We are about three fourths through the quarter and our project is finally coming together. Like previously mentioned, our project schedule shifted due to a few complications, but is steadily back on track. In our last update, we had barely gained access to the ICLEI tool. But now that we have access to the tool, we have been busy compiling all the data that we need to perform our calculations. This update will provide an inventory summarizing the work we’ve completed as well as insight into the challenges we have addressed and adapted to. Continue reading
Seattle is without doubts one of America’s leaders in sustainable planning. Along the city’s efforts to promote sustainability in its population and visitors, they have implemented a great system of bicycle routes (map available printed and in pdf).
2nd Ave and University St – facing SW
2nd Ave and University St – facing NE
As it can be noted on the pictures above (taken by me four days ago 04/21/15), the bike lanes are separated from cars and pedestrians along the streets, and their continuation on intersections are noted by green paint on pavement. They also have their own traffic signals. It is important to note that not every single street in Seattle is this way, there are some areas where bicyclists have to share street lanes with cars; which is noted with the shared lane sign painted on the road.
Shared lane sign. Also known as “sharrow”
The city have been very successful promoting bicycling as a mean of transportation and pleasure, that they are also in the process of improving the built environment conditions for bicyclists. This includes generating protected bicycle lanes. This is a two-year project that is expected to reduce cars traffic, reduce pollution, improve population’s health, and increase social well-being overall. More information about the project can be found here.
After studying and analyzing Claremont’s Sustainability programs in URP 431 we have begun the second phase of our Community Service Learning course URP 432. In the second quarter of our Community Service Learning course our group is working on the scope of work best suited for our goal area. Our plan for this quarter is to connect with groups that are engaging with locals in Claremont. We shall compile a program of potential events to engage with residents. In addition, we are going to produce a best practices marketing guide that will include effective utilization of social media resources to gain a large audience. Our team will use Geographic Information System (GIS) to analyze Claremont and create a target marketing plan that will maximize public participation rates. To empower Sustainable Claremont and other community organizations to carry out marketing practices our team will provide a list of applicable grants and funding sources. Continue reading
The first two weeks of this quarter has been very productive. Although we haven’t been able to meet with the Sustainability Coordinator to obtain data sets and a calculation model, we have been preceded on the following tasks:
Task 3.5: Develop Supplementary Greenhouse Gas (GHG) impact of food choice bar graph
Since we were unable to obtain the data during the first two weeks of the quarter, our group went ahead and decided on the template and model we were going to base our GHG impact of food choice graph would resemble. We chose two models that we feel appear to be effective in displaying and providing the information vital for our data.
In today’s world, cities are responsible for about 70% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, it is of upmost importance that we begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cities. Cities may start by assessing their Green House Gas emissions and creating an emissions inventory.
The purpose of the GHG Emissions Inventory is to identify the sources and quantities of GHG emissions within the City’s jurisdictional boundaries. This Inventory is the first step in addressing GHG emissions. Continue reading
With cleaner mode infrastructure the city of Claremont has many options with the extension of the gold line going through Claremont. There is a variety of ways to improve transit the city of Claremont has it goals for the transit to improve with the extension of store services at the depot transit center, bus stop enhancements , encourage the use of electric vehicle and many more best practices that can still be explored
One of the stations that does great where the downtown area is walking distance is the station in Fullerton. There is a café area with outdoor seating where the trains pass through. This give the people more freedom to sit down eat and wait for their ride without the worry if they will miss it because they went somewhere else to get food. Comfort is a big part to having more transit riders. Also another good best practice at the station is that the actual busses from OCTA will go into the station to pick up people. Another area that Claremont should improve on is the bus routes. There needs to be something faster such as the BRAVO. This bus has less stops and its studies was made to determine these areas. The study focused on areas that had the highest numbers of riders. The Reason that all of these examples were picked is because it creates regional connection. The BRAVO actually goes through the station in Fullerton and it is an example of different methods that improve the infrastructure that is given but at the same time improves the regional connection. http://www.octa.net/BravoBusService.aspx
‘To bring out more community in Claremont there needs to be a best practice where bus stops are enhanced and have an identity. This could include a unique canopy which also would provide shading for people. It could be a unique color such as the ones in Anaheim. The goal of the identity would be to create a sense of community. When an individual is driving around they will clearly see theses bus stops. This can create awareness and help individuals look at other means of transportation.
Another Key thing is to have directories which highlight all of the stations and different modes of transportation. One key thing that most directories in the cities will miss would be places where there are charging stations. When there is more advertisement it creates incentives for people to look into these different options.
In terms of electric vehicles if there was a measure such as charge Portland it would incentives people to change their vehicles. There is a need for more electric car infrastructure which would create a reduce dependent on cars whom run on gas. What this also does is provide jobs but more importantly reduces carbon footprint. Having a measure where there will be an abundant amount of charging stations around the city will increase the chances of people to switch between the type of transportation they use. The city of Claremont currently have two charging stations which is not enough for residents that want to change to cleaner transit.
Another option that is currently happening in Santa Ana is the Street Car. It was currently approved and it will run through the busiest street in the down town and extend to create a connection, but it will begin at the Santa Ana Regional Connection Center. This mode of transit would be great for a city like Claremont. As it shares the right away with the automobiles and travels with the flow of the traffic. It would have frequent stops and designed for short trips which would create more connections in the city. It allows for riders to also take bikes on it. Currently the street car systems that have been built in the US within the past ten years have been successful. For example a bigger city like Portland and also Kenosha, Wisconsin (a small city with a population of approximately 90,000 attracted $175 million in added value along its streetcar line. http://santaanatransitvision.com/streetcar_route_options.html
Having projects such as the gold line extension will vastly improve the connection in the city and with Claremont being one of the stops there is much potential to benefit from the addition. It will increase ridership and with more development there can be a opportunity to capitalize and help become more sustainable at the same time.
In the State of California, many regions are taking the initiative and starting to shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Claremont has created a Sustainability City Plan, which the “vision is one where all who live and work in Claremont are enabled to live in ways that allow them to meet their needs while preserving the ability of future generations to do the same” (Claremont Sustainable City Plan). In order to track their progress, yearly sustainability report cards report just how well, or how un-well, the city is doing to achieve a sustainable city. The plan is broken up into 7 different segments, with several sub-sections, which correlate with Claremont’s General Plan. In order to fulfill goal area one, and subsection 3 (1.3), Resource Conservation- Solid Waste, a major statewide ban may alleviate the pressure for Claremont to personally force businesses and consumers to alter their current ways. Continue reading