Clean Commute Week to include new focus on health issues

The value of "cleaner" alternative transportation methods (biking, walking, public transportation, carpooling) in reducing traffic congestion and the need to build more parking decks is apparent, especially in a rapidly growing community such as Emory. What many people don't immediately realize, however, is the value of clean commuting in promoting good health.

For Emory's third annual observance of national Clean Commute Week May 13-16, the Parking Office is joining forces with the Employee Assistance Program at the Wellhouse in an effort to increase awareness among Emory faculty and staff of both the transportation-oriented and health benefits of clean commuting.

"The focus of this event is to provide a social and fun experience through exercise, as well as supporting Clean Commute Week by looking at options to driving alone, such as walking, strolling or riding a bike," said Darlynn Shepard, assistant director for health and wellness with the Employee Assistance Program. "This will not only help us to be healthier individuals by exercising, but also will help to make the air that we breathe cleaner."

Sponsored annually by the National Lung Association and observed throughout Metropolitan Atlanta, Clean Commute Week at Emory will include the following activities:

*May 13: Free MARTA tokens good for one day will be given to the first 50 Emory employees who come to the Parking Office (1701 Lowergate Drive) beginning at 7:30 a.m.

*May 14: For Bike to Work Day, the P.E. Center will permit use of locker room and shower facilities for all Emory employees who bike to work. Employees must show an Emory ID and a bike helmet for admission. All bikers using the P.E. Center that day will be eligible for a raffle of a t-shirt and sweatshirt at Staff Fest on May 16.

*May 15: Argenbright, the company that operates the campus shuttle service, will sponsor Rider Appreciation Day for those who use campus shuttles. Juice and bagels will be provided for riders in the morning, and healthy snacks will be available in the afternoon for riders of shuttle routes B and D.

*May 16: On National Clean Commute Day, Emory will recognize its carpoolers. Community Services officers will be at all parking decks to direct those with two or more people per car to special carpool parking spaces. New and existing carpoolers will be eligible for the raffle of one free carpool parking space good for one year, and they also will receive free keychains.

Staff Fest is scheduled for May 16, and as part of that event as well as Clean Commute Day, the Wellhouse will sponsor a two-mile Apple Fun Run at 10 a.m. and a one-mile Apple Fun Walk at 10:30 a.m. Both events will begin at Lullwater. P.E. Center shower facilities will be available to runners and walkers. Call the Wellhouse at 727-9355 to register. All Clean Commute Week raffles, including the raffle of MARTA monthly passes, will be held at the Staff Fest Olympic booth.

Every morning throughout Clean Commute Week, clean commuters may drop by the Parking Office for complimentary refreshments of decaffeinated coffee, juice and bagels.

Cheryle Crumley, manager of alternative transportation services in the Parking Office, said this year's Clean Commute Week celebration presents an ideal opportunity for Emory commuters to conduct a trial run for the Olympics, set for July 19-Aug. 4. "We are encouraging Emory employees to try out an Olympic commuting plan during Clean Commute Week," Crumley said. "That could include telecommuting, public transportation, carpooling, bicycling or walking."

Faculty or staff who want more information on Clean Commute Week, alternative transportation or Olympic commuting may contact Crumley at 727-7638.

--Dan Treadaway

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