Moving Cooler: An Analysis of Transportation Strategies for Reducing GHG
The following excerpt from Moving Cooler’s Executive Summary, recently published by ULI, gives a good preview of the report’s subject matter and its purpose as a follow-up to Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change.
Considerable research has been conducted on the role of advanced vehicle and fuel technology in reducing the carbon footprint of transportation. However, there is less information about the potential contribution of transportation actions and strategies to reduce the amount of vehicle travel that occurs, or to make changes to the transportation system and services that increase fuel efficiency.
Growing Cooler found, among other things, that the emission-reduction benefits of the increase in CAFE standards to 35 miles per gallon would be erased by the increased number of vehicle miles traveled by 2030.
Moving Cooler looks at a number of strategies – and “bundles” of those strategies – and the potential effects they would have on green-house gas emissions if implemented with varying levels of enthusiasm.
The strategies fall into variety of categories: pricing and taxes, land use and smart growth, non-motorized transport (biking/walking), public transportation improvements, commuting strategies (car-sharing, ride-sharing), regulatory strategies (speed limits designed to increase fuel efficiency), multi-modal freight movement strategies, and increased highway capacity (to address bottlenecking issues).
Perhaps not surprisingly, Moving Cooler found that none of individual strategies could serve as a silver bullet, but that a combination of strategies would be most cost-effective. The report also highlights the potential equity issues implicated by strategies that make driving more expensive.