Colorado Transportation Commission Approves Planning Rules That Consider GHG Emissions

The Colorado Transportation Commission has approved planning rules that will provide more travel options that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improve air quality and reduce smog.

The standard requires the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the state’s five metropolitan planning organizations (DFOs) to determine the total GHG emissions expected from future transportation projects. The Colorado Transportation Commission says the policy “recognizes that transportation projects that public agencies build have an impact” on how residents travel and believes the changes will translate into more transportation choices.

CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said the state must “lead by example.”

“Transport is the primary source of greenhouse gas pollution. The urgency to tackle climate action is real and inaction is not an option as we face the reality of extreme events such as devastating forest fires, floods and droughts. more and more frequent and the air dangerous to breathe becoming the norm. Colorado’s Pollution Reduction Planning Standards hold public agencies making choices about what to build and how accountable they are for the options we provide to Colorado residents who rely on our multimodal systems every day. day, ”Lew said.

The state says this approach assesses impacts on air quality at an early stage of project development, allows agencies to “holistically and effectively examine how these projects fit into built environments and communities. surrounding ”.

Adding sidewalks, improving downtowns for active transportation, improving local and intercity transit, as well as first and last mile connectivity are some of the proven modes and innovations for improve the quality of life, as well as the quality of the air, which are supported by the new planning rules.

The proposed greenhouse gas pollution reduction planning standard builds on and complements the state’s efforts to rapidly develop electric vehicles by also addressing the transportation infrastructure itself to better support clean transport. This two-pronged strategy fulfills a commitment from the Colorado Greenhouse Gas Roadmap and implements a key provision of the state’s historic transportation law, SB-260, which requires a number of steps for integrating air quality and equity analysis and goals into transportation planning.

The state says the economic benefits should flow to businesses and the public. Implementing the rule will also reduce the economic costs associated with carbon emissions, air pollution, traffic accidents and the health consequences of physical inactivity. Travelers will benefit from reduced vehicle operating costs as well as less use of their personal vehicles through increased travel options and savings in travel time. Businesses are also expected to benefit from a reduction in congestion which saves travel time for business trips “during the hour”, reduced health costs for employees due to reduced pollution of the world. air, motor vehicle accidents and physical inactivity.

“The Transportation Commission considered many hours of commentary in public hearings across the state and considered several thousand pages of detailed written commentary in developing the final rule adopted today,” he said. said Transport Commissioner Lisa Tormoen Hickey, who chaired the ad hoc committee of the commission that oversaw all work on the rule. “We are pleased to have adopted a rule that will continue our collaborative transportation planning process as we work together to build a more sophisticated transportation system based on modern transportation planning tools. The rule will increase access to efficient and safe travel options as Colorado continues to grow, while recognizing the climate impacts of the transportation sector. Most importantly, we have recognized that economic vitality depends on a stable and healthy environment, which has always been a hallmark of the Colorado way of life.

Denver Mayor Michael B Hancock added, “Denver supports ambitious economy-wide GHG reductions to meet the 2030 climate targets for transportation in the pollution reduction roadmap. Governor Polis’s greenhouse gases. This rule will result in more transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Denver and Colorado, and reflects the diversity of transportation needs statewide and allows for mitigation measures tailored to the region.

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