Innovative State DOT Programs Help Communities Become More Livable and Transportation Systems More Sustainable
WASHINGTON, April 21, 2015—Earth Day was created 45 years ago as a way of putting environmental concerns front and center. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is released a new video to commemorate Earth Day and to showcase some of the remarkable ways state departments of transportation are making communities more livable and transportation systems more sustainable.
“Transportation represents the critical link between home, school, work, community and commerce” said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. “States are applying tremendous creativity and ingenuity to ensure that transportation systems enhance the world in which we live.”
The Utah Department of Transportation’s “Walking School Bus” is just one of the innovative solutions featured in the video.
“Researchers found that fewer parents were choosing to have their children walk or bike to school because of safety concerns and other factors,” said Carlos Braceras, director of the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). “UDOT partnered with the community to create a Walking School Bus. The idea is simple-students with at least one adult present—walk or bike to and from school together. Utah families and the environment are benefiting because children are healthier, there are fewer green-house gas emissions and bus operating costs have been reduced.”
The Minnesota Department of Transportation in partnership with the University of Minnesota has begun a statewide bicycle and pedestrian counting initiative. The program will help characterize the non-motorized traffic network and assist in the planning and design of current and future bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
The video highlights how transportation agencies are protecting wildlife and plant life through programs to relocate endangered species. State DOTs are also using tons of recycled materials to cut construction costs and reduce the amount of materials dumped into landfills.
Watch the video and learn more about these and other innovative programs at the Center for Environmental Excellence Website: