Green Umbrella in the News

  • February 12, 2019 10:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Local 12 aired a feature segment on Cincinnati Parks, which includes Green Umbrella staff at the 15 minute mark. View the original post here.


  • February 04, 2019 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Good Food Cities
    View the original article here.


    On January 28th 2019, the Cincinnati School Board unanimously voted in favor of a resolution adopting the Good Food Purchasing Program in Cincinnati public schools. In 2017, Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) spent more than $7.7 million on food. By adopting this resolution, the school district takes an important step toward making sure those millions support not only healthy and delicious food for students, but also a strong local economy, fair working conditions for food sector workers, and sustainable and humane farming practices.

    Last week’s resolution was the result of a two and a half year process led by a robust and diverse community-based coalition advocating for the Program. The coalition roll call included 33 different groups and organizations represented at the meeting. Close to 100 local residents filled the auditorium—including many students, parents, food industry workers, civil rights activists, and environmentalists. Among those donning orange armbands in support were Board of Education members Ozie Davis III, Ryan Messer, and Mike Moroski, who introduced the resolution. Davis III remarked, “There’s not often a coalition of this might for any subject matter; your commitment to the children of our district is commendable.”

    A large number of participants signed up to speak, with 19 commenters and 50 minutes of public comment. Community members gave compelling testimony, speaking to the many facets of the Good Food Purchasing Program, why they support it, and how it would affect them and their communities. It was a powerful example of democracy in action, as the community played its part in shaping how our public resources are used.

    The public comments period included comments from a student about the crushing effects of hunger that many students experience daily. Another participant, delivering her remarks in Spanish with help from an interpreter, spoke about her injuries as a result of negligence at a food packing plant where she worked for a company that has a contract with CPS for thousands of dollars. Another worker—identifying herself as a proud union member and a product of Cincinnati Public Schools—emphasized the importance of the participation of people of color, specifically African Americans, in the purchasing process. Area farmers, environmental sustainability advocates, and public health experts also spoke about how the Good Food Purchasing Program helps to support local, organic farmers and provide kids with the nutrition they need for healthy development. (A recording of the full session is available at https://youtu.be/B6qbGzKvrbg, with public comments starting around 47:00.)

    In a statement, UFCW Local 75 President Kevin Garvey commended the Cincinnati Board of Education for passing the Good Food Purchasing Policy: “The board took a strong step towards providing strong incentives for food companies receiving taxpayer dollars to pay their workers a living wage, provide strong protections against workplace hazards, and otherwise move towards adopting more sustainable food production practices in a manner that bolsters Cincinnati’s local economy.”

    “The Good Food Purchasing Program has energized food justice activists in Cincinnati,” says Brennan Grayson, director of the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center. “It brings a bold vision to food justice activism, one that brings people from all parts of the food chain together. And togetherness is what people need to make changes in the food system.”

    Many thanks to the CPS Board, the food purchasing staff, and the Cincinnati Good Food Purchasing Program coalition members for their work advancing good food in Cincinnati.


  • January 29, 2019 12:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Policy Matters Ohio
    Author:
     Hannah Halbert

    In 2017, Cincinnati Public Schools spent more than $7.7 million on food for their kids. That’s $7.7 million of leverage over a food supply chain that runs from farm to factory to cafeteria. Last night, the Cincinnati School Board chose to use that leverage to do some good. By adopting the Good Food Purchasing Policy, the district will direct more of those millions back into the Cincinnati regional economy, creating good jobs that stay in the community, prioritize employer practices that provide workers dignity at work, promote sustainable and humane farming practices, and put healthy, fresh and delicious food in cafeterias for kids to enjoy.

    When big public institutions commit to values-based purchasing practices, suppliers have good reason to adopt those values too. The more we spend on suppliers who share our values, the more we strengthen their supply chain, and the more we drive down costs. That makes it easier for other institutions to get on board. The state of Ohio spent $2.1 billion on goods and services in 2016, and just three-fifths went to in-state vendors. Shifting more of that spending to Ohio-based, high road vendors would support an economy that works better for all of us. In absence of values-based purchasing practices at the state level, more local institutions should adopt these innovations.

    Ohioans don’t want public policy experiments; we want evidence-based plans that produce real benefits. GFPP fits the bill. Since the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) started the program in 2012, it has redirected more than $12 million to local fruit and vegetable growers. Los Angeles County has added 150 new well-paying food chain jobs as a direct result of the program, and 160 truck drivers along the district’s food supply chain have seen higher wages and improved working conditions. School lunches now contain less sodium, less high fructose corn syrup, and less red meat, and the district saves nearly 20 million gallons of water each week. Thanks to GFPP, public schools in Austin, Texas now spend nearly half their food budget in-state. The University of Texas at Austin now sources more than 525,000 pounds annually from community gardens and local growers. Cincinnati is part of a growing wave of support for good food purchasing policy: Good Food coalitions are working in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Oakland, Washington, New York and San Francisco.

    The City of Cincinnati is leading the way on innovative worker protections. In 2016, the city adopted a wage theft ordinance – the first of its kind in Ohio – to ensure workers are paid for all the hours they work. Now, the Cincinnati Public Schools will be a leader in high-road purchasing by adopting the Good Food Purchasing Policy. Policies that encourage healthy food, sustainable development and worker protection are being eroded. Local governments and other anchor institutions like hospital systems, universities and sports arenas have the ability to use procurement as a way to advance smart policy. We applaud Cincinnati Public Schools for their innovative approach and hope more local governments do the same.

    Visit the original article.

  • January 28, 2019 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

    Opinion Contributor: Craig Davis
    Published Jan. 28, 2019

    In recent months, I have come to notice an interesting shift in the news coverage of climate change. Stories have moved away from debating its scientific merits and causes, toward accepting it as a reality. In fact, most coverage has focused on the current and future impact of climate change as well as coping strategies.

    Take for example the following headlines: "19 schemes to survive climate change," "Climate change puts our military bases at risk," and "Your children’s Yellowstone will be radically different." This shift suggests, at least to me, that as a society we have finally accepted that the climate is changing, and humankind is the cause. Though I would generally prefer that we collectively focus our efforts on preventing rather than accepting it as an inevitability, I view this as a positive development. The first step to solving any problem, is recognizing the problem exists. 

    As a father of three wonderful children, it is clear to me that taking action against climate change is a moral imperative. Those who are willing and able to think beyond the present, and who are selfless enough to act on behalf of future generations, know that the time to make a difference is extremely limited. I’m reminded of my grandfather, who arrived in Normandy, D-Day plus two. He didn’t join the fight, at age 17 no less, because he expected to get rich. He did it because it was the right thing to do; it needed to be done. I am now convinced that the risk climate change poses to our children and grandchildren will dwarf any threat humanity has faced before.

    As a kid, my dad used to say to me, Craig, your problems are like mountains. You can climb over, go around, or tunnel through it. You can never just stand still and do nothing.  Until recently, I think most folks have been waiting on the federal government to lead the charge against climate change up over, around, or through the mountain. But it’s clear Uncle Sam’s current interest is in removing the mountaintop and mining its coal. The cavalry isn’t coming. We need to lead the charge. 

    Though we are now experiencing the increasingly impactful effects of a changing climate, such as unprecedented heat, flooding, and wildfires, I remain more determined – and encouraged – than ever. Every day I see more selfless leaders, particularly from private industry and local government, leading our way to a brighter future. 

    For example, look no further than our own back yard. The city of Cincinnati has developed a plan consisting of 80 strategies aimed to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2050. Separately, a group of local professionals worked for a full year to launch a 2030 District in Cincinnati. Several founding members of this district have made an aggregated commitment to reducing their building’s energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030. 

    Site Selection Magazine, a publication covering real-estate and economic development, has named Cincinnati the Most Sustainable Metro in the U.S., beating out Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and San Diego. In 2018, Fifth Third Bank signed a Power Purchase Agreement allowing them to achieve 100 percent renewable power consumption.  Proctor & Gamble, the largest consumer products company in the world, has diverted 70 percent of its manufacturing waste from landfills; in two more years P&G will have achieved 100 percent diversion.

    At Melink, we have just broken ground on our second Zero-Energy building, HQ2, located in Milford. And for me personally, I am in awe of my colleagues and the impact they’re making on a global scale. Every day I have the unique privilege of serving alongside some of the most passionate, best-at-what-they-do, group of professionals working in energy efficiency and renewable energy today.

    While there’s no silver bullet for combating climate change, saving the future will be the culmination of many collective efforts from men, women, and children who are committed to changing the world. Though we should pay attention to the buzz around climate doom and gloom, we shouldn’t worry about it. Instead, let’s take action where we have an opportunity to make a difference. 

    Someone far wiser than myself once said, "Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders… carry the weight of your world on your shoulders." If each of us acts to preserve our world, and we maintain faith in one another, the collective impact will far outweigh the risks we face. Therefore, I choose to believe that our children and grandchildren will have an exceptionally bright future.

    Craig Davis is president of Cincinnati-based Melink Corporation, a global leader in energy efficient and renewable energy technologies.

    View the original article here.

  • January 07, 2019 2:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WVXU

    By ANN THOMPSON  JAN 7, 2019

    Director of the Cincinnati 2030 District Tremaine Phillips says in the next couple of months he will announce some projects that "will shock this community in terms of how far and how fast we are moving forward in the area of sustainability."

    At the end of 2018, Cincinnati became the 21st city in North America to sign on with the 2030 District, a network of healthy, high-performing sustainable buildings that pledge to fight climate change by reducing water and energy usage and transportation emissions by 50 percent.

    Phillips says the announcements will pertain to grid-to-vehicle storage; autonomous vehicles; and energy efficiency, which he says are really going to be world-class.

    In the meantime, Phillips continues to sign up building owners. Eighteen are already on board, including the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). It was the first, according to Director Raphaela Platow.

    "Obviously the environment is a hugely important issue and a lot of contemporary artists talk about it in their work," she says. "So we felt we had to be an organization who talks about the planet and the relationship with contemporary art and innovative thought."

    The CAC, according to Sustainability Director Aly Laughlin, already offsets its electrical energy use with offsite wind energy. It has low water usage; composts; has LED lighting; and sets its copy machine to double-sided printing. "So we're kind of taking a look now at everything we're doing and how we can take that even further," Laughlin says. 

    2030 says it's more than sustainability.

    "We know that Generation Z and the Millennial Generation are looking for communities that are walkable, bikeable, that have safe streets, that have clean air and that have enjoyable places to live, work and play," says Phillips. 

    Here are the companies participating:

    • 84.51
    • Cincinnati Bell Inc.
    • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
    • City of Cincinnati
    • Contemporary Arts Center
    • Cincinnati 580 Commercial Development, LLC
    • Cushman & Wakefield
    • Deskey
    • Emersion Design
    • Fifth Third Bank
    • Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)
    • MCA Center LLC
    • Melink Corporation
    • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
    • Neyer Properties
    • Procter & Gamble
    • Sol Design & Consulting
    • The Kroger Co.


  • December 10, 2018 12:53 PM | Anonymous member

    Source: WCPO Cincinnati

    By: Pat LaFleur

    CINCINNATI -- With a resolution  passed last week, City Council made Cincinnati the 100th U.S. city to pledge to neutralize its carbon footprint by 2035. 

    The resolution marked a major milestone for the Sierra Club, a national environmental group, and "put a bow on a lot of things the city had already been doing," according to the club's Ohio chapter.

    Mayor John Cranley introduced the resolution -- which does not carry the weight of law, but rather is a written statement of intent -- and said, by adopting it, city council is "committing to something we're already trying to do, but going on the record."

    Cranley described the goal as going "carbon neutral."

    Read the full resolution below.

    The resolution promises that "all of the City-owned and operated facilities and fleets" will transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy sources over the next 17 years. It also pledges "to ensure that 100 percent of the electricity consumed by residents and businesses within the city shall be generated by clean, renewable sources such as solar and wind."

    Council's vote Wednesday made Cincinnati the 100th city in the nation, as well as the second city in Ohio after Cleveland, to pass such a resolution.

    Democrats Tamaya Dennard, Greg Landsman, David Mann, Chris Seelbach, P.G. Sittenfeld and Wendell Young voted in favor of the resolution. Republicans Amy Murray and Jeff Pastor abstained. Independent Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman was absent from Wednesday's meeting.

    It remains unclear what realizing this pledge would cost taxpayers. WCPO reached out to Cranley's office as well as the city's Office of Environment and Sustainability, and is awaiting a reply.

    Figuring out practical details like cost comes next, said Nathan Alley, conservation policy coordinator for the Sierra Club's Ohio Chapter.

    "This is the kind of thing that gives the Office of Environment and Sustainability room to work," he said. In addition to his work at the Sierra Club, Alley also sits on the city's Environmental Advisory Council.

    "This serves as a mandate," he added. "We don't want to just say 'no' to coal. We want to say 'yes' to solar, and here's how to do it."

    Alley has worked with Cranley and the OES for the better part of two years on behalf of the environmental organization's Ready for 100campaign. In 2016, the club set out to convince 100 cities to sign resolutions like what City Council passed last week.  

    "That’s a really important milestone," Alley said. "Having 100 (cities) by the end of 2018 was the goal."

    Cincinnati's commitment is a bit more aspirational than what the Sierra Club initially asked -- 100-percent reliance on clean, renewable energy by 2050.

    And for good reason.

    "Cincinnati, of course, has really serious issues with air quality," Alley said. Cincinnati ranks among the worst U.S. cities for year-round particle pollution , according to the American Lung Association, and has a high rate of asthma incidents, especially among children . 

    Wednesday's resolution arrived after a growing list of efforts made at City Hall to transition away from coal and natural gas as energy sources toward more sustainable systems.

    Cranley made a similar commitment in 2018 when he signed the "Mayors for 100 Percent Clean Energy Pledge," and the city this year committed to building a 25-megawatt solar energy facility which would power 25 percent of city facilities' energy needs.

    Bloomberg Philanthropies in November awarded the city a $2.5 million American Cities Climate Challenge grant. The city also sits on the cusp of becoming the country's newest "2030 district" -- a designation awarded to cities where a certain percentage of property owners commit to reducing energy and water consumption and transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

    Cranley, along with Council and the OES, adopted the Green Cincinnati Plan in May.

    Site Selection magazine in July named Cincinnati the country's "most sustainable" city .

    Read the complete article here. 

  • December 06, 2018 12:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO Cincinnati

    By: Pat LaFleur

    CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati ranks in the top 30 "greenest" cities in the U.S., according to an October report from the personal finance website Wallet Hub. Just a few months before that, Site Selection magazine ranked the city as the country's "most sustainable."

    They're accolades worth touting.

    It's certainly good news to Ryan Mooney-Bullock, whose team at Madisonville-based Green Umbrella Thursday will commemorate two decades of working to preserve the region's plentiful landscape of green spaces like parks, preserves, and gardens.

    "One of the things we’re really proud of with our city is how you can get to natural areas no matter where you live," Mooney-Bullock said. According to her data, 83 percent of Hamilton County residents live 10 minutes or less from a protected green space, and that's on foot. Within Cincinnati city limits, that figure jumps to 91 percent.

    Across Greater Cincinnati, Green Umbrella counts 115,000 acres of protected green space.

    But the nonprofit's scope expands beyond keeping beautiful places beautiful. Despite the notable position on the "greenest cities" list, the Tri-State's stretch of the Ohio River Valley and the surrounding hills face a wide-range of environmental challenges, Mooney-Bullock said.

    She worries, for instance, about the high number of Tri-State folks -- including 36,000 kids in Hamilton County alone  --  living with asthma and the American Lung Association's ranking the region 18th worst in the country for year-round particle pollution .

    "In my mind, we have a big disconnect when we have huge asthma incidents in our region, and we also have an amazing green space," she said.

    Over two decades, the group's focus grew from protecting green space to encompass a range of issues that fall under the umbrella -- getting the name now? -- "sustainability."

    Green Umbrella began humbly in 1998 as the "Regional Green Space Initiative." It was "literally a dozen folks sitting in a small office or a conference room in a library," as Mooney-Bullock describes it. By the time she began volunteering with Green Umbrella in 2011, the group had already started widening its field of vision.

    She came on board to manage the Green Learning Station at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati in Avondale, where she educated people on stormwater management and environmentally efficient gardening methods.

    Just a few years later, Green Umbrella would become one of the groups behind launching Red Bike -- the region's nonprofit bike share program with rentable bikes and docking stations in neighborhoods on both sides of the river.

    By 2018, Green Umbrella grew into an organization with more than 900 members and seven focus areas: energy, green space, local food, outdoor, transportation, waste reduction and watershed. Some programs even have full-time staff, such as Tri-State Trails or the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council.

    Members consist of individuals as well as nearly 200 groups and organizations. The city of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Museum Center, Interact for Health, Fifth Third Bank, and dozens of others have adopted Green Umbrella's resolve to get the region's "green city" rank from top 30 to top 10 by 2020.

    Site Selection magazine has already dubbed the city as "Most Sustainable" metro area in the country  in a report this summer.

    Most recently, Green Umbrella scored a big win when the city of Cincinnati in October received a $2.5 million grant from Bloomberg Phlanthropies' American Cities Climate Challenge. The city's Office of Environment and Sustainability will be able to use that money toward its commitment to making Cincinnati an officially designated "2030 district."

    2030 districts consist of property owners and managers who pledge to reduce their buildings’ energy and water consumption and transportation emissions by half by the year 2030. Kroger recently announced it will join the growing list of regional groups joining the new Cincinnati 2030 district .

    "We've come a long way," Mooney-Bullock said. "It’s not just about, ‘Can I get out and hike a trail this weekend?’ but, ‘Can I get where I need to go in order to make a living or in order to pursue an education, and can I do so in a way that is not going to create a huge amount of pollution?'"

    With so many member organizations, Green Umbrella's role is to foster connections, Mooney-Bullock said. "We're a small, lean backbone organization who can coordinate collaboration amongst a bunch of different people," she said. "From governments to businesses to educational institutions to nonprofits, concerned citizens — they’re all at the table trying to figure out how to move that problem forward quickly."

    Green Umbrella will commemorate 20 years with a celebration Thursday evening at The Sanctuary event center on St. Michael Street in Lower Price Hill. Tickets for non-members cost a $35 donation. More information is available here .


  • December 06, 2018 11:55 AM | Anonymous member

    Source: Solar Industry

    By: Betsy Lillian

    Cincinnati, Ohio, has become the 100th city or town in the nation – and the second city in Ohio, following Cleveland – to commit to 100% clean, renewable energy.

    Mayor John Cranley introduced a resolution, now passed by city council, that commits Cincinnati to a community-wide transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2035. The resolution builds upon the Green Cincinnati Plan, adopted in May, according to the Sierra Club.

    Cincinnati is the fifth city served by Duke Energy to establish a 100% clean energy goal; Dunedin, Fla., also served by Duke, is scheduled to vote on its own 100% clean energy resolution this week, the Sierra Club notes.

    “It has become clear that cities will lead the global effort to fight climate change, and Cincinnati is on the front lines. I am encouraged by the changes we are making, but we have a lot of work left to do,” says Cranley.

    According to the Sierra Club, about 48.7 million people, or 15.1% of the U.S. population, now live in places that are committed to transition to 100% renewable energy. These cities, counties and states will collectively reduce carbon pollution by 120 million metric tons as they move away from fossil fuels and repower themselves entirely with renewable energy – the equivalent of taking 26 million cars off the road or retiring 30 average coal-fired power plants, the Sierra Club estimates.

    “Local communities are leading the transition to 100 percent clean energy,” comments Jodie Van Horn, director of the Sierra Club’s Ready For 100 campaign. “One-hundred cities with this goal marks a major milestone for the Ready for 100 campaign, for the 100 percent clean energy movement, and for climate and justice advocates across the country. Being powered entirely by renewables will mean cleaner air, healthier communities, affordable electricity bills and an energy system that works for everyone. The momentum is unstoppable; now, we need to make sure that implementation of these goals is equitable and benefits the communities most impacted by climate change.”

    The full list of 100 U.S. cities and towns committed to being powered by 100% renewable energy can be viewed here.

  • November 30, 2018 2:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: The News Record

    By Elizabeth Schmitt, Nov 30, 2018

    You may not have heard of Green Umbrella, but almost everyone in the Greater Cincinnati area benefits from the organization’s work — from riding on bike trails to having fresh food in school lunches.

    Green Umbrella is a regional sustainability alliance that has collaborated with more than 200 nonprofits, businesses, educational institutions and governmental entities to promote sustainability within the immediate community.

    Founded in 1988, Green Umbrella will celebrate its 20-year anniversary Dec. 6. The organization prides itself on being one of the first groups to unite citizens and organizations to preserve the flora and fauna in the Cincinnati metropolitan area, according to Rashida Manuel, director of public engagement at Green Umbrella.

    However, the organization’s mission has grown and evolved since its founding. In addition to preserving wildlife and plants, the organization now aims to improve economic vitality and quality of life through sustainable practices, according to its website.

    “We have people from the business sector — like Fifth Third Bank, Duke Energy and P&G — [and] then we have concerned citizens and local government employees on our team,” said Manuel. “One of its biggest accomplishments is our ability to bring together all these stakeholders who each work on these issues in a different way.”

    Green Umbrella has 7 action teams — energy, greenspace, local food, outdoors, transportation, waste reduction and watershed — that are responsible for making the organization’s goal a reality. Each team meets monthly to share new developments in green practices and devise action plans to implements its “Action Team 2020” goals.

    “We set these really bold goals to push the region forward in terms of sustainability,” said Manuel. “Each team is a part of that, and the 20th celebration will be a place for each team to showcase what they have measured their success over the past year.”

    At the anniversary celebration, each team will be paired with a locally-prepared dish at its table to represent the type of work the team focuses on, Manuel said. The outdoor team, for instance, will be represented by s’mores.

    The organization also focuses on the following three initiatives:

    Tri-State Trails — This alliance focuses on implementing biking and walking trails to connect Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Recently, Green Umbrella has begun working with the Avondale community to make walking and biking a feasible method of transportation rather than a casual recreational activity.

    Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council — This council provides advice on methods that could further develop a healthy, sustainable food system in Cincinnati. Its largest achievement was enabling schools to offer regionally-grown food in cafeteria lunches.

    Cincinnati 2030 District  The nonprofit group recently secured $300,000 in funding to make Cincinnati a "2030 District." These districts follow a national sustainability model that promotes a city's commitment to reducing its energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 50 percent in the next 12 years.


  • November 03, 2018 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO

    By Pat LaFleur, Nov 3, 2018

    CINCINNATI -- The sun wouldn't rise for another 40 minutes after 15-year-old Gabriella Rodriguez was struck by one vehicle and dragged by another on Harrison Avenue -- a collision that would take her young life later that day.

    The Sept. 10 crash made the Western Hills University High School softball star one of the latest casualties of what transportation officials have identified as the most dangerous time of day to walk or ride a bike in Ohio: just before sunrise or just after sunset.

    With Sunday morning's time change, the Ohio Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be extra careful. Of the 145 people killed in Ohio after being struck by a vehicle while walking last year, 78 percent were hit at dawn, dusk or after dark, according to ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning.

    The switch from Daylight Saving Time to Eastern Standard Time -- the "fall back" -- means drivers' evening commutes suddenly will switch from daytime to nighttime driving conditions, with the sun going down as or before people even begin heading home.

    The switch back to EST also means November and December are the most dangerous months of the year for people walking or riding a bicycle in Ohio.

    "We know that with the time change, it's going to get dark earlier," Bruning said. "A lot of people who commute home at the end of the day obviously are used to driving in daylight over the last couple of months. Well, now it's going to be dark for that commute home."

    This means particular hazards for pedestrians, Bruning said, because visibility becomes a real challenge -- especially in the hours when it transitions from daylight to twilight.

    "I think a lot of that happens at that transitional period where you're thinking, 'Hey, it's bright enough. I don't need headlights on my vehicle to see,'" Bruning said. "But you're not thinking about the fact that those headlights help you be seen."

    It's not just headlights that become more important than ever, but other sorts of reflective gear that people walking or riding a bicycle can use, said Wade Johnston.

    Johnston heads up Tri-State Trails, a local nonprofit that works to advocate for active transportation infrastructure in the Greater Cincinnati area.

    Once the sun begins setting, walkers or bike commuters need to start thinking differently, he said.

    "Make sure you are being seen by motorists. Don't expect motorists to see you," Johnston told WCPO. "That means as a pedestrian or runner, maybe wear some lighting -- flashing lighting or reflective gear. As a cyclist, it definitely means getting your lights out, putting on the reflective vest, especially if you're going to be riding in the roadways."

    Johnston said street design plays a role, too.

    "If we have road infrastructure that has bike lanes and really well-marked crosswalks and good signage, then it's going to show drivers that there's a right to the road for pedestrians and bicyclists that we need to accommodate when we're out there," he said.

    Mostly, though, it boils down to enforcement, Johnston said -- and not police enforcement, necessarily, but self-enforcement. In other words, pay extra attention and follow the rules of the road.

    "We all have a responsibility to be following the rules of the road, following the speed limit and not driving distracted with our phones," he said. "There's only so much we can do in the way of enforcement to stop people from doing this. It's a call to action to everyone to take it on themselves.

    "Make sure you're visible."

    Clocks fall back an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. The sun will rise at 7:10 a.m. for Monday morning's commute and set at 5:33 p.m. that afternoon.

    The American Automobile Association offers these tips for drivers:

    • Turn on your headlights to become more visible during early morning and evening hours
    • Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean
    • Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around
    • Yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks
    • Avoid distracted driving, including use of cell phones or any other activity that could draw your attention from the road

    and for pedestrians and cyclists:

    • Cross only at intersections and look for cars coming from both directions before crossing
    • Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks, but if you have to walk on a road that has no sidewalks, walk in the opposite direction as traffic
    • Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step into the street
    • Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking or biking near traffic at night. Carry a flashlight when you walk in the dark
    • Avoid distracted walking - including looking at your phone or listening to music. If you listen to music, make sure it is at a low enough volume to hear vehicles approaching
    • Bicycle lights are a "must have" for safe night riding.


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