By Mark Prado, IJ Reporter
Marin Independent Journal
July 28, 2002

Marin County chalked up two Clean Air Champion awards from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District this past week.

Known for its environmental do-gooders, the county garnered two of the five awards handed out.

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition won for educating children about the benefits of biking to school to reduce traffic congestion and make the streets safer for students walking and biking to school.

"We emphasize fun, health and less traffic and less pollution," said Wendi Kallins, organizer or the county's "Safe Routes to School" program. "My favorite story is from a seventh grader who came home and asked his mom if they could drive less because it was polluting."

Marin's other winner is Sausalito Councilman and former mayor Paul Albritton for advocating alternative transportation systems, including a clean air shuttle that provides free service for residents and visitors. Albritton also promoted the Sausalito Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to be constructed this fall as the southern anchor of the Marin County North-South Bikeway, and a "virtual" law firm that allows attorneys to telecommute from home.

Other winners are Vallejo for switching to clean energy alternatives including solar and wind power and clean air vehicles, San Francisco MUNI General Manager Michael Burns for using clean burning ultra-low sulfur fuel in all buses, and the Bishop Ranch Transportation Association of San Ramon, which developed a transportation plan that reduces the number of drive-alone commute trips to the Bishop Ranch business center by 30 percent.

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