Solar-Powered Bus Facility Opens Near Atlanta, Federal Transit Administration (Nov. 18, 2011). Officials from FTA and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) have announced the opening of the Laredo Garage solar-powered bus canopy near Atlanta. The 190,000 square foot facility features over 4,800 photovoltaic panels installed on the roof a shaded canopy to save fuel costs from air conditioning the buses parked in its 220 stalls. The project, which funded by a $10.8 million federal grant under the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program, is anticipated to save the transit authority almost $160,000 in utility expenses annually.
Atlanta Regional Commission Climate Change Strategies. This website provides an overview of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s activities and strategies for addressing climate change. ARC has begun to consider strategies for reducing transportation-based GHG emissions and is evaluating the role these strategies might play in its "Plan 2040."
Transportation Asset Climate Change Risk Assessment Report, Island of Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (November 2011). This report documents work conducted by the Oahu MPO as part of a pilot project to test FHWA’s draft vulnerability and risk assessment conceptual model for transportation infrastructure. The model is intended to serve as a framework to help transportation agencies assess the risk to infrastructure of projected climate change impacts. The Oaho MPO project conducted a stakeholder workshop to identify the most critical areas of transportation vulnerability on the island. Additional information on the pilot projects is available on FHWA’s webpage, Adaptation Conceptual Model Pilots.
Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment of Transportation Infrastructure, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (November 2011). NJTPA was one of five transportation agencies selected by FHWA in 2011 for a pilot project to test a draft vulnerability and risk assessment conceptual model for transportation infrastructure. The model is intended to serve as a framework to help transportation agencies assess the risk to infrastructure of projected climate change impacts. The NJTPA project involved an inventory of transportation assets using available climate change/weather models and a risk assessment of the vulnerable transportation infrastructure. Additional information on the pilot projects is available on FHWA’s webpage, Adaptation Conceptual Model Pilots.
Traffic Signals Optimization in Portland Ore., The Climate Trust. This is a website with detailed information on a multi-year traffic signal synchronization project in Portland, OR, aimed at reducing GHG emissions. The Climate Trust contracted to buy offsets from a City of Portland project that improves the timing of traffic signals. Over a five-year period, the former Portland Office of Sustainable Development (now the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) worked with the Portland Office of Transportation, Washington County, and the Oregon Department of Transportation to improve signal timing on 17 major metropolitan area arterials. Traffic signal system operators conducted studies and took specific steps to optimize the flow of traffic on some of Portland's most congested thoroughfares. By reducing idling and acceleration, emissions of carbon dioxide from gasoline and diesel fuel decreased. This project also reduced emissions of other tailpipe pollutants. City program costs are covered through a pay-for-performance contract with The Climate Trust. After the signal timing has been completed, The Climate Trust pays Portland based upon the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that will be avoided. The City of Portland transfers ownership of the carbon dioxide offsets created by these reduced emissions to The Climate Trust.
Adapting to Rising Tides: Transportation Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Pilot Project, San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (November 2011). The San Francisco region’s MPO was one of five transportation agencies selected by FHWA in 2011 for a pilot project to test a draft vulnerability and risk assessment conceptual model for transportation infrastructure. The model is intended to serve as a framework to help transportation agencies assess the risk to infrastructure of projected climate change impacts. The Bay Area project inventoried potentially vulnerable transportation assets along a section of the Alameda County shoreline and measured their relative importance to the health of the broader transportation network. Additional information on the pilot projects is available on FHWA’s webpage, Adaptation Conceptual Model Pilots.
Clearing the Air: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally, San Francisco Metropolitan Planning Commission. This website contains information on greenhouse gas sources and strategies for reductions in the San Francisco area.
Meeting Transportation Goals to Reduce Greenhouse Gases in the National Capital Region, Monica Bansal and Erin Morrow (2011). This article discusses various scenarios for meeting aggressive climate change mitigation goals in the transportation sector of the National Capital Region. The study included a baseline inventory and forecast of carbon dioxide emissions, identified multiple mitigation strategies, and analyzed the costs and benefits of implementation. Findings indicate that the most significant impacts would require a full suite of actions addressing fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, and travel efficiency. The article is published in the TRB Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2252 Energy and Global Climate Change 2011.
COG Regional Climate Change Program, Washington DC Council of Governments. This site contains information on the Washington D.C. region's climate change activities, including a 2008 report on "Best Practices and Policies to Reduce Greenhouse Gases."
What Would it Take? Climate Scenario Results, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (May 2010). This document provides a summary of the development, analysis and results of the “What Would it Take?” scenario, which is one of two scenarios in the National Capital Transportation Planning Board Scenario Study. This scenario examines what it would take in the National Capital Region to meet aggressive regional climate change mitigation goals in the transportation sector. This report includes a baseline inventory and forecast of carbon dioxide emissions in the region, identification and analysis of potential mitigation strategies, and an analysis of whether any combination of these strategies meets long-term mitigation goals. The report also includes cost-effectiveness analysis of these measures and specifically identifies short-term measures that can be feasibly implemented by local governments in the region. Get additional information
A Time for Action: Regional Efforts to Mitigate Climate Change, National Association of Development Organizations [NADO] (February 2010). This 12-page report highlights regional councils around the country which are focusing on linking climate, land-use, and energy strategies to economic development. Highlighted in the report are the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission in New Hampshire, and the non-profit group "Clean Air Cool Planet."
Climate Showcase Communities Grants, Environmental Protection Agency. This competitive grant program was launched in 2009 to assist local and tribal governments with the development of projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while achieving other environmental, economic, public health, and community benefits. The funding supports the implement innovative planning, demonstration, or implementation projects that demonstrate documentable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and can serve as models that can be replicated elsewhere.
Webinars to Address Climate Change and Energy Planning for MPOs – Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (Nov. 2011 – June 2012). This series of five webinars, funded by FHWA and sponsored by AMPO, is intended to help raise awareness and build capacity of metropolitan planning organizations in dealing with climate change and energy planning. The first webinar, held on Nov. 29, 2011, was titled Context for Climate Change Planning. Slides from the first webinar presentation are available here. The second webinar, scheduled for Jan. 10, 2012, is titled Climate Change Partners and Collaboration. The third webinar, scheduled for March 6, 2012, is titled Climate Change Communications. The fourth webinar, scheduled for May 1, 2012, is titled Linking Climate Change Solutions to Other Planning Goals. The final webinar, scheduled for June 26, 2012, is titled Effective Implementation of Traffic Operations and Management.
ICLEI Launches Online Library of Resources on Climate Adaptation for Cities, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (June 1, 2011). ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability has launched a new online compendium of resources on climate change issues relevant to urban regions and cities, including adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and broader resilience building. The resources include ICLEI’s global and regional adaptation activities; links to online sources of information; a glossary of key terms used in adaptation and climate change documents; and a resilience library of over 65 publications, tools, and strategies on adaptation and resilience.
Organizations Plan Global Standard for Cities to Inventory Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (June 1, 2011). The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability have announced that they will develop a single, global standard for accounting and reporting community-scale greenhouse gas emissions that can be used across multiple platforms. The standard is intended to help local governments accelerate their emission reduction activities while meeting the needs of climate financing, national monitoring, and reporting requirements.