In 2010, the Seattle City Council established the goal of becoming a carbon neutral city and subsequently adopted targets to reduce total passenger vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
Nelson\Nygaard helped identify carbon emissions reduction strategies, evaluating them for technical and political feasibility, funding opportunity, and cost-effectiveness. Key recommendations included investing in transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities as well as transportation demand management programs; implementing congestion pricing and parking management; and reforming land use planning and regulation. We also evaluated the climate benefits of converting diesel bus routes into electric trolley bus routes and supporting the use of electric vehicles and low-carbon fuels.
The final Climate Action Plan, adopted in June 2013, sets targets for updates to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan and future mode-specific transportation plans, and provides guidance for revising City policies and procedures to support climate protection. Seattle has already moved forward with many of the recommended early actions, including creating a protected bike lane through downtown, and voters approved city funding to expand local public transit service. Just as importantly, City staff members have adopted a plan to integrate Climate Action Plan goals, targets, and strategies into future budget and planning processes and day-to-day city operations.