Harford County celebrates Clean Commute Month this month, with activities to help motorists reduce pollution while improving their health.
The county will encourage "clean commutes," which include walking, bicycling, sharing a ride in a car pool or van pool, taking public transit and telecommuting - alternatives to driving alone.
The Harford County Department of Community Services Commuter Assistance Program offers free ride-matching services to help drivers find alternative commuting options.
Clean Commute Month will begin with Commuter Appreciation Day on Wednesday at the Edgewood MARC train station. Early-morning train commuters will receive prizes and complimentary cafe au lait with selected pastries from Clarence's Taste of New Orleans.
County Executive David R. Craig and Mary Chance, director of community services, will personally thank commuters who use the MARC train for their work commute.
A bike helmet safety program will offer free fittings to adults and children starting May 12 at the Bel Air, Edgewood, Abingdon, Fallston, Aberdeen and Joppatowne libraries.
Trained safety officers and volunteer members of the Harford Velo Club will conduct the fittings. Subsequent sessions will continue from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays throughout May. Drawings for new bike helmets also will be held.
The signature event for Clean Commute Month is Bike to Work Day on May 16. It will start with a rally from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the County Administration Building, 220 S. Main St., Bel Air.
The bike rally will feature a bike parade through Bel Air and several grand prizes, such as a bicycle from Contes Bikes and an electric scooter from X-treme Skooters, rounds of golf at Mountain Branch Golf Course, Ironbird tickets, restaurant gift certificates, and other prizes and giveaways.
All registrants will receive an official Bike to Work Day T-shirt, refreshments and entertainment. To register for Bike to Work Day, go to www.harford countymd.gov.
The rally, with personalities from Harford County's 103.7 WXCY radio station, will also feature the winners of the Briefcase Challenge competition held among businesses and agencies. The winners are businesses that register the most employees biking to work that day.
Three "Cleaner Cars, Cleaner Air" clinics will be held at the McFaul, Havre de Grace and Edgewood senior activity centers. Seniors must register in advance to receive a free car inspection.