Photos of residents enjoying SLC Open Streets 2015
by Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern
Imagine riding your bike down a wide city street under clear, blue skies. There are no cars in sight. You meander across lanes of traffic, surrounded by fellow bikers, skaters, and joggers. Food trucks and beer gardens line the streets. Echoes of laughter are carried by the warm breeze. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t!
On May 5th, Salt Lake City is bringing back a favorite community event called Open Streets. From 10 AM to 4 PM a section of downtown will be closed to all non-essential vehicular traffic. This means that streets will be open for anything from walking to rollerblading. People are encouraged to bring family and friends for a day of movement and fun community activities including yoga classes, art exhibits, and live music.
The route was designed for easy access to public transit and GREENbike stations in an effort to give people the opportunity to experience alternative, sustainable transportation in a safe environment. Read more
It’s February which means it’s time for the Ninth Annual Clear the Air Challenge! If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to get signed up and start identifying how you can drive less and drive smarter to save pollution. Read more
Transportation emissions are responsible for nearly 50% of the pollutants that make up our poor air quality. These pollutants become a serious concern during the winter months when normal atmospheric conditions (cool air above, warm air below) become inverted. This allows the air quality in the valley to become filled with particles that can quickly become unhealthy.
While there is much work being done to reduce those emissions (better transit, cleaner vehicles, more active transportation), the fact is– we can and should all help. We can each be a #CleanAirChampion.
There are many ways to participate! They all help the air and give you points in the Challenge:
- Ride the bus or train
- Bike or walk to work
- Link your errands together when you are driving (aka “trip chain”)
- Skip the trip by working from home or saving that errand for later
It all adds up!
The Utah Division of Air Quality estimates that if every driver along the Wasatch Front were to give up driving for just one day per week, it would keep 6,500 tons of emissions (or 85 times the weight of the International Space Station) out of our airshed.
The 2014 Challenge kicked off at the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, June 14.
Are you ready to help clear the air? The 2014 Clear the Air Challenge starts next week on Tuesday, July 1!
The month long Challenge is just that — an excellent way to challenge yourself to “drive down your miles” and reduce your emissions. Choose alternatives to driving alone and track your impact on air quality.
(And keep an eye on the leader board for the Salt Lake City Corporation network, which is SLCgreen’s home team!)
- The Clear the Air Challenge runs July 1-31, 2014.
- Register at www.CleartheAirChallenge.org (registration details below).
- Track the trips and miles you save by using alternatives to driving alone:
- Active transportation (walk, bike) — Biking and walking, also known as active transportation, are gaining popularity as healthy, efficient and sustainable means of transportation.
- Public transit — To put it simply, ride UTA!
- Carpool — Carpooling involves more than one person traveling together in a car and can be used for many occasions including commuting to work, attending special events or taking kids to school, practices or recreational activities. This strategy requires some coordination of schedules, but can be easily implemented to achieve significant results.
- Telework — Teleworking is possible from just about anywhere – from home, a telecenter, the local coffee shop or anywhere that has a wireless Internet connection. Teleworking can include conference calling or video conferencing for meetings instead of driving to an off-site location or working from a remote office.
- Skip the trip — The skip the trip strategy is as easy as it sounds. Just plan ahead to avoid unnecessary trips. These can be trips taken for work or for home activities.
- Learn more about these strategies at TravelWise.utah.gov.
- Join a network, track your impact and compete for great prizes!
This year there is a new and greatly improved tracking tool for the Clear the Air Challenge. The new tool will require all users to re-register, but the registration process will only take about 30 seconds and users now have the ability to sign up using their Facebook profile.
During the registration process you will be asked to join a team/network, although it’s not required. If you do not see your team/network listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Team/network name
- Team/network admin name (the person on your team who will have admin rights)
- Admin’s email
- Team/network address
- Team/network description (a little about who your team is- optional)
The Challenge has approximately $10,000 in prizes to give out this year to participants. A number of weekly prizes will be randomly given to people who have earned badges. Grand prizes will be given to the winners in various categories, including: most trips saved, most miles saved and overall champion. The Grand Prize for the overall individual champion will be a $1,300 pair of powder skis provided by Ramp Sports.
Here are some of the features of the new technology implemented this year:
- Social media integration: Sign up with your Facebook account and share Clear the Air Challenge posts to your Timeline.
- Easier tracking and recording of saved trips:
- Set up favorite trips – Trips you take often can be easily added to your tracker dashboard
- Multiple day trip recording – Forgot to track each time you took the TRAX over the past week? Simply click on each of the days you made the same trip and record them all at once!
- Trip Planner: Not sure how you might use alternative transportation to get somewhere rather than your car? Simply enter in your starting and ending locations, and you’ll receive carpool, vanpool, transit, walking and biking options to get to your destination. Use this feature all year round whether you are tracking trips or not!
Last week, SLCgreen attended the grand opening of The Draw, a tunnel constructed under 1300 East connecting Sugar House Park to Hidden Hollow. An extension of the Parley’s Trail, The Draw allows pedestrians and bikers to bypass busy 1300 East and easily access all Sugar House has to offer.
Bottom line: The Draw is awesome. Check it out this weekend!
We’ve got good news for bikers and pedestrians in Sugar House! “The Draw” — the tunnel that goes under 1300 East to connect Sugar House Park to Hidden Hollow — is opening this Friday, June 6.
You are invited to attend the grand opening and ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. this Friday at Sugar House Park.
You can learn more about this exciting project via Salt Lake Magazine.