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Topics / WORKING : Telecommuting Offers a Breather From Traffic

August 11, 1994|RICHARD WINTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Holly Noel's job is to encourage her fellow workers for the city of Alhambra to choose alternative modes of transportation to cut the number of daily smog-creating commutes. And if teaching by example counts, Noel is doing a great job.

The Apple Valley resident recently started telecommuting, working close to home and doing her job by telephone, computer and fax.

By doing so, Noel avoids a commute of 85 miles each way. Instead, she drives to the neighboring town of Hesperia, where she has a desk at that city's Fire Prevention Bureau. Her spot there was made available through a project for cities called "Telecommunications for Clean Air."

"This offers a unique opportunity for local governments to use telecommunications strategies and technologies to improve air quality and traffic congestion," said Noel, who has worked for the Transportation Division of Public Works Department since November.

Her supervisor, Christine Montan, said Noel was an ideal candidate for telecommuting, partly because she lives so far from work and partly because much of her job involves writing and analyzing reports, work that can be done independently.

Alhambra officials agreed to participate in the project to meet South Coast Air Quality Management District regulations requiring employers to shorten the number of vehicle miles traveled by employees and thereby reduce emissions.

"The work tasks assigned are being completed in a timely manner and thus far, the project seems to be a success for all concerned," Montan said.

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