Car-Free Challenge


I came across this post today in the blogosphere and thought it was interesting enough to share on here.  Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling reported on the curently-underway Car-Free Diet Challenge being administered by Arlington County Commuter Services (Arlington, VA).

The premise: two individuals, skeptical of car commuting, undertake a 30 day car-free challenge. The individuals use a car-free calculator throughout the process to account for money savings, weight loss, and even CO2 reductions.

The official Challenge website and blog will provide periodical video updates of the two participants — and you can already check out the first video.

Would any of you in the Lehigh Valley undertake a car-free challenge? The transportation network in Arlington is much more robust than here in the Lehigh Valley, as there is ready access to a subway/light-rail system there. In turn, this makes it easier to commute within the greater Northern Virginia/Washington DC region. But I imagine that many of those who live and work within the Valley’s cities could undertake such a challenge. I would need a better bicycle and a stronger will in order to get over Wyandotte hill five days a week.

Post your thoughts on this challenge below.

(PS: If you didn’t get a chance to attend RenewLV’s Regional Transportation Forum on April 19th, the video of the forum can be viewed on the WLVT/PBS39 website.)

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About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on April 23, 2010, in Public Infrastructure, Transportation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I took the “car-free challenge” in the Lehigh Valley in the second half of 2009 by necessity… and it was a challenge! But I think we don’t play up the benefits enough. Think about the health benefits of a short walk to and from the bus every day. Studies have shown that if most people just did this, they would not gain the extra 3 pounds or so a year that Americans gain on average. Think about the stress that could be averted by letting someone else drive. Think about the money that can be saved by not paying for gas if you have a car, or monthly payments, up-keep, and registration if you don’t. AAA estimates that the average American spends $10,000 per year on owning and operating one vehicle. By contrast, LANTA monthly passes weigh in at $45. This means that in the Lehigh Valley, if a family gets rid of one of their cars and utilizes the buses instead (if possible), the family could save about $9,500 per year. That’s a lot of money! It’s half of a down payment for many homes in the three cities, where one could more easily utilize LANTA.

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