Cycling to work encouraged this week, every week |

Cycling to work encouraged this week, every week

Gregory Crofton

Don’t start the car Monday morning. Ride a bike to work and be part of California Bike Commute Week.

Emissions from cars and trucks pollute the air in the Lake Tahoe Basin and likely contribute to the loss of the lake’s clarity. And if something affects the clarity of Tahoe it means the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is involved.

The TRPA, a bistate environmental land management agency formed in 1969 to protect the lake, adopted a little known rule called the Employer-Based Trip Reduction ordinance in the early 1990s. It encourages people to leave their cars at home and instead ride a bike, take a bus, join a carpool or walk.

The ordinance requires every employer in the basin to encourage ride sharing and modes of transportation other than the private automobile.

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“We’re finally actively promoting it and getting some information from employers to find out what the current situation is and see if they are complying with the ordinance,” said Julie Regan, TRPA communications director. “We haven’t found anyone out of compliance.”

Technically speaking, compliance is achieved if an employer earns a certain number of points. The points are awarded for transportation control measures that include bike racks, lockers, showers and free bus passes.

“As (the TRPA) gets more sophisticated in its transportation planning, this kind of ordinance becomes important in distinguishing businesses that are being proactive in promoting alternative forms of transportation,” Regan said. “And it helps create some awareness in the business community.”

For more information about the TRPA ordinance, contact Bobbi Coulter, trip reduction coordinator, at (775) 771-7320.

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