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FW: Commuter Challenge - Media coverage - Ottawa Citizen

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  • Boileau,Pierre [NCR]
    ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 2001
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      > PUBLICATION:
      > The Ottawa Citizen
      > DATE:
      > 2001.06.04
      > EDITION:
      > FINAL
      > SECTION:
      > News
      > PAGE:
      > A10
      > BYLINE:
      > Kelly Cryderman
      > SOURCE:
      > The Ottawa Citizen
      > ILLUSTRATION:
      > Black & White Photo: Patrick Doyle, the ottawa citizen
      > /Andrew Van
      > Iterson, one of the Commuter Challenge organizers, says
      > cars are at the
      > crux of `the environmental problems striking our planet.'
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Pushing for a car-free workweek: Commuter Challenge
      > encourages people to try transportation alternatives
      >
      >
      >
      > This is the week that instead of leaving your desk after work and driving
      > to the gym, you'll save
      > money and the environment by biking, walking or in-line skating to and
      > from work to get your
      > exercise.
      >
      > At least that's what Andrew Van Iterson, a co-ordinator of the 10th
      > Commuter Challenge, is
      > hoping for. At age 32, he says he's never had a car, and claims he has
      > never wanted one.
      >
      > ``About 10 years ago, I started to clue into the environmental problems
      > striking our planet and a
      > lot of the social effects that are going to go along with it,'' he says.
      > ``Environmentally the car is
      > the crux of this.''
      >
      > He's hoping others feel the same way. This week will be full of Commuter
      > Challenge events
      > meant to encourage people to try something else, instead of taking their
      > SUVs, or even their
      > little Honda Civics, to work from Monday to Friday.
      >
      > Mr. Van Iterson says the exhaust produced by a car affects the climate,
      > and creates <air>
      > <pollution> that thereby affects people's health. Even outside of the
      > environmental
      > implications, he says Canadians are killed in car accidents, Canadians
      > don't get enough exercise
      > because of their cars, and owning a car costs about $7,000 a year to
      > operate.
      >
      > But besides asking people to bus, walk, bike and in-line skate, organizers
      > also count carpooling
      > and telecommuting as alternative means of travelling to work.
      >
      > ``Part of it is just getting people to try it out. There's lots of people
      > who could cycle to work
      > and could take the bus to work and they make up excuses,'' he said.
      >
      > ``For a lot of people, too, it's about how we plan our lives. It's about
      > choosing where you live
      > and where you work based on the transportation ramifications. For myself,
      > I don't accept that
      > I'll be driving anywhere, so I'm not going to take a job in the outer
      > reaches of Kanata,'' says
      > Mr. Van Iterson, a Centretown resident.
      >
      > He also notes that ``the more people who take the bus, the better the bus
      > service will be, the
      > more pressure there will be for better bus service. The more people that
      > ride their bikes, the
      > safer it will to ride bicycles just because there will be more bikes on
      > the road and there will be
      > more pressure.''
      >
      > Last year, Mr. Van Iterson says Ottawa challenged Calgary in the Commuter
      > Challenge and
      > ended up with double the number of participants -- 10,939 -- that Calgary
      > organizers could get
      > involved. In order to qualify as a participant, you must use an
      > alternative mode of transportation
      > for at least one day and let the Commuter Challenge office know by Friday.
      >
      >
      > This year, Victoria is Ottawa's competition. Mr. Van Iterson says this
      > challenge can surely be
      > won, too, as Ottawa has a ``broader base of good transit opportunities.''
      >
      > The week's events start this morning at 8 with Green Commuter Relay, an
      > event that sees six
      > teams of four people passing a briefcase, as the baton, in a round route
      > from the Museum of
      > Civilization in Hull, to the Parliament buildings, across the Portage
      > Bridge and back to the
      > museum. Participants will bike, bus, walk and in-line skate to complete
      > the relay.
      >
      > Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, and there will be six refreshment and
      > information stands set up
      > in locations throughout the city, with city councillors Alex Cullen, Clive
      > Doucet and Elisabeth
      > Arnold manning three of the stations.
      >
      > On Wednesday, a Thank You Green Commuter event will be held at the Capital
      > InfoCentre, at
      > 90 Wellington St., featuring live music, refreshments and eco-gifts from
      > 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
      > It will also be the first Two for One day on OC Transpo and Societe de
      > transport de
      > l'Outaouais buses. All day, riders using a bus pass, tickets or cash will
      > be allowed to bring a
      > friend on for free.
      >
      > On Saturday, there will be a one-day Ottawa Bike Fest at Vincent Massey
      > Park featuring a
      > cycling scavenger hunt, information booths and workshops on cycling
      > safety, bike maintenance
      > and repair.
      >
      > For more information, or to register for the Commuter Challenge, call
      > 560-0505 or go to the
      > Web site at http://ncr.commuterchallenge.net First hit - Premier mot clé
      >
      >
      >


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