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The Green Life: Washington, D.C. Will Pay You to Live Near Your Work

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May 12, 2011

Washington, D.C. Will Pay You to Live Near Your Work

Bike to Work Day Washington DC What if your city paid you to avoid traffic jams, long commutes, and high gas prices? By moving closer to their jobs, Washington, D.C. residents will be eligible to earn a $12,000 home-ownership grant through the Live Near Your Work pilot program. GOOD reports that the new initiative by D.C.'s Office of Planning will match up to $6,000 in employer incentives to workers who take up residence within two miles of the office, within a half a mile of a Metro station, or within a quarter mile of a "high quality" bus corridor.

Competition for the grants could be fierce, however, since the city has only earmarked $200,000 for the entire program. Applications for employers are due June 17, 2011.

While the small size of the program means that it won't markedly change the city's transportation profile, success here could pave the way for similar incentives. By now, most people understand the physical, emotional, financial, and planetary benefits of biking or walking to work, but the fact remains that many neighborhoods are simply too far from the city center to make biking and walking viable options; other communities simply lack a safe and complete network of bike lanes and sidewalks.

Washington D.C.'s annual Bike to Work Day is scheduled for May 20 (San Francisco's Bike to Work Day is today). Here's hoping that more than a few people will be inspired to move toward a two-wheeled commute.

--Della Watson

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