Every weekday in November, Charlotte area residents are invited to participate in a unique Sustainable Commute Challenge hosted by the Transportation Choices Alliance (an initiative of the local nonprofit Sustain Charlotte) and funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The contest will begin on Monday, November 3. Contestants can participate by uploading photos of themselves, friends, co-workers, or family members traveling to their daily destinations on foot, by bike, or by public transportation on the Transportation Choices Alliance’s Facebook page. The contestant who uploads the photo that receives the most “Likes” by 10:00 p.m. each day will receive a $50 cash prize.
Contest details and an explanation of how to participate are available at www.movecharlottesmarter.org/challenge
The goal of the challenge is to recognize and reward residents of the Charlotte region who travel sustainably by walking, biking, or riding transit. The challenge is also designed to encourage residents to try a sustainable mode of travel who normally travel exclusively by car, and to share the message that active transportation is fun, convenient, economical, and healthy.
People who actively commute by walking or biking to their destinations or transit stops have been shown, on average, to have lower rates of obesity and improved overall physical health. Regular physical activity such as brisk walking or biking for two and a half hours a week (a half hour every weekday) lowers risk of premature death by more than 20%.
Mecklenburg County’s ground-level ozone levels exceed the levels that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established to protect human health. Vehicles are the primary source of pollution that contributes to ozone and smog. With a 71% population increase projected for Charlotte between 2010 and 2030, ever-increasing numbers of vehicles are traveling the region’s already congested road network.
The Transportation Choices Alliance (TCA) is an initiative of Sustain Charlotte, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
The mission of the TCA is to increase transportation choices and their use throughout the Charlotte region to improve traffic, air quality, public health, mobility and the economy.
The primary goals of the alliance are to:
- Play a critical role in the creation of a more accessible, affordable, and sustainable transportation system in the Great Charlotte region.
- Represent community interests, attract media attention, and impact funding decisions related to transportation.
- Ensure implementation of the region's 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan as well as local plans for enhanced bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
- Educate the public and decision makers on the benefits that implementing these plans will bring to our region.
The TCA is a coalition of individual and organizational members. Over 25 organizations have joined as Founding Members, including: Alta Planning + Design, Greater Charlotte Apartment Association, AARP North Carolina, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Biddleville Smallwood Community Organization, BikeWalk NC, Carolina Thread Trail, Catawba Lands Conservancy, Catawba Riverkeeper, Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance, Charlotte Public Tree Fund, Charlotte Spokes People, Clean Air Carolina, Crisis Assistance Ministry, CROWN Charlotte Chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Historic Washington Heights Community Organization, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), NC Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club, Queen City Forward, SAFE - North Meck, Safe Routes to School Partnership, South End Neighborhood Association, Surfrider Foundation Charlotte Chapter, Trips for Kids, UNC Charlotte IDEAS Center, and UNC Charlotte Parking and Transportation Services.
Funding for the Transportation Choices Alliance has been provided by Alta Planning + Design, the American Public Transportation Association, the New Belgium Brewing Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
ABOUT SUSTAIN CHARLOTTE
Sustain Charlotte is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. We inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.
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