Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Alternative Transportation Day at Ingersoll Rand

by Holly Emerson, Ingersoll Rand

Wednesday, October 22nd 2008 proved to be a beautiful day here at the Davidson campus of Ingersoll Rand for our inaugural Alternative Transportation Day and a great opportunity for employees to learn more about greener ways of getting to work and how we can reduce traffic congestion and help clean the air.

The day started off at a crisp 37degF and dark. Four of us, that would be Elizabeth Newidomy (a true greeney), me and my assistants, Ryan (9) and Kayla (7), froze for about 90 minutes handing out lunch vouchers and Starbucks gift cards to alert carpoolers and some very dedicated bicyclists. One woman rode in at about 7am on her beach cruzer. How cool is that? I think she gets the prize for most creative alternative transportation method, whenever I decide what that is.

Several carpoolers sped right past us, apparently we looked like some crazy family waiting for a ride. Lesson learned: wear the Progress is greener gear so people can spot you. We were soon joined by Gabe Workman from Clean Air Works! and Michael Gart, an energenic young grad. All in all we recorded almost 100 carpoolers, three bike commuters and one vanpool group.

As the day warmed up so did the activities. Chris Vasiloff, Arleigh Jenkins, Steve Doolittle, John Wilcox and Sarah Matchett from Cool Breeze Cyclery were on hand to inspect bikes and lead a lunch ride through Davidson. Their large yellow and black tent was a good draw for the avid cyclists on campus. Also joining them was Lauren Blackburn, Davidson town planner. The town of Davidson recently approved a bicycle transportation plan which will improve bicycling conditions on many roads and eventually link a Mooresville to Charlotte route, encouraging more to commute by bike.

Elizabeth Lintner, also from Clean Air Works!, and Gabe had a table with lots of information about reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality. And Dan McGuinness and Michael were on hand to answer any questions about carpooling and recruit new Green Team members.

Folks from Industrial Technologies, led by Dipen Shah, dedicated their time to help with a jam-packed Nitrogen fill day. They filled the tires of 31 cars with Nitrogen! With an increase of approximately 3.3% in fuel efficiency gained from properly inflated tires, this could potentially prevent 50 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere in just one week! The Nitrogen fill is always a big draw. It's great to see people taking advantage of it.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Air Quality gave free gas cap checks and gas cap replacements for those getting Nitrogen in their tires. Up to 30 gallons of gasoline can be released from a leaking gas cap, in just one year.

And saving the best for last, many thanks to Kryptonite for the donation of four KryptoLok ®s for our raffle.

We wanted to educate people about greener commuting options, encourage commuting by bike, and tell employees about all the good things the transportation committee is doing. I think we accomplished our goals. It was a good day.

(Pictures by roaming photographer Harry Owanesian.)


Donna Tocci said...

Holly - while I was down there a couple of weeks ago, someone mentioned possibly rowing across the pond to get to work that day. He was going for the "most creative" alternative. Did that happen, do you know? Would have been original!

Glad you all had fun. Looks like a great day. Congrats!

Charlotte Hockey Chick said...

No one came by boat, to my knowledge. That would have been cool. So I think the rider of the Beach Cruzer gets the award! It was fun and I hope we can have more events like this.

Rajesh Kumar said...

Commendable indeed.