Saturday, June 16, 2012

Next steps for AFC climate-friendly transportation

Bike giveaway promotion from April 10 at Ashland Food Co-op
From its Facebook page: on April 10, the Ashand Food Co-op promoted
an opportunity to win a bike offered by Honest Tea
The highlight for me reading the Ashland Food Co-op’s 2011 Annual Report that arrived in the mail this week was the annual report upon its social responsibility. From a portion that addresses climate-friendly transportation:
“We have a number of programs in place to encourage climate-friendly transportation. We provide secure parking for bicycle commuters and shoppers, and we give weekly prizes to employees who walk, bike, and carpool. We have a program to collect bikes from the community, repair them, and give them to employees for free. In 2011 six employees received free refurbished bicycles, and several others received free bicycle repairs and parts.”
I appreciate this emphasis upon alternatives to single-occupant auto use but would like to suggest additional objectives for the sustainability committee:

  • Promote commuting by bus with the Rogue Valley Transportation District’s new employer bus pass program. “By providing transit options to your employees, your business will be rewarded by a reduction in parking requirements, a healthier staff, and by improved employee and community relations.” According to the RVTD, the monthly price of bus fare is $3.85 per employee for companies that buy the pass for all of their employees. It invites businesses to call  RVTD Employer Services at 541-608-2411 or email
  • Devote outreach and education toward changing consumer behavior. Offer to be a sales outlet for RVTD bus passes, which are currently available at the RVTD Front Street station, 200 S. Front St. in Medford; at the administration offices, located at 3200 Crater Lake Ave. in Medford; and at the  City of Ashland Utlities Office at 20 E. Main St. In addition, encourage ride-share among AFC customers.

The co-op’s ongoing problem with a “jam-packed” parking lot will not go away simply by adding more spaces. Single-occupant auto use will perpetuate this problem, particularly as the annual report notes 7.5 percent sales growth.

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