Post Content

GerryB

Posted by:
Gerry Bingham, Department of Energy Resources. 
 

Gerry is a Senior Coordinator of DG programs and Assistance for Business for DOER.

 

 

Sometimes change isn’t easy.  Here at DOER, I spend my day helping businesses find ways to reduce their annual energy costs through the state’s new and improved efficiency programs.  Even when changes that reduce a company’s impact on the environment also save money, change can be hard.  But, when change for the better happens, the results are real and measurable and that makes all the effort all worthwhile.

I was reminded of this recently in a surprising way; it was when I dropped my daughter off by bicycle at Arlington’s Hardy School and I saw for the first time that brand new bike rack out front and it was FULL OF BICYCLES!  That’s when it hit me:  good things can happen when you’re willing to do the work to get to that last, easy decision (in this case, the decision for parents and kids to ride their bikes).  

Historically, leadership for the town's schools had resisted letting students bicycle to school out of concern for their safety. But, when a new principal with a new point of view came to Hardy School, parents reinvigorated their efforts to solve the car line problem by breaking the roadblock to safe bicycling. One year later, a number of things contributed to increased acceptance of biking to school, including a Mass Department of Transportation (MassDOT) supported Safe Routes pilot that successfully introduced students to bike safety and quantified the community’s car-free miles, and state funding for renovations at a nearby school requiring a transportation plan that included biking.

Other factors that made biking to the Hardy School a reality included:

  • State and local resources big and small – from donations of little prizes for kids in the Safe Routes program last year to the staff time that went into organizing the program; 
  • Hardy’s forward thinking principal, who not only desired a solution for “drop-off gridlock,” but, actually wanted to ride to school herself; 
  • Parents who put in hours and hours of planning and organizing to incorporate safety into walking and biking to school; 
  • Non-profit organizations that dedicated resources and enabled a great walk/ride day idea; 
  • And, last, but certainly, not least, Governor Deval Patrick, who has supported volunteerism on the part of state employees who worked on this project.

And now I see the payoff:  I can count the bikes on the numerous racks at the Hardy School and I see our impact is not only measurable, it’s significant!

So, what’s the lesson?  Use all the resources available, point them in the right direction and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  And when you achieve your change, move on to the next big thing, but don’t forget to look back and chart your progress.  It feels good doesn’t it?

… and, oh yeah, don’t forget to ride safe!

PS: check out more good news from DOER at our Energy Smarts blog: www.mass.gov/blogs/energy 

Share on Facebook.

(PPS:  Here's some info about Gerry:   He started at DOER in 2001 as leader of the Restructuring Markets team, moving to Distributed Generation (DG) policy and programs in 2004 and becoming Senior Coordinator of DG programs and Assistance for Business in 2008. Prior to joining DOER, he worked at the Department of Public Utilities and Nexus EnergyGuide. He has a BA from Clark University and a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Management from the Boston University School of Management.  He is also an active volunteer focusing on sustainability at his children’s schools and serves on the boards of two property management companies in Connecticut, where he helped negotiate land conservation deals protecting over 2,000 acres of farmland.)

Written By:

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, February 16, 2018 posted on Feb 15

The latest weekly flu report indicates a slight increase in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past seven days. Flu continues to circulate widely in our communities and if you have not gotten a flu shot yet this season, there is still ample reason   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 16, 2018

Highlights of the February 14th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Feb 14

The February monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured a pair of Determination of Need (DON) requests followed by an informational presentation from DPH bureau leadership. First, as part of her introductory remarks, Public Health Commissioner Bharel provided an update to the Council on data   …Continue Reading Highlights of the February 14th Public Health Council Meeting

School Vacation Work Hours for MA Teens posted on Feb 14

School Vacation Work Hours for MA Teens

February has arrived and many workers feel like they have finally gotten back into their daily routines—unless you are a parent of school-attending children. Many public schools offer a break from classes this month and it is common for working teens to pick up extra   …Continue Reading School Vacation Work Hours for MA Teens