Learning Center sets up mobile station on "B" Street
  • Emphasize the HSU masterplan calls for "B" street to become a pedestrian corridor closed to passenger car traffic and parking.

Contests[edit]

Music[edit]

  • Amplification is only allowed on the quad from noon-1pm.
  • What are the regulations regarding music on "B" Street?

Forum[edit]

In 2005, there was a transportation forum of administrators in the Kate Buchanan Room.

Film screening[edit]

In 2005, We are Traffic, End of Suburbia, and Return of the Scorcher were shown in the KBR.

After CFD follow-up[edit]

Thank you's[edit]

  • Thank volunteers by email
  • Thank donors with written letters
  • Acknowledge donors, volunteers, and other helpful people (staff & administrators) in Green Wheels email group message

Process review and assessment[edit]

  • Discuss what worked well and what didn't at Green Wheels meeting
  • Make notes on this document so the next year's celebration is even better.

Follow-up in the press[edit]

  • Put photos Car-Free Day photos up on green wheels website, Green Wheels flickr account, or picasa
  • Submit press releases hailing the success of Car-Free Day, particularly highlighting pedestrians' positive experiences on "B" street, and the fact that the HSU masterplan calls for "B" street to become a pedestrian corridor closed to passenger car traffic and parking.