Are You Up for the Challenge?

Can you handle it – a day without driving alone? Don’t be scared! Take the Challenge – the SmartCommute Challenge.

Every Spring, we here at GoTriangle with the help of our friends and family of services, put on the annual SmartCommute Challenge. From April 1 to June 1, we encourage Triangle commuters to try an alternative commute (not driving alone) to work or campus such as:

  • riding the bus
  • carpooling
  • vanpooling
  • teleworking or compressed workweek
  • biking or walking

So who can take the challenge? Everyone! Weeellll as long as you live or work in Durham, Orange, or Wake counties. But still according to the 2010 Census, that’s a lot of people!

How do you take the Challenge? Starting April 1st you can sign up online or you can come to our kick-off and sign up. The kick-off will be tons of fun. You’ll learn what your new commute options are, we’ll help you plan your trips, you can get your bike checked by REI, and you can pick up some cool free stuff. Free? Who doesn’t like free stuff?! Just let us know you’re coming and RSVP, please.

Why would I take the Challenge? For a few reasons – to cut down on traffic on 40, 85, 70, the Beltline, 540, and if you’re leaving UNC, 54 is a BEAST starting at 4:30. Also, have you seen the gas prices lately?? I don’t know about you but I’m looking for any way to not have to pay $60 every week to fill up. Even just a couple of days not driving saves some money. Those reasons, along with the benefits to your health, improvements to the air quality in the Triangle and the fact that it’s good for the environment, is enough to try it at least once! Oh yeah, did I forget to mention there’s a chance to win cash and other prizes. Yeah, that’s a bonus.

So come on out to the kick-off, take the Challenge and Breathe Easy!

Signing off,


The Commute of the Future – now?

On a beautiful day, stuck in the office, do you ever find yourself daydreaming of what Capital Boulevard, T.W. Alexander, or Cornwallis Road would look like if instead of cars everyone were on roller blades, bikes, jogging or walking? The idea seems as far away as Rosie from the Jetsons waving goodbye as we take Astro and get in our personal elevator that takes us to our hover craft with pods that deliver each of us to our final destinations – be it school, the mall or work. But is it really a dream of the future?

On Sunday, May 23rd, the Town of Wake Forest closed the historic downtown streets for a full day of criterium-style bike races. Durham pondered the question The Beatles posed decades ago of, “Why don’t we do it in the road?,” and responded with Bull City Summer Streets. They opened up the streets surrounding the old ballpark for active commuters to toddlers and hula hoopers, inviting the entire community to hold exercise classes or any other activities in the streets.

Last July the NC Department of Transportation made their own commitment to having happier, healthier streets when they implemented the Complete Streets policy. The Complete Streets policy, successful in other states, requires that “all transportation facilities within a growth area of a town or city funded by or through NCDOT, and planned, designed, or constructed on state maintained facilities, must adhere to this policy,” and consider accommodations and facilities for all types of commuters, regardless of mode choice.

London has taken it one step further to a new type of highway: Cycle Superhighways. With high tolls to get into the city increasing to the equivalent of more than $14 USD for drivers, and lesser chargers for bus and tube riders, they have created the congestion- and pollution-reducing cycle lanes with hopes of creating a cycling revolution. Incorporating safety, accessibility, efficiency to current and expanded bike lanes in hopes of getting one step closer to a society that echoes the cries of another great Brit band in saying, “I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride my bike. I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride it where I like.

Bull City Summer Streets – Bike to Work Week 2010

It’s Bike to Work Week! As we said in an earlier post, there is a lot going on in the Triangle to celebrate. Be sure to check out the GoTriangle Bike to Work Week page to see all of the events in your area.

This week we will start From the Bike Lane a series of posts profiling local cyclists, ranging from the novice to the pros, highlighting new legislation, and other words from the street.

The week culminates with the first open streets event in Downtown Durham, Bull City Summer Streets, on May 23rd (that’s this coming Sunday) from 2pm to 6pm. You don’t have to live in Durham to come out and witness this one-mile loop of streets that are closed to cars but open for biking, walking, dancing, playing, yoga-ing, and enjoying the outdoors.

Bull City Summer Streets modeled after the Open Streets projects in New York and other cities around the world, promotes health, community, environmental awareness, and downtown’s economic growth by closing streets to automobile traffic and opening them as public boulevards.

So come out and help make this a summer tradition! Join us on Sunday May 23rd on the streets around the old Durham Ball Park (Central Park District) to move, groove, laugh and play!