Wednesday, April 13, 2011

News-Press: Editorial: Leave the car, take a bicycle

News-Press April 13, 2011

Using alternatives to the private motor
vehicle can improve your health, help the
environment and reduce road congestion
and the need for more roads.

Those are some of the benefits alternative
transportation advocates will be touting
during the next 10 days, as they urge
Southwest Floridians to walk, bike, car pool
or use public transit.

The “Taking it to the Streets” campaign is
sponsored by Lee County, the city of Fort
Myers, the Lee County Health Department,
LeeTran, the Collier County Health
Department’s Smart Growth, the Florida
Department of Transportation’s Commuter
Services, BikeWalkLee,,
and citizen advocates.

They make up a five-county coalition
pushing for safer access to alternatives
such as bike and pedestrian pathways and
public transit. Integrate those alternatives
up front when roads and other
infrastructure are built or expanded, and
you’ve saved money over what it costs to

Businesses and organizations can help by
offering, for example, free or close-in
parking for car poolers, or discounted
transit fare; giving flex time for walkers and
cyclists, and providing covered bike
parking. Free work site analysis or car pool
ride matches can be organized through
Commuter Services, by calling 1-866-
585-RIDE. And Lee Tran provides a trip
planner on its website.

Participants are asked to log onto the Commuter Services website,
registering through the Trip Track program link and
recording their Vehicle Miles Reduced.
There will be prizes for the greatest
number of VMRs, and everyone can get a
report of their total miles reduced,
greenhouse gas emissions avoided, and
money saved on fuel and maintenance.

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