And Sustainability

Montclair: A Very Friendly Town

bicyclistsAs a longtime resident of Montclair, I've always thought of my town as a very friendly community. Apparently the U.S. Department of Transportation thinks so too; Montclair was just designated a Silver Level Walk Friendly Community by the DOT's Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Walk Friendly Communities is a nationwide program honoring communities which have made pedestrian safety and convenience a priority. With our Safe Routes to School program, traffic-calming projects, and other initiatives, Montclair is definitely pedestrian-friendly.

Montclair is also a welcoming town for cyclists: We were recently recognized as a Bronze Level Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Our major roads all have bike lanes (all?), and one of the most popular town-wide events for the past 10 years has been the Tour de Montclair, sponsored by Bike & Walk Montclair (BWM took a break this year but plans to bring back the Tour in 2014).

You might be wondering why any of this matters.  Well, the way I see it, these awards show that Montclair  is a town that values the environment (bikes and feet don't spew pollutants into the air) and the health (exercise is great for our physical and mental well-being) of its citizens. Sounds pretty friendly to me.

Living Green with Gray

gray_russell_01_5x71Yet another reason why I love Montclair: Gray Russell, our Environmental Affairs Coordinator (how many towns even have an Environmental Affairs Coordinator?), was recently honored as New Jersey's "greenest" public official. According to an article on Baristanet.com, Russell received his Garden State Green Award on May 18 at Kean University. The award is also known as a Boggie, a reference to the bog turtle, once abundant in New Jersey and now endangered.

At the awards ceremony, Russell said, "We've come a long way in our efforts toward lowering our carbon footprint, but there's much more that we can do," which really resonated with me. I love that, with its bike lanes and EV charging stations, Montclair is trying to move away from fossil fuel-dependent cars.

Another factor in our becoming known as a green community is our layout. Unlike newer towns, where residential and commercial areas are often separated by highways, Montclair has always integrated the two. Many of my clients have told me how much they enjoy being able to walk to restaurants, shops, even a movie theater. While we wait to see what new initiatives Russell is planning, this Montclair Realtor will be reducing her own carbon footprint just by using her feet.