Written by Denise Deby. Thanks to Sarah Bradley at EnviroCentre for the information.
The non-profit EnviroCentre is always coming up with creative ways to encourage people in Ottawa to use alternative, environmentally-friendly transportation more often.
This month they’re holding the Commute Smart Challenge, which invites you to walk, bike, carpool, car share, skateboard, rollerblade or take public transit to get where you need to go, whether it’s work, errands, social or other activities. Every trip counts!
You can register for the Challenge, which runs September 14-21, 2014, here. (When you sign up, you also have access to Ottawa RideMatch, a service that allows commuters to find carpool partners.)
On the Commute Smart Challenge site, you’ll find tips and resources on different transportation modes, and you can log your trips on the calendar. You can also earn credits to enter to win a free VRTUCAR membership, a VIA Rail travel voucher or other cool prizes. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that along with others, you’re supporting a healthier and more sustainable community.
On September 13, the Main Farmers’ Market, EnviroCentre and the City of Ottawa are hosting an Open Streets Festival on Main Street from 10 a.m. to
2 p. m. 1 p.m. They’ll close part of Main Street between Hazel and Herridge to motorized traffic, in order to clear the path for activities to celebrate the launch of the Commute Smart Challenge. (Update: You’ll find cycling and walking groups, OC Transpo and VRTUCAR, Jane’s Walk Ottawa, yoga, street performers, the Main Farmers’ Market and more.) Come out and experience what a car-free urban space has to offer!
[Update: Why not also ask your city councillor and candidates to support complete streets and cycling and pedestrian infrastructure? If you’re also a driver, you can still “commute smart” by watching out and making space for bikes, pedestrians and buses. We all have a role to play in making our public spaces safe, healthy and open.]