During the month of September, New Haven’s Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking is encouraging organizations and individuals to use active transportation options as part of Go New Haven Go (GoNHGo), a collaborative campaign designed to bring together organizations and individuals to encourage healthier, cleaner, and cheaper travel in the Greater New Haven Area.
To participate, commuters sign up for GoNHGo and log their commuting and other travel through a website called NuRide. This program, funded by state and local governments, rewards commuters with coupons for choosing transport options other than driving alone. GoNHGo will use data from NuRide to track commuting habits through the month of September, distributing awards to promote active transport. Prizes vary from ice cream parties at work to $100 gift cards at Trailblazer. The month will kick off with an event on August 31, 2015, when local politicians will walk from City Hall to Broadway and log the trip in the NuRide system.
In addition to the Nuride competition, the city is hosting multiple events throughout September, including bike rides along New Haven’s most popular routes. There will also be commuter appreciation events every Friday, targeted to those who use bikes, buses, trains, or walk to work.
Two other events are coinciding with the GoNHGo month, both on Friday, September 18th. Park(ing) Day is a worldwide event which aims to repurpose parking spaces – literally turning the spaces into parks. The event encourages people to reimagine urban landscapes and to think about how repurposing parking spaces could invigorate cities.
Later that night is the New Haven Grand Prix, a self-branded ‘twilight bike race and street festival’. After a 20 or 30 mile ride, racers can congregate around the New Haven Green to enjoy local pizza and socialize at the beer garden.
“How we get from place to place defines so much of our lives,” said Jacob Wasserman, a Yale undergraduate and Dwight Hall Summer Fellow who has been helping to organize the event. “It’s worth investing time in and offering rewards for finding better ways to get from point A to point B.”