One College Campus is Banning Cars

I recently read an article online discussing how Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine intends on banning the use of cars for its first year students beginning in 2009. Of course, this is the year I will be entering college and this article made me question why exactly a college would decide on such a rule.

As I read the article, I saw a few reasons the college gave as to why they made this decision. One is because it is one of the college’s decisions that helps to promote ongoing efforts that make the school and its students more environmentally responsible. Going green is a big thing right now and I must tip my hat to Bowdoin for making such efforts to help the environment, but will it make that much of a difference if the school only bans its first year students from using their cars?
I can see although, after one year of not using your car, you get used to relying on other forms of transportation and realize that having a car would be pointless. So starting this with their first year students and making sure that they stick with this ban, hopefully by the time the class that starts in 2009 are starting their senior year, the Bowdoin campus will be almost car free.
Also in the article, I found that Bowdoin will be introducing other forms of transportation such as Yellow Bikes, a Bowdoin Shuttle Service, and Zipcars that will be available for borrowing. So not only is the school implementing the ban, but they are also providing other ways for their students to get around. Of course, there is also the choice of public transportation, but the fact that the college is providing other ways of transportation will make it easier for students to get around without depending on a car.
One point I don’t quite fully agree with though is that the college believes it will cause those who live on campus to have a greater sense of community. While this may hold true to a certain extent, it seems that even though the students don’t have access to their own car, they still have other modes of transportation, allowing for them to get off campus in different ways. I don’t think students having cars or not having cars necessarily will affect the sense of community among the students.
So while this ban has some things I don’t see eye-to-eye with, for the most part I think that this decision will be a great one for the college and it will pave the road for other colleges, especially if the ban works well for the college.