Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Counting our blessings on Thanksgiving

We all reflect on the bounty of the season as we gather for Thanksgiving each year. Amid the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers are facing a holiday this year that is bittersweet. Among the many powerful truths emerging from the storm: Sharing information saves lives.

Clean Air NY, as an educational outreach initiative sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation, wants everyone who travels over the Thanksgiving weekend to keep that lesson uppermost in mind. The storm underscored how important it is to know about the impacts of weather emergencies and other incidents that affect our complicated transportation infrastructure.

We are grateful for those in the New York metro area who hear our message about improving air quality and take action. Even as we know that using mass transit, carpooling or combining trips can help reduce air pollution, we also know that such actions can be life-saving because they reduce the number of vehicles on our roads and highways.

A vital tool, no matter the weather, is 511NY, the free traffic, travel and transit information source provided by the New York State Department of Transportation via phone and Web at As Hurricane Sandy pummeled the lower Hudson Valley, New York metro region and Long Island, countless people benefited from the services 511NY provides. It continues to aid travelers who want the most up-to-date data on conditions before they head out, no matter the mode.

This Thanksgiving, let us remember that helping others can be done in many ways. Communication and information about the best ways to travel are central to ensuring our safety as well as cleaning our skies.