Clean Air Campaign: Commute alternatives would ease traffic, stress

DULUTH - Gwinnett's growth, and that of the region, not only means more people are coming to Atlanta at a rapid rate - it means their cars are coming, too.

Clean Air Campaign director Kevin Green said as metro Atlantans spend 22 percent of their annual incomes paying for their commute, it's time to come up with solutions other than driving to work alone.

Between now and 2030, Green said, the amount of time drivers spend commuting will increase 72 percent and the distance they travel to work will rise 57 percent. Carpooling, teleworking and using various forms of transit will help mitigate the congestion problem on local roads, he said.

"The commute you had this morning is the best commute you'll ever have," Green said. "We can't continue to commute the same way."

Speaking at the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Green suggested employers encourage their employees to try commute alternatives. He said adding road capacity, changing land usage so more high-density mixed-use projects are built and increasing commute variety will all help solve the problem.

More than 50,000 Gwinnettians currently carpool, Green said, and about 200 work compressed schedules, fitting 40 hours into fewer than five days. That keeps those cars off the road one day a week.

"There's no single thing that's going to work," Green said. "We need more transportation infrastructure, and that's clear. We're going to have to work to squeeze the most efficiency out of the system we've got."

For more information on commute alternatives, see the Clean Air Campaign's Web site at www.cleanaircampaign.com.