Colorado developing new pollution reduction planning standards in transportation

Plan requires determining total pollution, greenhouse gas emission levels expected from future transportation projects

August 17, 2021 / 2 minute read
Colorado developing new pollution reduction planning standards in transportation

The Colorado Transportation Commission this week proposed new transportation pollution reduction planning standards aimed at reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. 

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) says this proposal will shape how state and local governments will make plans for future projects to make sure Coloradans have more travel options and that the infrastructure built supports cleaner air and helps fight climate change.

The plan would require CDOT and the state’s five Metropolitan Planning Organizations to determine the total pollution and greenhouse gas emission increase or decrease expected from future transportation projects and take steps to ensure that greenhouse gas emission levels do not exceed set reduction amounts.

The department says this approach will also streamline the planning and delivery of innovations that have proven successful in improving quality of life and air quality—e.g., adding sidewalks, improving downtowns for active transportation with “complete streets,” improving local and intercity transit and first-and-last-mile connectivity to transit facilities, and adding bike-shares.

The proposed Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Planning Standard builds on the state’s efforts to rapidly expand electric vehicles by also addressing the transportation infrastructure itself to better support clean transportation.

“What we build matters. It matters for safety, for our economy, for resiliency, and for our ability to reduce air pollution and improve the quality of places where Coloradans across the state live and thrive,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said in a statement. “From smoke-filled air to a confluence of fire and 500-year flooding in Glenwood Canyon, we are reminded that we have no time to waste in fighting climate change in the transportation sector, and this policy will be an important step."

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SOURCE: Colorado DOT

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