Saturday, September 17, 2016

Oregon Drive Less Challenge, Oct. 1 to 15

Two bicycles attached to a bike rack. Text in upper-right corner states, 'For each mile not driven: 0.98 fewer lbs of CO2s are released into our environment.' In lower-right corner, text states, 'Figures according to Washington State Department of Transportation'

Whenever people talk to me about traveling to downtown Ashland, the hassle of finding a parking space invariably comes up. With the “Oregon Drive Less Challenge,” I’d like to propose a less-stressful scenario.

Sixty-five percent of trips that are one-mile or less are made by automobile according to the National Complete Streets Coalition.

That’s a lot of one-mile trips! They might not seem like a big deal, but they quickly add up in household costs and impacts on the environment.

Transportation costs account for 44 percent of a household income in Jackson County, Oregon according to statistics retrieved from the H+T index.

A “typical” household in Jackson County consists of 2.42 people, who earn an annual income of $44,005. Their average cost in transportation is $19,515 (which includes costs of ownership and use).

Meanwhile, for every mile that you drive in a car, you release 0.98 pounds of CO2 emissions into our environment (according to the Washington State Department of Transportation).

Just think, “One mile, one pound.”

By reducing our use of cars, we can reduce our carbon footprint, we can balance our household budget and we can have a more enjoyable downtown experience.

The “Oregon Drive Less Challenge” is a great opportunity to start your shift from auto-dependent travel — perhaps by examining some of your one- or two-mile trips and exploring available alternatives.

From Oct. 1 to 15, participants are encouraged to make use of “green” alternatives by biking, walking, taking public transit or sharing a carpool ride.

If you’d like to participate in the Drive Less Challenge, your first step is to create a free profile at Once you’ve created your profile, you can log each trip to be entered in a drawing for prizes.

We have a great opportunity with the Oregon Drive Less Challenge, to put our values into action for protecting the Earth we call “home.” I hope you’ll consider joining me in accepting the Oregon Drive Less Challenge.

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