Cousins Properties is pleased to have been named a Platinum Partner. To be one of only 130 metro Atlanta employers and property managers recognized for results achieved through its sustainable commute program is quite an honor. There are a few people that helped us achieve this accomplishment.
Downtown TMA has been an instrumental partner in helping Cousins educate its customers on the alternative commuting options available downtown. Joint program initiatives have included quarterly transportation fairs; Commuter Rewards programs, and also a spot on the Downtown TMA information kiosk rotation.
In addition, in 2009, Cousins introduced a Bike Share Program at its downtown properties - American Cancer Society Center and One Ninety One Peachtree Tower. The Downtown TMA was integral in assisting with the rollout and communicating the value proposition to our customers. Cousins Properties remains committed and focused on its partnership with the Downtown TMA and is appreciative of the value that they bring to all downtown constituencies. We look forward to collaboratively sharing new and innovative programs in the future.
Jessica McNamara is an administrative manager at Cousins Properties Incorporated
It's a fresh start and a new year, filled with high hopes for "Code Green" air quality days, sizable savings on commute costs and laughter from the passenger seat. Feel the optimism of 2012 with this latest "glass is half full" installment of Merging Lanes. It's gonna be a great year.
2012 Calendar Dates to Anticipate
While this year's calendar is shaping up to include a number of important dates to circle - Leap Year bonus day and Mayan prognostications notwithstanding - here are a few that should catch your attention:
- April 30 kicks off the start of Air Quality Awareness Week in Georgia. With half of all smog-forming emissions coming from tailpipes, never has it been more important to be air aware.
- July 31 is the day we'll know whether Georgia voters approved a penny sales tax to fund transportation improvements all over the state. There's a lot riding on the outcome of this vote in terms of attracting new enterprise and breaking out of commuter gridlock.
- August 20 marks the beginning of the third-annual Georgia Telework Week, an event to celebrate the successes of employers and commuters who know the best commute is the one from the bedroom to the home office.
And slated for early-November is the 12th installment of The Clean Air Campaign's PACE Awards event, recognizing the best commute options programs in Georgia. Stay tuned for more details.
Lane ends 2,000 feet.
In Good Company for Less Traffic, Cleaner Air
More than 1,600 Georgia employers and property managers are working with The Clean Air Campaign and its partners on outstanding programs that support greater use of commute options. Recently, 130 organizations received recognition as Platinum Partners for achieving a specific threshold of "clean commute trips" during 2011. To qualify as a Platinum Partner, at least 20 percent of all employee or tenant trips to an employer’s worksite must involve alternatives to single-occupancy vehicle trips and companies must actively educate employees about commute options. Congrats to these workplaces for raising the bar and proving that meaningful, lasting change in the way employees choose to travel is attainable.
Lane ends 1,000 feet.
"Let's Get Physical, Physical ..."
Hitting the wall with your New Year's resolution to exercise more? When your conference call at work is placed on hold, there's only one thing better than listening to the Muzak version of Olivia Newton-John's "totally 80s" hit song: doing an actual workout routine at your desk. When you can't make it to the gym, The Washington Post offered these ideas to integrate into your daily routine, resulting from a study on employee health. No spandex required.
Click here for a printable PDF poster to tack up in your cubicle. And remember, if you don't feel comfortable with some of these moves in the presence of your co-workers, you can always fall back on a human-powered commute for better health.
Lane ends 500 feet.
China unveiled what is believed to be the world's largest bus, clocking in at more than 82 feet in length and capable of transporting up to 300 commuters. Check it out!
Could you imagine this thing rolling down Atlanta's Downtown Connector? Could you imagine riding on it ... and logging your commute mode as "Giant Bus?"
Today The Clean Air Campaign released its inaugural list of Platinum Partners, recognizing employers and property managers whose employees and tenants use alternatives to driving alone for at least 20 percent of their commute trips. The initial list consists of 130 metro Atlanta and Georgia employers and property managers, including Georgia Tech. The Clean Air Campaign salutes Tech and all of the Platinum Partners achieving success in reducing traffic congestion and improving the quality of the air we breathe. When it comes to less traffic and cleaner air, these organizations are “In Good Company”. To view the complete list, click here.
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Early last year our transportation planning staff realized it was difficult to gauge how effective we were being in providing commute alternatives for employees around the Georgia Tech campus. We had great commute programs established, but we didn’t have the exact data needed to determine just how effective we were in encouraging campus members to use clean commutes. The result was the University’s first annual commute mode survey in which staff and students that commute to campus were surveyed on their transportation patterns (campus residents were excluded). The results were validating for our programs, and we found that over 41 percent of the Georgia Tech community was arriving to campus via alternatives to driving alone. Here’s the breakdown:
Using this baseline that 59% of the Georgia Tech community was driving to campus alone, we also wanted to see how we could decrease single-occupancy trips and increase the number of clean commute trips. Finding out what catalysts would change a person’s commute to Georgia Tech’s campus was just as important to us:
These survey results really sparked some substantial improvements in our commute programs, and we wanted to share some of our progress.
While the request for more car sharing vehicles like Zipcar was fairly small (5%), it was an easy, inexpensive win for us. Today’s 18-34 year-olds are embracing the idea of collaborative consumption, and car-sharing use has been a great success story at Georgia Tech. Because of increased demand, Zipcar-Atlanta was able to increase our fleet by 40% to 12 vehicles.
For carpooling we were a bit surprised at the number who deemed it difficult to find carpool matches (12%), as there are already many great resources to find rides in Atlanta. What we found was that safety was a major concern in seeking a carpool partner, and so we established an exclusive carpool ride-matching service for Georgia Tech. The feedback has been tremendous, with 1,600 new users in six months and over 450 ride posts. With the new system we are now able to promote commuting to campus every day, as well as ride-sharing to away football games, spring break trips and weekend grocery store visits.
The biggest takeaway from the survey was the desire for more bicycle infrastructure on campus. Increases in bicycle commuting have been well documented in Atlanta, and Georgia Tech is seeing a similar trend. Georgia Tech wants to continue to promote this commuting option, and the Institute and Student Government have invested over $200,000 in new bicycle infrastructure, including bicycle racks, bike lanes, bike “sharrow” markings and an innovative bike-share system that is destined for mass-appeal. Georgia Tech has also partnered with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Midtown Alliance and the City of Atlanta to install the city’s first cycle track at the West Peachtree and 5th Street intersection in Technology Square.
We are proud of the progress we’ve made this past year in promoting commute options in Atlanta, and we look forward to seeing how the next commuter survey reflects these improvements. This goes without saying, but Georgia Tech could not have accomplished these projects alone. A big thanks to our community partners: Midtown Transportation Solutions @ Midtown Alliance, Lanier Parking Solutions, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, the City of Atlanta, Zipcar-Atlanta, viaCycle and The Clean Air Campaign.
Aaron Fowler is a Campus Transportation Planner at Georgia Tech.