A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Scoop Again! Alameda's TravelChoice announces 14% reduction in automotive trips

Dependence on driving is one of these issues that, like the weather, people talk about, but few do anything about. After we moved to Alameda in the nineties, we decided to do our part, founding BikeAlameda. I believe that it has certainly had some significant impact at the grassroots level, but I'm especially pleased to report on today's announcement by an innovative program called TravelChoice by the Transportation and Land Use Coalition (and headed by the esteemed John Knox White, who has guest-posted on this blog).

At a press conference today at the Alameda Marketplace, Mr. Knox White, along with other city and regional officials, presented the results of the pilot project in Alameda. The program resulted in a whopping 14% reduction — one in seven trips — in single-occupancy car trips. Due to the tailored, educational nature of the program, many participants in the program have shifted to more environmentally friendly methods like biking, walking, carpooling, and transit. Transit, in fact, showed a 34% increase in use among participants.

A very enthusiastic user of the program, Cynthia Winton-Henry, came up and shared her experience with the audience at the press conference. She's 51 years old, and had been thinking about biking to her job in downtown Oakland for a while, but never got started with it until the signed up for the program. The information that came with the program was much more than just a pamphlet, and gave her the information and motivation she needed to get started.

Incidentally, the owner of the Marketplace (which had been very helpful with the program, providing a number of incentive to participants) mentioned that more than 50 percent of the hundred or so people who work at the marketplace ride their bikes to work. Wow.

I hope to see the Travel Choice program continue and thrive!


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