Development

How much is your commute polluting Charlotte – and how long are you sitting in traffic?

As Charlotte grows and develops, adding dozens of new residents a day, congestion has worsened along many commuter thoroughfares – a situation made worse by the fact that the vast majority of people in Charlotte drive to and from work alone.

That’s prompted Sustain Charlotte and other local groups to launch a new effort to reduce the number of vehicle miles people drive alone by 1 million over the next eight months.

“Excessive or needless single-occupancy driving clogs our streets, leads to more accidents, increases air pollution, and raises infrastructure spending,” said Sustain Charlotte Executive Director Shannon Binns. “For families, the use of sustainable modes of transportation enhances health, makes for a far more productive use of commuting time, builds friendships and relationships, and can save thousands of dollars per year in gas and vehicle maintenance.”

Called Way2Go CLT, the initiative hinges on a new website and app. You can find it at myway2goclt.org, where you can register for free. Some major corporations, such as Duke Energy, OrthoCarolina, Shook Kelley, TIAA and Optima Engineering, have also signed up to help their employees commutes as well.

The service will track your commute and other drives, arrange carpools with other people going the same place as you and suggest alternate ways to get there, such as transit or routes to bike. If you log 10 trips in a month that aren’t single-vehicle occupancy (such as carpooling, taking a bus, etc.), you’ll be entered to win prizes such as gift cards for local businesses.

One cool feature: The service will tell you how much your commute, and other trips, both cost and pollute. My daily commute is about $2.26, according to the estimation tool, and generates about four pounds of carbon dioxide every day. If you’re coming uptown from Providence Plantation via Independence Boulevard, that’s about $15.84 a day and 12 pounds of carbon dioxide.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation, Kimley-Horn and Integra Architecture are sponsoring Way2Go CLT.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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