FW: Commuter Challenge - Media coverage - Ottawa Citizen
> PUBLICATION:[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> The Ottawa Citizen
> Kelly Cryderman
> The Ottawa Citizen
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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