RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Research Triangle Parkis touted as the place where the minds of the world meet. But, if everyone is stuck in traffic, there is nothing but a world of trouble. Now some high tech companies are trying to get smart about traffic.
RTP companies have banded together to come up with alternatives to gridlock. People living in the Triangle will soon see the results of their"Smart Commute"effort.
A public service announcement is getting ready to hit the airwaves and a big kick-off event called "Jamming In The Park" will take place. That is where employee carpool incentives will be announced, like the deal offered to workers atCovance Biotechnology Services.
"If their employeescarpool or vanpoolthey get 'Bio Bucks' they can use to redeem for purchases in the company store," says Jim Roberson of the RTP Foundation.
Some companies, likeNortel, are already trying to get ahead of the traffic.
"We actually have something we call Green Commute at our company, and it looks at carpooling, telecommuting and all sorts of ideas to help curb the traffic," says Mary McClintock of Nortel Networks.
There are very few places to live close to RTP. Some say if there were more housing options closer to work, there would be less traffic on I-40 and the major connectors.
No matter what the approach, RTP leaders say something needs to be done, now.
"If you see your time driving to work going from 30 minutes to 45 to an hour, then that impacts your ability to recruit the best and the brightest. So we don't want to see our companies suffer the ability to get the very best people in the world," one park employee says.
The "Jamming In The Park" kick-off event will be held Friday, April 28 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Radisson Governor's Inn.