The Department maintains a strong commitment to improving air quality in the state of Georgia through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. In the 13-county Atlanta region, CMAQ funds are used to implement a variety of projects aimed at reducing emissions by relieving traffic congestion. One such initiative is a region-wide Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program.
Since the development of the program in 1999, outreach to individuals and employers has been bringing about changes in transportation behavior. This has been accomplished in the Atlanta region through programs to educate, encourage, and facilitate such changes.
An advertising campaign has brought about higher levels of public awareness of the region's air quality and congestion problems. Support services such as a ride-share database and a guaranteed ride home program make joining a carpool much easier. As individuals who drive alone change to other less polluting transportation modes, congestion is reduced and the quality of the air improves.
Plans are being put into place to assist areas across the state that are or will soon be confronting air quality problems. The Department facilitates a collaborative approach at the state level to addressing air quality in partnership with the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. The goal is to use the resources available to implement the most effective projects and programs to improve air quality through congestion management.
Alternative Commute Options
The following is a list of alternative commute options that can help reduce the amount of smog produced by vehicle emissions.
- Carpool or Vanpool: Call 1-87-RIDEFIND, or ask about your employer's carpooling programs.
- Mass Transit: Commute to work utilizing the train or bus service in your community.
- Telework: Work at home using your phone, fax, and computer.
- Flex Hours: Adjust work schedule to commute when traffic is less congested.
- Compressed Work Week: Work a four day work week made up of 10 hour days.
- Ride a Bike: Instead of driving in traffic congestion, ride a bike to work.
- Walk: Walk to work and to lunch if possible.
- Use Technology: Instead of driving to meetings, schedule conference calls, use e-mail and fax to communicate with clients, co-workers, and vendors.
Tips to Reduce Smog
- Don't Top Off: When pumping gas, don't overfill. This will prevent smog producing fumes from escaping into the air.
- Late Start: Plan the use of gas-powered lawnmowers, blowers, edgers, chainsaws, and other motorized equipment for cooler evening hours. Refuel vehicles at dusk during cool hours.
- Watch Your Temp: Set household thermostats at 78 degrees in summer and 68 degrees in winter.
- Drive in Stride: Drive at a moderate speed; avoid quick take offs and stops.
- Reduce Car Idling: Idling for extended periods at a drive-through or in traffic creates harmful pollutants. Park, and go inside.
- Car Care: Get regular tune-ups, inflate tires properly, keep wheels aligned, and replace dirty air filters.
Air Quality Improvement Contact
Phillip M. Peevy, Air Quality & Travel Demand Modeling Branch Chief