Governor Challenges Virginians to Change Commuting Habits - WSET.com - ABC13

Governor Challenges Virginians to Change Commuting Habits

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Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Todd Densmore

Lynchburg, VA - Earth Day may be behind us, but Governor McDonnell has a big challenge for Virginians to help the environment. The Governor is asking everyone to bike, walk, or carpool at least once every two weeks.

ABC-13 News asked viewers if they would actually take the challenge.

Bike rider Raymond Overstreet says he rides anywhere from 30 to 45 miles a day. But, he says the roads aren't safe enough to use his bike as a means of transportation.

"There is no way you could ride a bike on Route 460 the shoulders are not wide enough. I'm scared to death to get on that," said Overstreet.

Most people say they see the value in carpooling especially with high gas prices.

"It would be a lot better if we biked or rode the bus. Why waste gas on one person?" said Noelle Dinwi.

And to sweeten the deal, you can get some tax benefits for carpooling. Employers can give workers up to $230 per month in tax-free transit and vanpool benefits, under the Commuter Tax Benefit.

Randolph College Environmental Science Professor Karin Warren says fewer cars on the roads help the environment.

"It would cut back on emissions that contribute to air pollution, and affect human health. It also would cut back on things that contributes to acid rain, and gases that affect the earth's climate," said Warren

The governor is also challenging all of us to get moving by walking to work. It will save you money and help your waistline.

Michael Kalafian, a doctor at Centra Health, says walking even a short distance could have long term health benefits.

"Anything you can do to improve your cardiovascular fitness, cuts down on your diabetic risk, improves your heart, and your cardiac function," said Kalafian

The governor's challenge might be tough for some, but Warren says we should think the future.

"Our children, our grandchildren will end up with a much better world as a result," said Warren.

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