The World's on Fire! Maybe Try Commuting in Something Other than a Single Occupancy Vehicle Every Once in a While?


"Rally to Save Transit," Public Square, 3/12/2018 - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • "Rally to Save Transit," Public Square, 3/12/2018

Though the global pandemic has radically shifted where and how many Clevelanders work, area companies are gradually bringing back employees to their offices. Sherwin-Williams' announcement Tuesday that it would move forward with its downtown headquarters was predicated, in part, on the idea that "development, engagement and sense of community" among employees could not be sustained remotely.

It's in that context that the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) announces the 2020 Commuter Choice Awards. The month-long contest invites the region's employers to promote and incentivize active commuting options through October, (and hopefully beyond). Biking, walking, and even telecommuting will earn companies points. 

"This fun challenge – with a live leaderboard – will harness the power of friendly competition to get us all working together to promote safe, sustainable, and socially distanced commuting," NOACA wrote in its announcement. "Employees can easily log their daily commutes, including telecommuting, with the click of a button and see their savings and benefits add up over time."

Interested employers have to download and fill out a quick survey, and then it's off to the races. Employees are able to log their trips on NOACA's Gohio Commute platform. Notable 2019 Gold Medal winners were the local nonprofit Bike Cleveland and Century Cycles. Two community development corporations, Ohio City Inc. and University Circle Inc. joined Case Western Reserve in the "Silver" category.

Thirty-seven organizations participated in last year's competition, but many more ought to sign up this year. Given the wildfires in California and the bizarro storms raging across the Atlantic, the urgency of climate action — at both an individual and societel level — has never been more visibly urgent.

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