Arlington County’s clean air rating is an F according to The American Lung Association, meaning the air breathed may be harmful to residents. There are many factors that go into creating unclean air, including factories, transportation, heating, cooling and powering our homes and even natural events like fire smoke. Regardless of how we much we contribute to unclean air, it impacts us all.
There are several things Arlington residents can do to improve air quality for everyone, and we can start by reducing the amount of vehicle trips. Here in Arlington, we have many different options available that we can opt for instead of choosing to drive. In fact, by driving alone, you are exposed to pollution five times more than if you chose to walk or bike.
A car emits 1 lb of carbon dioxide per mile it drives, meaning even a short trip a few miles away can add up quickly to disturb the air quality. However, buses emit ¾ lb of CO2 per mile while transporting many people in a single trip, making it an effective option to take to improve air quality. Carpooling with friends and neighbors means that there are fewer cars on the road emitting CO2 and everyone gets to their destination within a their agreed upon time frame.
Do your part to improve air quality
Are you looking to do your part in improving air quality? Consider some of these resources to pick which option works best for you. There may be more than one option, depending on the trip you need to take, so become familiar with all these resources.
Maps and guides
- Download or order complimentary BikeArlington maps. The Comfort Bike Map will help you determine which routes you are comfortable with, while the Arlington County Bike Map is the best and most detailed map of Arlington County.
- Check out the resources at WalkArlington for new walking routes, fun facts and weather-related tips.
- Visit Car Free Near Me to locate different transportation options around a location. It allows you to customize the information you want to see, including Capital Bikeshare and car2go.
- Check out Arlington Transit. The green ART buses can get you just about anywhere in Arlington and students can get a half-price discount on ART buses with their iRide cards.
- If you are interested in ridesharing, check out Commuter Connections or SchoolPool. Both offer region-wide databases to help you find a carpool ridematch. SchoolPool is geared for families and can also offer help setting up groups that walk to school buses (“walking school buses”) and bike trains. You can also sign up to JoinAVanpool.com.
- If you decide to commute to work using one of these method, and not by driving alone, be sure to sign up for Guaranteed Ride Home. GRH will get you home in the event of a personal emergency for free, up to four times a year.
Here in Arlington we have all the tools we need to make choices that fit our lifestyles. Together, we can make our community cleaner and healthier – one bus ride, walk or carpool at a time.
Arlington businesses, residential buildings and commercial properties can also contribute to improving air quality by promoting alternative forms of transportation to their employees and tenants. Champions guides you through a year-long commitment to implement transportation amenities and programs at your organization. You also receive recognition for your efforts. Join Champions to enroll now and get connected to one of our representatives.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners