Creating long-term plans on paper and then turning them into real world solutions is no easy task.
That’s one reason why the City of Bainbridge Island will soon begin work with a transportation consulting firm, Fehr & Peers, to help implement recommendations from both the 2020 Climate Action Plan and the 2022 Sustainable Transportation Plan.
Both are comprehensive documents that contain a slew of suggestions to ease the island’s carbon footprint and to potentially get people out of their vehicles and walking, biking and rolling on improved trails, sidewalks, bike lanes and expanded shoulders. Electric cars and electric car re-charging stations are also part of the formula.
The graphic on the right shows the causes of the island’s overall emissions from data collected in 2018. Back then – pre-Pandemic – 55 percent of our energy use was absorbed by residential and non-residential (businesses) users. Not a surprising statistic when you consider the number of households and single-family dwellings on Bainbridge, and the number of restaurants, retail shops, care facilities and business parks on the island, not to mention public and private schools.
Transportation and travel took up 37 percent in the study taken four years back, with on-road vehicle movement and ferry travel taking up the lion’s share at 17 or 18 percent. What is perhaps eye-opening, though, was air travel, which represented 13 percent of our energy consumption. The latter stat, no doubt, represents the amount of business and leisure travel being done by many islanders – back then – and certainly nowadays as we return to some form of “normalcy”.
As city staffers dig further into the reports, they will be working with the consultant over the next year on the following:
- Improving the process and data sources for measuring transportation related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the island;
- Calculating an estimated reduction in GHG emissions associated with the suite of projects in Scenario 2 of the Sustainable Transportation Plan;
- Identifying and measuring additional activities on the island that could help reduce transportation-related emissions, such as land use decisions, electric vehicle infrastructure, public transit expansion, and additional measures focused on parking pricing or parking demand management; and
- Developing a multi-modal transportation impact fee option that would potentially help fund the projects in the Sustainable Transportation Plan.
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