Strive not to drive awards July 24th at 4:30 in City Hall

Press release from Strive not to drive

Strive Not to Drive Planning Committee is happy to report that the week of Strive Not to Drive activities starting with Downtown After Five on Friday, May 18th and continued through Friday, May 25th was a big success this year. 333 individuals with 31 companies have pledged to participate, and an additional 138 senior citizens were involved through the Senior Activity Centers. This was an increase of 116% from 218 participants in 2011.

Strive Not to Drive is a national campaign, as well as a local event. The focus is on encouraging alternative transportation modes in place of driving alone, both for work and non-work trips, in order to achieve lower gas consumption, money savings, air quality improvements and health benefits for the participants and for the region overall. Many cities across the country promote the third Friday in May as Bike to Work Day, and some cities continue Strive Not to Drive outreach activities throughout the year.

Strive Not to Drive activities in Asheville and Buncombe County this year included a bike corral at the Downtown After Five on May 18th; Mayor’s Leadership (Bus) Ride and Community Bike Ride on Monday, May 21st; Strive Not to Drive Fashion Show at the Magnetic Field on May 22nd; evening commuter station on Wednesday, May 23rd, and morning commuter stations on Friday, May 25th. Friday morning commuter stations saw over 350 participants. Looking outside of Buncombe County, Hendersonville held a Strive Not to Drive day on April 20th and Haywood County held its second annual Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18th.

Each year Strive Not to Drive recognizes individuals and organizations that help make getting places without driving alone in a car easier. Individuals who pledged to “strive not to drive” filled out a survey at the end of the week to record how many times they chose transportation alternatives, and how many miles of driving alone were avoided as a result. An estimated 8054 miles of solo driving were avoided by 2012 Strive Not to Drive participants, saving 4.5 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from reaching the atmosphere. Based on the miles reported, Workplace Challenge winners were selected for each category. A special mention goes to UNCA Center for Creative Retirement: they involved 84 seniors in Strive Not to Drive this year, which is a higher number of participants than any of the Workplace Challenge winners.

Workplace Challenge winners are as follows:

· WNC Alliance (under 10 employees category)
· Equinox Environmental (11-30 employees)
· REI (31 – 50 employees category)
· SMARTRAC Technology (51-250 employees category)
· Buncombe County (251+ employees category)

The individual award winners were nominated by their friends, peers, and admirers for their dedication to striving not to drive. The Golden Spoke Award goes to people who make commuting by bike a priority. The Golden Wheel Award goes to people who are multi-modal mixing waling, cycling, and riding the bus to get the places they need to go. The Strive Not to Drive Leadership Award goes to people who lead by example and make it easier for others to Strive Not to Drive. Congratulations to the individual award winners:
· Golden Spoke Awards: Caroline Wiltz, Asheville Citizen and Cycling Enthusiast and Lynn Player, Evergreen Community Charter School
· Golden Wheel Awards: Morna Childers, West Asheville Library and Jim Grode, SouthWings
· Strive Not to Drive Leadership Award: Renee Owen, Executive Director, Rainbow Mountain Children’s School

Strive Not to Drive Planning Committee included representation from Western North Carolina Alliance, REI, Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, Asheville on Bikes, Asheville Transit Commission, City of Asheville, Asheville Downtown Association, Asheville Bike Ped Task Force, Healthy Buncombe, Buncombe County Parks and Recreation, NC Division of Air Quality, Liberty Bicycles, Trips for Kids and Land-of-Sky Regional Council. Planning Committee would like to thank all the volunteers who made the Strive Not to Drive events possible in 2012. A special thank you goes to Mountain Xpress for helping put on the fashion show, and to Strive Not to Drive sponsors: Asheville Bicycle Racing Club, Asheville on Bikes, Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, Clingman Café, Dripolator, Early Girl Eatery, Green Sage, Honey Stinger, New Belgium, Printville, REI, Waking Life Expresso, Westend Bakery, and WNC Bicycle Dealers Association.

We look forward to another great year in 2013.

Awards Ceremony on July 24th
When: Tuesday, July 24th Reception at 4:30 PM; the awards will be given at the Asheville City Council meeting at 5:00 PM

Where: Large Planning Conference Room, Asheville City Hall; City Council Chambers

Workplace Challenge and Golden and Leadership Awards reception and ceremony on Tuesday, July 24th will start with a reception in the Large Planning Conference Room at 4:30 PM, with light refreshments and an opportunity for group pictures. After the reception, the event will move into City Council Chambers for the award presentations. At the beginning of the City Council Meeting winners will be presented with their award by Mayor Bellamy. The event should be finished by 5:45.


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