Cornwall wins 2016 Commuter Challenge; participation down sharply

In this May 22, 2015, file photo, Eastern Ontario Health Unit spokeswoman Chantal Lalonde emcees the kickoff for the 2015 edition of the Cornwall & Area Active Transportation Challenge. Cornwall has won the Commuter Challenge for smaller cities for the second year in a row. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – For a second year in a row, Cornwall has finished in first place for smaller cities in the national Commuter Challenge, even though participation was down sharply from last year.

While there were more people and workplaces registered, roughly half the kilometers were put in on alternate forms of transportation, such as walking, cycling and carpooling, during the Active Transportation Challenge compared to 2015.

Data compiled on the national Commuter Challenge website shows the week long event from June 5-11, 2016 saw Cornwallites log 14,626 kilometers – down from 27,939 in 2015.

Weather may have been a factor as Cornwall saw cool temperatures in the latter part of the week with average temperatures of 11-15 degrees Celsius and lows of 8-10 degrees.

The result still gives Cornwall first place among cities with a population of 25,000 to 50,000.

The green alternative trips saved 934 liters of fuel, burned 98,168 calories and avoided 2,119 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions this year. With fewer kilometers logged, by extension, all of these numbers were down too.

There were 23 workplaces and 112 people registered for the event, more than in 2015.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Seaway Valley Community Health Center had the most participants at 12 each.

The Active Transportation Challenge is hosted by Transition Cornwall+ with a number of partners, including the City of Cornwall and EOHU.