Contest Increases Awareness of Commuter Alternatives

The meeting highlighted the efforts of Cornell and local officials to decrease the number of single-occupancy vehicles driven to and around Ithaca...

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Svante Myrick '09, Ithaca city mayor, at a meeting held by Cornell's Transportation Services and Way2Go.
Svante Myrick '09, Ithaca city mayor, at a meeting held by Cornell's Transportation Services and Way2Go.

By Nancy Doolittle via Pawprint, 2/25/16

How do you encourage people to change longstanding habits? You lead by example, helping them to imagine another way, said Svante Myrick ‘09, Ithaca city mayor, at a meeting held by Cornell’s Transportation Services and Way2Go, of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tompkins County, Feb. 11 in Weill Hall.

The meeting highlighted the efforts of Cornell and local officials to decrease the number of single-occupancy vehicles driven to and around Ithaca and increase awareness about alternative modes of transportation. It also recognized the Cornell winners of this year’s Tompkins County Commuter Challenge: graduate student Daniel Keough; Craig Riecke, of Cornell Computing and Information Science; and Alan Bleier, senior research associate, Cornell Nanoscale Facility.

For the past year, they led by example by logging their commuting choices at Zimride.com/Cornell or Zimride.com/Tompkins, receiving points for carsharing, biking, walking, working remotely or taking another mode of transportation other than private car. Keough racked up 938 points, winning a round-trip Campus-to-Campus coach ride to New York City; Riecke, 592 points; and Bleier, 537 points. Riecke and Bleier won gift cards from Wegmans.

In addition to making it easy to log commuting activity, Zimride provides a postings for people to offer or request rides for commutes, road trips and popular events. Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Ithaca Carshare, and special events such as Bike to Work Day, RunWalk @ Work and Dump the Pump, also give people the tools they need to find alternative ways to commute to work, save money and conserve energy.

The Feb. 11 meeting also highlighted the work of the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council to target federal dollars to transportation alternatives; the relationships between housing and transportation; and the transformation of Tower Road into a “complete street” that enables safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

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