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2016 Walk & Roll Challenge
The 11th Annual Walk & Roll Challenge Is On!
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Nic Jones
Walk & Roll Coordinator

Ph: (210) 918-1299
8700 Tesoro Dr.
Suite 160
San Antonio, TX  78217

In support of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Walk & Roll Program, the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) is conducting the 11th Annual Walk & Roll Challenge during May 2016, to highlight the connection between transportation and air quality, to encourage the adoption of transportation alternatives, and  to recognize local businesses and organizations whose employees record the most commuting and other purposeful trips taken by means other than driving alone in a motorized vehicle.

Any individual who lives in Bexar County or one of the seven counties surrounding it (Kendall, Comal, Guadalupe, Wilson, Atascosa, Medina, or Bandera County), is 18 years of age or older, and records their trips on may participate in the Walk and Roll Challenge.

Eligible to include in this challenge are trips participants travel to and/or from a specific destination (i.e., not solely for the sake of exercise) by carpooling, vanpooling, riding the bus, riding a bicycle, or walking. In addition to travel that actually occurs by alternative modes, “trips” will be credited to people who telecommute (work from home on a given day instead of going to the office) and to those who work in their office only four days a week or nine days every two weeks due to a compressed work schedule.

Because such alternatives reduce our trips to the gas pump, save gas money, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and provide health benefits, we refer to trips that are not taken as a single occupant in a motorized vehicle as “smart” trips.

Organizations located within the eight counties surrounding San Antonio that notify AACOG of their desire to participate in this challenge may also compete to see whose employees can collectively record the most smart trips per employee. Those organizations whose employees record the most smart trips during the challenge timeframe will be recognized for their successes during a special award ceremony later this year. Their participating employees, too, will be eligible to receive rewards and drawing prizes.

Any time, individuals recording trips on, the website where trips are officially being tallied for this Challenge, earn points towards over 100 different discounted or free offers from such businesses as Krispy Kreme, Advance Auto Parts, Mama Margie's, Kolache Factory, Petco, Alamo Draft House Cinema, Verizon, Rosario's, Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, Clothesline Cleaners, Ride Away Bikes, and dozens more. During the challenge timeframe, there will also be gift card drawings for those who record three or more trips per week.  The more trips recorded, the better the chances of winning.

2016 Walk & Roll Challenge Drawing Winners
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So far, three of the four weekly drawing winners have been selected:  Charles Van Chaney (left), who works for IMCOM at Ft. Sam Houston, and Kristen Stephens (middle) and Cindy Martinez  (on the right), both of whom work at USAA.  Each of them has won a $50 Visa Gift Card for participating in the challenge by taking smart trips and recording them on

How to Participate in the Challenge
There is nothing individuals need to do to participate in the challenge but to register (if they have not already done so) and record their trips on* Individuals will be automatically enrolled in the challenge if they record any trips on NuRide during May.

In order for an organization such as a business, government agency, school, or nonprofit organization to participate in the Walk & Roll Challenge, a brief note of intent should be sent to AACOG’s challenge administrator, Nic Jones, with the name and contact information for an employee who will act as a challenge “officer” and will rally his or her coworkers to participate in the challenge. For more information, call Nic at (210) 918-1299.

All trips intended to count toward this challenge must be logged by 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2016.  Winning organizations will be announced within the following week.

The Challenge Objective
The San Antonio region typically experiences multiple days from April through October when air pollution reaches unhealthy levels. Some of the pollutants in our air originate from other regions of the country or from natural sources, but a significant portion is created locally from activities we engage in each day – such as driving our vehicles.

Poor air quality adversely impacts us in a number of ways. Prolonged exposure can cause such symptoms as headaches, nausea, and breathing difficulties. Periods of high air pollution levels have been associated with increased emergency room visits and school absences in a number of studies. Furthermore, certain groups are particularly sensitive to air pollution: children, the elderly, people who are active outdoors, and people with respiratory illnesses.

The consequences of air pollution don’t end with human health. Air pollution harms our environment and may impact economic growth. In addition, high air pollution levels jeopardize our ability to meet federal standards for air quality.

Until 2012, San Antonio could boast that it was the largest city in the United States that was still in compliance with all federal clean air standards.  In that year, however, the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA exceeded the standard threshold for ground-level ozone, which is based on a three-year average of the fourth highest, eight-hour reading at any one of the area's official monitors.  This summer, the San Antonio area remains in a state of non-compliance. 

If officially designated as a standard nonattainment area by the federal government, consequences could include increased regulations for new and existing businesses, the loss of some highway funding, and possibly emissions inspections for our vehicles.

The major sources of locally-generated air pollution are the vehicles we drive. Since these are sources we control, we have a unique opportunity to take action and improve the situation: drive less and take fewer trips in motorized vehicles by ourselves. Our Walk & Roll Challenge’s overall goal encourages citizens to do just that.

The overall goal of the 2016 Walk & Roll Challenge is to have at least 100,000 smart trips taken and recorded during the challenge timeframe. An accomplishment of this kind would mean that everyone in the Alamo Area is a winner because we would all be breathing easier!

*For basic, step-by-step instructions on how to set up a free NuRide account, record a trip, find a rideshare partner, and get your rewards, click here.