Sustainable CT: Foster Cleaner and More Diverse Transportation
What do the City of New Britain’s Beehive Bridge, shared parking in the Town of Killingly, and the Town of North Stonington’s walkability audit all have in common? They are all thoughtful local initiatives that earned recognition in Sustainable CT.
Sustainable CT is a statewide initiative that inspires and supports communities in becoming more efficient, resilient and inclusive. It also recognizes those communities for their sustainability achievements. Using a broad definition of sustainability, the program provides a menu of coordinated actions across thirteen sustainable impact areas, ranging from inclusive community building to clean and diverse transportation.
Sustainable CT’s menu of actions build local economies, social justice and respect the finite capacity of the environment. Here is a list of those actions that fall within Sustainable CT’s transportation category, with an inspiring municipal success story accompanying each.
- Action 6.1: Implement Complete Streets — The City of New Britain’s Beehive Bridge is a $7.5 million project completed in the Fall of 2019 to renovate its Main Street overpass over Route 72 and thereby reconnect the two sides of downtown New Britain. Complete Streets improvements for this project include: placemaking efforts through the addition of large, historically inspired sculptures; creating architectural pedestrian enclosures; widening sidewalks on both sides of the overpass; adding bicycle lanes; and adding two pocket parks on the East Main Street side of the bridge. The project also improved pedestrian access to the downtown New Britain CTfastrak Station.
- Action 6.2: Promote Effective Parking Management — The Town of Killingly implemented a parking allowance permitting contiguous parcels to share parking and or utilize public parking options within 200 ft of the property. This allows more space to be left as pervious surface for green space or future development.
- Action 6.3: Encourage Smart Commuting — The Town of Greenwich has implemented several incentives and amenities to encourage municipal employees to engage in alternative commuting strategies. Aligned with the Transportation Leaders Program, the Town designated an on-site point of contact for employee commute inquiries, made alternative commute information available, and provided municipal vehicles for offsite meetings and deliveries to employees who do not commute by personal vehicle. Additionally, the Town provided a designated bicycle parking area, pre-tax payroll deductions for employee commuting costs, and shuttle services for employees.
- Action 6.4: Support Zero Emission Vehicle Deployment — The City of Hartford provides several electric vehicle charging stations in public locations. The city’s zoning regulations mandate that all new development provide for electric vehicle charging stations designed in accordance with 4.20.7.B, with varying requirements for percentage of total parking spaces with Level 1 or Level 2 charging stations for different building types.
- Action 6.5: Promote Public Transit and Other Mobility Strategies — The Town of North Stonington conducted a walk audit in the greater village area. Residents walked 4 routes that included community hallmarks such as schools, the library, a farm stand, and the recreation center. The audit sparked conversation about the walkability of the town and will inform decisions around community walkability moving forward.
- Action 6.6: Manage Municipal Fleets — The Town of East Hartford implemented a municipal fleet management strategy that will enforce an anti-idling policy, modernize the town fleet by retiring aged vehicles, and improve equipment specifications focusing on reducing emissions, fuel efficiency and more durable/sustainable replacements. Other strategies include ensuring vehicles are operating in the most fuel efficient manner, implementing a fleet vehicle replacement plan that adheres to upgraded efficiency standards, and right-sizing town fleet with the intention of using the least amount of equipment possible.
For additional inspiration, visit Sustainable CT’s searchable database of transportation initiatives and other local sustainability projects. There, you can view the progress of the one-hundred twenty-one municipalities that have registered for the program, representing 83% of the state’s population. Collectively, sixty-one municipalities, over 36% of the state’s communities, have earned Sustainable CT certification since 2018. Certification lasts for 3 years.
Sustainable CT is managed by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University and independently funded, with strong support from its three founding funders: the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Common Sense Fund, and the Smart Seed Fund.