City, Town and State Policies Could Aim to Double or Triple Travel by Biking and Walking
- Kelly Kennedy, Executive Director
When a college newspaper interviewed me recently they asked if Connecticut was doing anything to promote biking and walking as transportation. While the state is starting to get better about accommodating biking and walking, that’s not the same as actually promoting it.
It’s time for that to change. The climate situation mandates it. And there’s really no time to waste.
I had a chance to talk about active transportation and climate change yesterday with CT Fund for the Environment and other advocates at a press event in New Haven that called for the City to update its climate action plan and implement strategies to reduce emissions.
Transportation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut, creating 40% of all our emissions. And most of that is from passenger cars.
Meanwhile, 88% of CT workers commute to work alone by car. Because there are so many cars on the road, drivers in Connecticut spend up to one work-week sitting in traffic. Those costs exceed $1.6 billion in lost time and fuel.
And then we have GE, opting to leave a Connecticut for a dynamic, bustling metropolis where transit, bike share, millennials, and knowledge workers are all part of the mix.
I was happy to praise New Haven at yesterday’s event for having bike commuting rates nine times the state’s average (2.7% vs. 0.3%). And the Go-NewHaven-Go initiative is a great demonstration of leadership on active transportation.
But I urged New Haven not to stop there. New Haven can seize this opportunity to keep thinking outside the car, and set official goals to double--or even triple--travel by biking and walking as part of the City’s climate action plan.
New Haven has a chance to show every Connecticut city and town—and the state—the way to get behind active transportation as a serious strategy for fighting climate change in Connecticut.
#ThinkOutsidetheCar #climatechange @CTEnvironment @goNHgo
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