The best way to reduce traffic is to stop being part of it, says Sarah Crane, president of the Riverdale Community Association.
That’s why the RCA launched a contest for the month of May, encouraging people to take alternative transportation back and forth over the bridge to Riverdale.
Crane, who has lived in Riverdale for 11 years, says it’s the first year for the contest.
“Traffic is always a topic of interest and concern,” she says. “It’s something we hear about from residents pretty often in different ways.”
People worry about increased traffic in the mornings and afternoons. They worry about school drop-offs and traffic that moves quickly on side streets to avoid main roads.
“We aren’t in charge of roads so we can’t do anything there,” says Crane. What the RCA could do though, was offer an incentive for not contributing to the traffic.
All month, riders who tweet a photo of their chosen form of alternative transportation to @RiverdaleYukon with the hashtag #ParkTheCar are entered into a weekly draw for gift cards from Epic Pizza and Super A. At the end of the month, all the names go into a raffle for a $200 gift card for a pizza party at Epic, and a $100 card to various Whitehorse bike shops.
She said there’s been a little uptake so far, with people tweeting photos of themselves walking or cycling with their kids. She says cycling, walking, skateboarding, and taking the bus all count. So does carpooling.
Crane said it’s not meant to be a campaign of car-scolding (“We recognize that there’s always going to be times where you have to take your car,” she says), but one that encourages people to try something new every once in a while.
If you’re going from Riverdale to downtown, she says you can be on the Millennium Trail for much of the walk or ride.
“It’s just beautiful,” she says. “We’re so lucky to have options like that so we kind of want to celebrate that.”
Contact Amy Kenny at firstname.lastname@example.org