5th Annual Car Free Day Long Island Scheduled For September 22
Over 5,500 Long Islanders have pledged to be car free or car-lite
Long Islanders are once again being asked to use more sustainable travel choices this Friday, September 22 for the 5th Annual Car Free Day Long Island. Commuters are being encouraged to choose transit, carpooling, bicycles, walking, telecommuting, or just driving less that day to help reduce traffic, conserve energy, reduce harmful emissions, improve fitness, reduce parking problems and save money. To date, over 5,500 Long Islanders have already taken the pledge. In 2016, 4,111 Long Islanders pledged to be car free or car-lite, saving 84,000 miles of driving and 42 tons of CO2 emissions.
Participants are also eligible to win raffle prizes including commuter bikes, gift cards, transit passes and theater tickets. Commuters, students and residents can pledge to go car free or car-lite at the Car Free Day LI website (www.carfreedayli.com
Car Free Day is an international event celebrated in over 2400 cities and 51 countries that encourages drivers to leave their cars at home for the day on September 22. On Long Island, Car Free Day is organized by a broad-based group of Long Island leaders from major employers, business, civic and environmental groups, universities and municipalities.
“Car Free Day Long Island is growing every year,” said Rosemary Mascali, Manager of Transit Solutions and co-chair for the event. “Over 75 organizations are participating and we already have 35% more pledges than last year. Long Islanders are seeing the impact of their driving on the environment and their health, and trying travel alternatives.”
As in past years, Northwell Health continues to be the leader in employee pledges. “It makes me proud to be one of over the 1,000 Northwell team members to take the car free pledge this year,” commented Dr. William Lowe, Director of Employee Health Services. “Northwell is committed to improving the quality of life of everyone in the communities we serve. Reducing our carbon footprint can have dramatic health impacts from reducing asthma and other respiratory illness, as well as cancer rates. In addition, the increased activity from using move active forms of transportation has positive impacts on obesity and diabetes,” added Dr. Lowe.
Long Island’s colleges and universities are also active participants in Car Free Day LI, each vying for the coveted “Bragging Rights” title of the college or university with the most pledges. Stony Brook University is currently in the lead with over 800 pledges. “Our 2016 defending champion, Adelphi University, is battling with Stony Brook University, Suffolk Community College and Farmingdale State College to defend their title,” commented Paul Spreer, 511 NY Rideshare Regional Project Manager and co-chair of the event.
Several events are being planned on Car Free Day in support of the event. Commuters in Wyandanch can start Friday morning with free coffee from 7am-9am, courtesy of the 7-Eleven at Wyandanch Village.
Later that morning Suffolk County with be hosting a Car Free Day LI Celebration and Bike Share Rally at Stony Brook University from 11am-1pm. The event will include remarks from County Executive Steve Bellone followed by an informational session on bike share by Director of Downtown and Transit-Oriented Development Jonathan Keyes.
Planned topics include different bike sharing models and technologies, as well a discussion on the applicability of bike sharing as an alternative form of transportation in communities across Suffolk County.
Later that evening, the Wyandanch Plaza Association and the Town of Babylon will welcome commuters and residents on their way home, from 5-7pm, with music and giveaways at the Car Free Day LI Celebration at The Plaza at Wyandanch Village transit oriented community, steps from the Wyandanch LIRR station and Parking Facility and Suffolk County Transit bus stop.More information about Car Free Day LI and these events is available at the Car Free Day LI website.