The first Sunday Circuit was on 12 February 2006. There were over 4,000 riders who came out in the sun to do a few laps. The road was closed to motor vehicles at 6am and opened again at midday. The closure allowed drivers to get to the Studley Park Boathouse, and there were arrangements for residents who live on the river side of the road. It’s the same deal on 12 March 2006. This is part of a growing worldwide phenomenon of car free days initiated by the Mayor of Bogota and enthusiastically taken up by Parisians.Sunday circuits are part of a world wide movement. Parisians have access to car-free riding on roads on Sundays and public holidays when temporary traffic closures operate on streets around the city. The streets are then opened to pedestrians, bike riders and roller-bladers. The project is called Paris Respire or ‘Paris Breathes’. They describe Paris Respire as a ‘calmer, more convivial and pleasant way to rediscover the city’.
Columbia hosts a number of Ciclovia events. In cities such as Bogota, Cali and Medellin, 120km of roads are closed every Sunday and on public holidays from 7am to 1pm. It is claimed that one third of the population, around 2.2 million people ride and walk on the ‘open’ streets. Ciclovias were started in Bogota by Mayor Antanas Mockus.
Each year there are four Car Free Days in Centennial Park Sydney on the last Sunday of every season. The park gates are closed to vehicles from 9am to 5pm and given over to cyclists, rollerbladers and pedestrians.