Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bridge to Work Day - Walk or Bike on May 18th

Bridge to Work Day is Tuesday, May 18th! Vote, celebrate Mt. St. Helens, and walk or bike to work!

The historic Union Street Railroad Bridge is reopening, and what better way to celebrate than Bridge to Work Day? The City's got a poster and announced details. And more is still to come! From the City:
In celebration of the May re-opening of the Union Street Railroad Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge, Salem workers and residents are being encouraged to Bridge to Work together on Tues., May 18 from 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Food and drinks, give-aways, displays and biking and walking guides will be provided to participants on the west side of the bridge in Wallace Marine Park.

The Bridge to Work event is designed to introduce Salem residents and workers to the ease of commuting within the city via the re-opened bridge that provides a critical half-mile link between Wallace Marine Park and Riverfront Park. Event partners include Cherriots Rideshare, City of Salem, Oregon State Parks, Department of Administrative Services Parking and Commuting Program, Kaiser Permanente and the Salvation Army.

The average weekday traffic on the Marion and Center Street bridges is as much as 94,000 vehicles (about as much or greater than the traffic on I-5 through the Salem area). The peak traffic on the Center Street Bridge is between 7:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. (eastbound) and on the Marion Street Bridge is between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (westbound). About 95% of all trips on the bridges are made by passenger vehicles or light trucks. Biking or walking to work across the Union Street Railroad Bridge just one day each week could reduce the traffic on the bridges by 20%.

Salem bicycle and pedestrian commuters receive many health benefits. Benefits of biking include: Riding at a moderate speed (12-14 miles an hour) burns about 235 calories per half hour, three hours of biking each week can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%, biking relieves stress and anxiety by boosting endorphin levels, and the U.S. could save 462 million gallons of gas a year by boosting bicycle trips from 1% to 1.5% of all trips. Walking is also a great way to burn calories, provide a break from daily stress, and requires no specialized equipment besides good shoes.

Commuters should: Plan your route in advance, try a practice run, and be visible. For more information regarding bridge opening event details, maps and guides, please refer to or call Todd Klocke at 503.588.6178.

In coordination with the bridge opening, Cherriots of Salem is also offering a “FAST LANE” commuter challenge that is designed to help commuters save money, relieve local traffic congestion, and reduce vehicle miles travelled by taking advantage of commute options – carpooling/vanpooling, bike commuting, transit, telecommuting and/or walking. Incentives for participation include prizes for registered commuters. The campaign began May 3 and runs until July 9. Participants must log onto to sign up for the program and begin an online trip diary account.

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