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Places Without Cars Do Exist!

By now, plenty of people have seen the drone footage of the massive traffic jam in China. It sure looked like a driver’s worst nightmare.

If you didn’t see it, then check it out at the end of this post.

But in pretty much every city around the world, vehicles cause plenty of congestion and pollution. And of course plenty of emotional stress, especially if you drive in the likes of Mumbai or Bangkok.

Now, how would it be to live in a city or town with no vehicles?

Well, you’re in luck if that is what you’re seeking because here’s a list of a few car-free places.

Mackinac Island in the U.S.

In quiet and safe streets of Mackinac Island, Michigan. (Image: cseeman via Compfight cc)
One of the quiet and safe streets of Mackinac Island, Michigan. (Image: Cseeman via Compfight cc)

Mackinac Island, situated in the state of Michigan, is a quaint resort island located on Lake Huron. It is a popular tourist destination and is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Motor vehicles were banned on the island in 1898 (yes they had cars that far back; the first gasoline powered automobile was actually invented in 1886).

Today, emergency vehicles, service vehicles, and snowmobiles (during winter) are allowed. For the general population, bicycles and horse carriages are the preferred ways to travel around this island. See more about Mackinac Island and its lack of cars in the top featured video.

Four Croatian islands

By the sea and doing it car free on Lopud Island, Croatia. (Image: Naufragio via Compfight cc)
By the sea and doing it car-free on Lopud Island, Croatia. (Image: Naufragio via Compfight cc)

Croatia has four islands — Zlarin, Lopud, Koločep, and Prvić — with populations ranging from 100 to 450 that are car-free. Of the four islands, Prvić is under the protection of the Ministry of Culture, since it is considered to be part of Croatia’s cultural heritage. The islands do allow for service vehicles and tractors, and the occasional golf cart and moped.

The smallest of the Corn Islands

This is one option for getting around the Corn Islands off the coast of Nicaragua. (Image: Ander Porter via Flickr CC BY 2.0)
This is one option for getting around Small Corn Island, Nicaragua. (Image: Ander Porter via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

The Corn Islands are found 70 km off the coast of Nicaragua. There is Big Corn Island (10 square kilometers) and Little Corn Island (2.9 square kilometers). There are vehicles on Big Corn Island, but none on Little Corn Island, which has no paved roads. About 6,626 people live on the islands.

Fes-el-Bali: The world’s largest living medieval city

The Moroccan city of Fes-el-Bali is the largest car-free, populated district in the world. (Image: annaspies via Compfight cc)
The Moroccan city of Fes-el-Bali is the largest car-free populated district in the world. (Image: annaspies via Compfight cc)

Fes-el-Bali in Morocco is the largest car-free populated district in the world. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, Fes-el-Bali’s narrow alleys allow for foot, bicycle, donkey, or cart traffic only. Fes-el-Bali, also known as Medina of Fez, is home to more than 150,000 people.

An island in the Gulf of Thailand

The Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc has great beaches no cars. (Image: Eddy Milfort via Flickr CC BY 2.0)
The Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc has great beaches and no cars. (Image: Eddy Milfort via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

The car-free Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc, located in the Gulf of Thailand, is known for its fish sauce and black pepper. Tourism plays a major role in the economy, and there are around 100,000 permanent residents on the island. The car-free regulation is surprisingly mostly respected. Sounds like paradise. During the Vietnam war though, it held a large number of communist POWs (around 40,000).

The Monster Traffic Jam

There are a few other car-less places out there in the world, but we just don’t have the space to include them all. However, as promised, here is the footage of that monster traffic jam in China:

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James Burke
What keeps the world ticking? James is always looking for the answer and the latest news from around the globe. When he's not behind his computer, he's basking in the Thailand sun, or dreaming of the southern hemisphere, where he grew up in rural Australia.

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