DATA’s third annual “party with a purpose” included plenty to enjoy and to inform! The 2016 Live More Block Party was held September 20 at the Reston Town Center Pavilion in partnership with METRO. With promotional support from Boston Properties, the Reston Association, and the Reston Town Center Association, the event drew more than 150 attendees over a 3-hour period.
More than 15 tabletop exhibits showcased commuting choices from vanpooling to ridesharing to biking. Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties’ transportation groups participated as did Enterprise Rideshare, METRO, and LINK among others.
New this year was the MATT (Mobile Accessible Travel Training) Bus, a Fairfax Connector bus renovated and designed to train people how to travel safely and independently on regional transit systems. Originally designed for senior citizens, DATA plans to utilize the MATT Bus in outreach to underserved populations through its federal-funded JARC (Job Access Reverse Commute) grant.
More than 60 people signed up for the first ever WalkAround, an untimed perambulation through the Center to promote walking. In return, most received a WalkAround t-shirt and coupons from Town Center merchants in a logoed Fairfax County tote. Interestingly enough, attendees continued to sign up for future walking events even after the incentives were gone. Names gathered will be used to enlist people for the upcoming Live More Commuter Challenge.
For kids, the ever-popular face painter returned. In addition, there were two shows by the Bob Brown Puppets, delighting not only mothers with small children but adults on their lunch break; many stopped by other exhibits after the shows.
Suggestions from the DATA staff as well as exhibitors will make the 2017 Live More Block Party an even more effective way to showcase the benefits of leaving your single occupant vehicle in the driveway and exploring commuting options. And that’s the real purpose of our party!