FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Strive Not To Drive Becomes Simply Strive, While Widening Reach In Western NC
STRIVE MOVES BEYOND “NOT TO DRIVE”
Strive Not To Drive has been a presence in Asheville and across the greater region since 1991, returning every May with the message that we can live happier and healthier when we move through our area without cars. The name “Strive Not To Drive” has served this annual campaign well for over 25 years as a direct and literal incitement toward the challenge to walk, bike, or bus, rather than drive. Now, in 2018, as we expand the campaign to last the entire month of May and include actions in Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, and – this year – Transylvania counties, we recognize that there’s more to be gained by asking neighbors what they want to strive towards rather than telling them what to strive against. We are pushing positively to simply STRIVE for more transportation choices.
“When I introduce ‘Strive Not To Drive’ to new audiences, I see on some faces that the name itself is a non-starter to those whom commuting without a car isn’t an option,” says Ritchie Rozzelle, Director of Strive, based out of Land of Sky Regional Council. “Instead let’s get deeper into the conversation of transportation options and along the way folks may realize that they do actually have some ability to go to a store, a meeting, or a park without a car.”
WHY DO WE STRIVE?
As Strive, with over 25 events in 4 counties and the Strive Beyond Summit at Sierra Nevada Brewing on May 18, the focus is on celebrating and spreading awareness of transportation options that exist – walkable neighborhoods, greenways, bike lanes, local bus systems, and carpool lots – while getting people to envision future options like long multi-use paths between towns, regional transit, express commuter buses, worker shuttles, and volunteer driven options for workers and the aging. The more options that we create, the more comfortable we all become leaving the car ownership mentality behind. And with nearly half of the working populations of counties surrounding Buncombe driving outside of their county each day for work, these options can not come fast enough.
INTRODUCING: STRIVE BEYOND SUMMIT
The themes of shared, sustainable and active transportation, workforce transportation, and transportation for the aging will shape the conversation at the inaugural Strive Beyond Summit, May 18, 1-4:30pm at Sierra Nevada Brewing in Mills River. The Summit, featuring two moderated panels of local and national experts in transportation, will focus on transportation options that have worked in similar regions and can work for Western North Carolina.
One panel, The Business of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access, moderated by Mike Sule, Executive Director of Asheville on Bikes, examines ways that the region can build an economy and individual companies can establish more reliable workforces and customer bases by increasing bicycle and pedestrian access. Already our region has a bicycling tourism sector that creates over $40 million in annual revenue. This is without providing the infrastructure that allows easy access to park lands, trails, and rural roads that cultivates and focuses that growing economic driver. With a backyard example of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a multi-use path that connects Travelers Rest, NC to Greenville, SC there is evidence that this type of investment creates new Main Streets, grows new businesses, and invites outside dollars. Further, when cities like Brevard, NC, focus on bike-friendly and walkable access to and around their downtown areas, businesses grow and see new customers, while surrounding neighborhoods see higher property values.
A second panel, Shared Mobility from Home to Work to Retirement, moderated by Ritchie Rozzelle, Director of Strive and Regional Transportation Coordinator at Land of Sky Regional Council, grants that at best, our region's transit and transportation services work for those that need the ride. The panel explores how shared transportation – carshares, bikeshares, shuttles, express and regional buses – would improve life for all, while allowing those who most need these options to arrive at work, doctor appointments, and simply leave the home more reliably. Panelists discuss options that can allow workforces and those aging in place to share transportation as a resource.
Public questions and a meet-and-greet will follow the panels. The summit is hosted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and cosponsored by AARP, Explore Asheville, Land of Sky Regional Council, Biltmore Farms Hotels, Mountain True, and Asheville on Bikes.
Panelists include: Terry Bellamy, Upskill WNC and Former Asheville Mayor; Kate Cavazza, Sustain Charlotte; Sig Hutchinson, Wake County; Andy Boenau, Author, Gotcha Mobility; Cheryl O’Conner, Enterprise Rideshare; David Foster, Biltmore Forest; Rebecca Chaplin, AARP
The summit is free, but limited space is available and registration is encouraged at www.strivebeyond.org
Strive Regional Director
Land of Sky Regional Council
Lead Strive Asheville Planner
Asheville on Bikes
FIND STRIVE EVENTS NEAR YOU
Throughout May, Strive will shift its focus week by week through the region. There are over 25 Strive events planned across Asheville, Black Mountain, Brevard, Canton, Hendersonville, and Waynesville, so chances are there’s one that appeals to you. A master list of events is at events.strivebeyond.org and interested volunteers are encouraged to go to volunteer.strivebeyond.org to sign up.
HIGHLIGHT STRIVE EVENTS:
Strive Waynesville Week, May 7-11
Full event listing: waynesville.strivebeyond.org
Wednesday, May 9, 3pm
Mountain Projects Bus Route Sneak Peek
Let’s make a new bus route together. Mountain Projects of Haywood County is proposing its first fixed-route bus service, and special guests are invited to test it out. The preview will cover two proposed routes: Clyde to Canton and Clyde to Waynesville. Municipal staff, elected officials, and business representatives are invited to ride along and provide input on this game-changer route that connects large employers, public services, and business districts within Haywood County.
Thursday, May 10, 4-5pm
Walk Main Street with Katie-the-Dog and Gavin
Join Katie-the-dog, Gavin-the-mayor, and Elizabeth-the-planner on a stroll of Downtown Waynesville. The walk, starting from City Hall, will begin with a meet-the-bus experience with Mountain Projects. From there, Mayor Gavin Brown and City Planner Elizabeth Teague invite guests down Main St. and Wall St. to discuss downtown walkability, connectivity, and the resulting economic growth. The walk ends at Boojum Brewing for Moving Pictures Night.
Thursday, May 10, 5-7pm
Moving Pictures Night at Boojum Brewing
Seeing is believing. Be moved to increase Haywood County's transportation options by a series of fun and inspiring short films that focus on the economic and wellness benefits of walkable cities, bike-friendly businesses, and connected transit. The films will be followed by an introduction to exciting transportation-related projects ongoing in Haywood County by Bicycle Haywood NC, Haywood County’s Greenway Commission, and Mountain Projects, plus some social time with snacks and Boojum beverages.
Strive Asheville Week, May 11-18
Full event listing: asheville.strivebeyond.org
Friday, May 11, 5-8 pm
Roll Outta Work
Hosted by Asheville on Bikes, this ride kicks off Asheville’s Strive week with the unique joy of rolling out of work on a Friday. Gather at 5pm at 68 Haywood St, the downtown vacant city-owned lot that has been the subject of development debate, where Strive has installed a neighborhood bike-skills course. The ride rolls out at 5:30pm, winding through Montford, RAD, and West Asheville and ending at New Belgium Brewing for a Strive Week kick-off party, starting at 6:30pm.
Monday, May 14, 10:15am
Walk the Talk on Merrimon Ave.
Join elected officials, transportation planners, and concerned community members as we walk and consider Merrimon Avenue, one of Asheville's most discussed and opportunity-filled roadways. Gather at 10:15 at Weaver Park for a 1-hour program that will include a visual impairment simulation, presentations on multimodal roadway design, greenways, and city/college connection, plus two thrilling Merrimon cross-walk experiences!
Thursday, May 17
Is your part of town walkable? Want to take the bus but not sure where to start? With actions planned in neighborhoods to the North, South, East, and West Asheville, Walk-On/Ride-On addresses pedestrian and transit questions specific to your neighborhood.
Strive Hendersonville Week, May 18-25
Full event listing: hendersonville.strivebeyond.org
Tuesday, May 22, 10am-noon
Over 60 and seriously considering your transportation options beyond the car? Join a roundtable discussion of the transportation needs and tools specific to Henderson County’s aging community, hosted by Hendersonville Community Coop, AARP, and Council on Aging. The food is free and your opinions are invaluable as the city and county listen to citizens aging in place and staying on-the-go.
Wednesday, May 23, 10am-noon
Meet The Bus
This meeting-on-wheels is a guided discussion of workforce and public transportation needs, hosted around an Apple Country bus parked at Henderson County Courthouse. Following the meeting, the public is invited to better know their bus.
Thursday, May 24, 5-8 pm
Why Greenways + Strive Social
A presentation by Friends of Oklawah Greenway makes the case for expanding Henderson County's greenway system. And following that, we'll socialize and share stories of our Strive Week.
Regional schedule of events: http://www.strivenottodrive.org/master-calendar/
Black Mountain http://www.strivenottodrive.org/black-mountain
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