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Editorial: Celebrate Bike To Work Day

For many people in Carroll who have long commutes to get to their job, biking to work may not be a viable option, so it is good to see that there will be at least one event in the county today celebrating national Bike To Work Day.

This marks the 15th year for the event in the Baltimore region, according to information on Bike To Work Day on the Baltimore Regional Council's website.

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The event, according to the website, "promotes a 'clean commute' and is part of the region's Clean Commute Initiative, which begins in April. Late spring is the start of the ground-level ozone season, when we hear about Code Red and Orange Ozone Action Days. On those days, the air is dangerous to breathe - especially for the young and for the elderly. Single-occupancy vehicles produce dangerous ozone-emission pollution in the Baltimore area. Bike commuting can improve the air we breathe."

The website lists rallies and gatherings that will be held across the state to highlight Bike To Work Day, including an event at the county office building from noon to 1 p.m.

The website also offers tips and advice on choosing a route, proper safety, tips on clothing and bike maintenance and links to bike commuting websites.

A majority of Carroll's workers commute outside the county to work each day. But even they might consider taking their bike with them to work and using it to run errands on their lunch break.

Other things that residents can do are explore opportunities for ride-sharing, public transportation or other ways that they might be able to get to and from work each day. Each vehicle that we take off the roadway reduces the total amount of ozone-emission pollution in the region. An added bonus is that it also helps reduce congestion on some of our busier roadways.

We can also reduce emissions by consolidating trips that we take in our cars every day. The added bonus is that we get a lot more done in a shorter period, and we save money because we won't have to fill up at the pump as often.

Ultimately, the lesson to take away from today is that while it may not be realistically feasible for people in rural areas who have long commutes to bike to work, there are things that we all can do every day to help reduce our contribution to ozone-emission pollution in the area. And when more people start looking at ways to reduce pollution, we all can breathe a little easier and perhaps not have to endure as many Code Orange or Code Red days with poor air quality this summer.

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