The purpose of the SDG Connection blog series is to illustrate that communities of all sizes can use frameworks like the United Nations Sustainable Development Guidelines to assess their own sustainable development efforts. This month’s topic is connectivity and alternative transportation modes.
It’s All Connected: Transportation and Climate Change
How we get around make a big difference on our carbon footprint and our local community. Transportation is the largest source of emissions contributing to climate change in the U.S., making it that much more important to seek out alternative modes of travel. A well-connected transportation system reduces the distance to reach destinations, increases travel options, and facilitates healthier, greener modes of travel like walking and biking. Our transportation system plays an important role in ensuring residents and workers reach destinations safely and reliably, which is important for our health and economy.
On a global scale, transportation is an important piece of sustainable development because it is a major driving force behind growing energy use. At a local level, things like street design, presence of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and access to public transportation options or electric vehicle (EV) charging stations all influence our transportation decisions. As a small community, Devens aims to create efficient links between destinations and provide sustainable transportation options.
What is Devens Doing to Promote Sustainable Travel?
Devens is making moves to increase safe and efficient transportation options through:
- Green and Complete Streets Policy and Street Design Standards to enhance sustainability of our streets through green infrastructure.
- Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program to reduce traffic and increase options for alternative modes of transportation. Employers in Devens are required to become members of the Transportation Management Association (TMA) and provide options for employees, such as ride home programs or flexible work hours.
- Our 13 miles of nature trails, 6 miles of biking trails, and MART regional shuttle services.
Read more about what Devens is doing to reduce climate change while promoting health and economic development in our Devens Forward Action Plan.
What Can Businesses and Residents do to Make an Impact?
With wildly fluctuating gas prices, one way to avoid pain at the pump is to go less often. In Devens you can do that by:
- Consider taking one less car trip each week by carpooling with friends or coworkers.
- Make use of your local trails to walk or bike to work – it will improve your health, increase productivity, and even make you happier.
- Worry less about your carbon footprint by taking MART shuttles to and from Devens.
- Advocate your company to provide more commuter benefits like flexible work hours, a condensed work week, or reduced price/free transit passes.