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Asheville’s Going Green Transportation Strategy


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Lawrence J. Murphy, P.E.
Rebecca Jablon, AICP
CDM, Inc.
The City of Asheville, North Carolina took on a challenging goal to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from City operations and services by 2% per year from 2007 levels until an 80% reduction is achieved. To achieve its goal, the City developed an Asheville Sustainability Management Plan (SMP). In 2008, the City’s fleet and employee commute were responsible for nearly a third of the City’s greenhouse gases. One key component to improving the sustainability in the City’s transportation sector is to go green. Asheville’s green transportation strategy is a comprehensive plan that focuses on reducing vehicle miles traveled and fuel consumption as well as encouraging an increase in public transportation use. The sustainable vision of Asheville and its goal to reduce greenhouse gases will conserve energy and improve the environment. Techniques employed and planned are transferrable to any municipality.

Asheville’s Going Green Transportation Strategy

  1. 1. Asheville’s Transportation Strategy Going Green! Lawrence J. Murphy, P.E. and Rebecca Jablon, AICP, LEED AP h d b bl CDM NYPTA s NYPTA's Innovation and Sustainability Spring Conference June 11, 2009
  2. 2. Presentation Outline A Sustainable Asheville Approach to Improving Sustainability The Sustainability Plan Looking Forward g Q/A Photo Credit Mark Combs
  3. 3. A Sustainable Asheville Sustainability for the City of Asheville is defined as responsible decision-making and resource use with the intent of meeting our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs through achievement of excellence in environmental stewardship, economic growth and social responsibility. p, g p y Photo Credit Mark Combs
  4. 4. A Sustainable Asheville Public Benefits Minimization of Carbon & Water Footprints Waste Reduction Prevention of Further Pollution Resource Effi i R Efficiency Conservation & Protection of Beneficial Land Reuse Natural Resources Advancement of Renewable Ad t fR bl Energy Cost Savings ECONOMIC GROWTH Stakeholder Engagement + ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP + SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Strengthening of Economies the “Triple Bottom Line” Community Outreach
  5. 5. A Sustainable Asheville ICLEI Member since 2006 and signed US Conference of Mayors “Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement” Created Sustainability Advisory Committee and Office of Sustainability Resolution passed in 2007 committing to a reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2% per year until an 80% reduction has been achieved. – Resolution identifies the need f a management plan to achieve this and l d f h d for l h h d other sustainability goals
  6. 6. Improving Sustainability Photo Credit Mark Combs
  7. 7. Approach to Improving Sustainability A management system approach: Aligns an organization around a common value set Provides a mechanism for organizing diverse concepts and ideas into a coordinated strategy for implementation. Provides a consistent mechanism for monitoring progress and continuous improvement.
  8. 8. Sustainability Plan The Plan is reflective of and aligned with the management system approach. The Plan address the full spectrum of local government services services, including: • water • buildings • transportation • land use planning • solid waste • communication Strategies and actions, best practices, and institutional/policy actions practices recommendations identified for each Sector
  9. 9. Sustainability Plan Section 1: Introduction Established a Vision Statement and Guiding principles for a Sustainable Asheville Established a goal set for improving sustainability in each sector: water, transportation, solid waste, buildings, land use, and communication Photo Credit Mark Combs
  10. 10. Sustainability Plan GHG R d i Goals Reduction G l Participate in the City’s City s energy management strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Copyright 2008 Camp Dresser & McKee Inc.
  11. 11. Sustainability Plan Transportation Goals Reduce vehicle miles traveled by city employees y y p y for commuting Reduce total fuel consumption from city ti f it fleet vehicles Increase transit ridership
  12. 12. Sustainability Plan Section 2 – Sustainability Assessment: The Foundation Established a baseline for current GHG emissions by City operations and p predicted path of no- action vs. meeting reduction goal.
  13. 13. Sustainability Plan Section 2 – Sustainability Assessment: The Foundation
  14. 14. Sustainability Plan Section 2 – Sustainability Assessment: The Foundation Existing Transportation Conditions Ai Airport-Regional with 0 5 M P tR i l ith 0.5 Passengers Bicycle-181 Miles, 10 Signed Routes Greenway 3 Greenway-3 Miles, 29 Miles Planned Transit/Paratransit-24 Fixed Routes, 1.5M Trips Pedestrian-over 150 Miles of Sidewalk Rail-Studying Passenger Rail Service
  15. 15. Sustainability Plan Section 2 – Sustainability Assessment: The Foundation City of Asheville FY 2008 Fleet 0% 3% Normal Use 10% Police Vehicles 14% 3% Light Vehicles (excluding cars),     < 15,000 GVW < 15 000 GVW 24% Medium Vehicles, 15,000 ‐ 32,000 GVW Heavy Vehicles, > 32,000 GVW 46% Buses B ATS Fleet
  16. 16. All Vehicles Vehicle Classification Total No. of Average Age Average Vehicles (years) mpg Normal Use 68 6.6 17.26 Police Vehicles 158 3.8 11.49 Light Vehicles (excluding cars), < 15,000 Gross Vehicle Weight 310 7.7 11.04 (GVW) Medium Vehicles, 15,000 - 32,000 19 13.1 5.34 GVW Heavy Vehicles, > 32,000 GVW 93 8.6 3.06 Buses 3 20.2 6.43 ATS Fleet 21 9.6 -- TOTAL 672 7.08 8.97
  17. 17. Sustainability Plan Section 2 – Sustainability Assessment: The Foundation In 2008, the City of Asheville’s fleet and employees’ work commute employees accounted for nearly 31% of the total GHG emissions by City g government activities 70% of the Fleet uses Gasoline 25% of the Fleet uses Diesel 5% Remaining includes Hybrids, Electric, Kerosene, and CNG Photo Credit Mark Combs
  18. 18. Sustainability Plan Section 2 – Sustainability Assessment: The Foundation Asheville Commuter Survey Over 80% C O Commute < 25 miles/day il /d Nearly 50% Work 9 to 5 65% use Private Vehicle and 30% use City Vehicle for Commute Less than 1% Commuters use ATF Vehicles
  19. 19. Sustainability Plan Section 2 – Sustainability Assessment: The Foundation Transportation Demand Management E Emergency Rid H Ride Home Flexible Work Schedule PassPort Marketing and Education – Share the Ride – Free Transit Promotion
  20. 20. Sustainability Plan Section 2 – Sustainability Assessment: The Foundation Transportation System Management Traffic C l i T ffi Calming Green Transit CNG Fueling Station
  21. 21. Sustainability Plan Section 3 – Opportunities: A Sustainable Future Opportunities for Innovation, Tools & Best Practices in Transportation – Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled – Reducing Fuel Consumption by City Fleet – Increase Transit Ridership – Secure Funding Photo Credit Mark Combs
  22. 22. Sustainability Plan Section 3 – Opportunities: A Sustainable Future Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled Average C A Commute i 13 miles is il 1248 (81%) Responses Stated a If one individual chooses  Willingness to Try Alternative g y an alternative travel mode  Forms of Transportation to Work 3 or more days per week  for a year, nearly ½ a ton  City Provided Shuttle (26%), of GHG emissions are  Vanpool (23%), Park and Ride saved. Shuttle (18%), Bus (17%), Bike/Walk (17%)
  23. 23. Incentive(s) to Persuade Change of Mode of Travel: Total N T t l No. of f Incentives Employees Access to vehicles at work 276 More convenient bus service 197 More flexible work hours 166 Free taxi ride home in case of 140 an emergency Help finding H l fi di someone t to 134 carpool/ vanpool with Available bus, bicycle and park 90 and ride information Free bus passes provided by 88 your employer No incentive 172
  24. 24. Sustainability Plan Section 3 – Opportunities: A Sustainable Future Miles Reduction Policy Recommendations Approximately 18% of  Marketing Campaign all survey responses  Car/Vanpool Program Enhancement displayed an  unawareness of existing  f i i Expand Flex-Time Program alternative  transportation incentive  Parking Cash-Out Program p g programs. Support Bike/Greenways
  25. 25. Sustainability Plan Section 3 – Opportunities: A Sustainable Future Reducing Fuel Consumption in City Fleet Fleet Released over 6,000 Tons of GHG in 2008 Vehicle Reduction Purchase of Hybrid and CNG Powered Vehicles Source: Fleet Size, Fuel Type, and Efficiency are Critical Factors
  26. 26. Sustainability Plan Section 3 – Opportunities: A Sustainable Future Reducing Fuel Consumption Policy Recommendations Downsize Fleet Vehicle Pool Idle Reduction Program Virtual Meetings Alternative Fuel Usage Source: City of Richmond, B.C.
  27. 27. Sustainability Plan Section 3 – Opportunities: A Sustainable Future Increase Transit Ridership Policy Recommendations Park and Ride Lots Downtown Shuttle Services Approximately 48% of  survey respondents  d t would be willing to try a  shuttle service.
  28. 28. Sustainability Plan Section 3 – Opportunities: A Sustainable Future Secure Appropriate Funding Federal d l – FHWA – FTA State – Highway Safety Program – Public Transportation Grants p
  29. 29. Sustainability Plan Section 4 – Next Steps: Moving Forward Rating and ranking scheme helps to identify short-, mid- and long-term opportunities. Tools and templates have been developed for: – Implementation plan for specific opportunity – Monitoring progression of multiple opportunities – Measuring performance towards goals Communication and reporting protocols are being developed
  30. 30. Questions? Lawrence J. Murphy, P.E. J p y, 212.221.9462 Rebecca Jablon, AICP, LEED AP Jablon AICP 703.485.8485 Photo Credit Mark Combs