Press Club

An Anniversary for Arlington’s Car-Free Diet

Eight years ago this month, Arlington launched its search for two “car-free diet skeptics” to take the inaugural Car-Free Diet Challenge.

What resulted were two seasons of the challenge, featuring Car-Free Todd, Matt, Ross and Kyle; a blog; and a sketch-comedy show that appeared on YouTube and local cable TV. The goal: convince skeptical commuters of the virtues of biking, walking or taking the bus instead of driving.

The show might have been silly — and intentionally so — but it did have a certain je ne sais quoi. In all, the Car-Free Diet Challenge was creative and memorable enough to warrant a mention eight years later.

And it might have had some lasting impact. After all, last year’s Bike to Work Day in Arlington set a new registration record, with 2,900 people signed up.

So what are the Car-Free Diet Challenge contestants up to these days? We received updates on three of the four.

According to a county spokeswoman, Ross moved to Boston to attend graduate school and Todd moved to Reston. Matt, meanwhile, is “working for Tysons Partnership doing Transportation Demand Management… [helping] those in the Tysons area to be car-free or car-lite.”

There’s no word on whether any of the contestants remained car-free.

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