Interactive Website Measures Your Commute Pollution
As the Trump Administration moves toward relaxing auto emission standards, Ohio planning agencies are hoping to get people out of their cars and trucks. A new interactive website is designed to help commuters find a cleaner way to travel.
Just like a wrist band can tell you how many steps you walked, the new website GOHIO COMMUTE can tell you how many calories you can burn by bicycling or walking to a certain location. And if you take a bus or a car it tells you how much pollution you’ll cause in that trip.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency developed the website with other Ohio agencies with the aim of reducing air pollution. The idea is to reduce both lung congestion and traffic congestion.
Doctor Kristie Ross treats lung problems in children. She says changes in behavior have an impact on health.
“It’s important to think about it in small chunks, taking small steps, one thing at a time. So something like this that makes it fun and easy to find alternative methods will allow for big improvements over time.”
Cuyahoga County Director of Sustainability Mike Foley, a former state representative, calls it a valuable tool.
“At the local level, the local government level we have an obligation to work as hard as possible to make up for what the federal government and the state government aren’t doing.”
The GOHIO COMMUTE site acts a bit like Google maps for speed and distance but also tells you what bus to take or where to find ride share lots, rental bikes, or electric charging stations.
“Then it gives you the option to actually connect with somebody else, either for traveling together by bicycle, or public transit, or carpooling.” says NOACA Director Grace Gallucci. “So you could put together a network. That would be public so anybody can access that.”
Cleveland Planning Director Freddy Collier said local behavior starts to influence state and federal policy to create conditions we want.
“This GOHIO app now puts us in the position where we can’t say. ‘we don’t know any better.’”
Businesses can also use the website for free to set up their own private networks of carpooling employees.