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I am currently researching ways that bicycling advocacy groups can organize to get strong bicycling language into the Climate Action Plans of states, cities, and universities to reduce Green House Gas emissions (suggestions/expertise welcome). So it was timely that I was just sent a blog post by Steven Miller of Boston's LivableStreets Alliance on the topic of environmentally friendly transportation planning.
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) launched an initiative called GreenDOT to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; promote the healthy transportation options of walking, bicycling, and public transit; and support smart growth development. Among other things that package of efforts reaffirms the MassDOT Complete Streets policy.
Stephen wonders, though, how the state's tight budget will affect GreenDOT ability to realize its ambitious goal of reducing GHG emissions by 2 million tons by 2020. He offers five low-cost steps for MassDOT to consider:
- Analyze all current and pending projects for their contribution to achievement of the three goals; stop or scale back those with a negative impact.
- Revamp membership and procedures of the MPOs so that funding decisions are shaped by the three goals.
- Build-in more public oversight and muscle to keep the government on track.
- Move Beyond the “Highway Design Guide’s” Flexibility To Require Prioritization of Environmental, Walking, Bicycling, and Transit Facilities.
- Refocus on Small, Local Projects and Programs To Continue Progress Despite the Continuing Fiscal Constraints.
Sounds like a good start. For more on these recommendations, read the whole post.