Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Arlington recruits 327 retailers to help keep you out of your car

March 2, 2012 - 12:16 PM
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(Photo: Car Free Diet)

Arlington believes in managing its traffic, and in perhaps no clearer way than how it partners with different stores and businesses within its region. I saw that on display last week when walking through the Arlington County Commuter Services Bureau headquarters and again am impressed to see the way they've partnered with 327 retailers in its Car-Free Diet campaign to help show maps of the individual retailers and the transit options near there.

The Car Free Diet website now lists these hundreds of businesses and when you click one, you see it mapped for car-free focus. Here's the long list, which you can divvy up by neighborhood if you like (Ballston, Clarendon, etc.). Need a Zipcar? It's listed. Real-time Metro information? There. Same with Metrobus and ART bus schedules. Capital Bikeshare's prominently represented.

What I like is the way these multi-modal options are all represented and emphasized together. Too often people will divide up their transportation options and see only bus routes or only bikeshare or only Metro on a given map. But reality demands more. These are the very issues that Portland transit expert Jarrett Walker talked about when he visited D.C. earlier this year. These different networks of transportation, whether Metrobus and Circulator or Metro and the forthcoming streetcar or bikeshare and Car2Go, have to find ways to work together.

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