Weighing in on the Jefferson Transit Long Range Plan | Local 20/20

Dave Thielk
Posted 4/2/21

The 2018 greenhouse gas emission inventory for Jefferson County attributes 66 percent of all in-county greenhouse gas (or carbon, for short) emissions to transportation. 

The vast majority of …

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Weighing in on the Jefferson Transit Long Range Plan | Local 20/20

Dave Thielk
Dave Thielk
Posted

The 2018 greenhouse gas emission inventory for Jefferson County attributes 66 percent of all in-county greenhouse gas (or carbon, for short) emissions to transportation. 

The vast majority of these are from passenger vehicles and light trucks. Approximately 21 percent of these are from everyday commuters. 

And we have a significant number of visitors and tourists that come to Jefferson County. Think of the dozens of festivals hosted in Port Townsend each year. The vast majority arrive by motor vehicle. 

If Jefferson County is to further reduce carbon emissions at the local level, rethinking the transportation sector is the best place to start.  

The Transportation Lab (T-Lab) is one of many action groups that make up Local 20/20, a local organization focused on resiliency and sustainability. We know that conversion to EVs, enhancing bike and pedestrian infrastructure, rezoning and planning for higher densities are all ways to reduce transportation carbon emissions. However, the quickest and most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions in Jefferson County is for Jefferson Transit and local citizens to collaborate on how to best increase ridership. 

Jefferson Transit is currently developing a long range plan that will shape transit for the next twenty years. Now is the time for you to weigh in!

We believe that the Transit Long Range plan should include a section that specifies planning around community carbon reduction potential. 

The Long Range Plan is an opportunity for Jefferson Transit to take a leadership role in carbon reduction by taking a bigger share of motorists off the road and putting them on transit. The goal “Reduce SOV Use and Implement Commute Trip Reduction Methods (SOV is Single Occupancy Vehicles)” is already listed in the Transit Development Plan.  This concept should be included in the Long Range Plan as well. In addition, a strong carbon reduction component in the Long Range Plan may open up new grant opportunities.

The benefits of focusing on carbon reduction will go beyond a healthier environment. An improved transit system could make Jefferson County more affordable for many of its citizens. It may offer economic stimulus by bringing more visitors here via strategically planned ferry shuttles. And, it will provide easier public access to goods and services throughout Jefferson County.

Jefferson Transit is close to finalizing their 20-year plan.

Information on the plan is available at https://www.jeffersontransitplan.com/. You provide input directly to Jefferson Transit here: https://www.jeffersontransitplan.com/contact. Please consider advocating for inclusion of carbon reduction strategies in the Long Range Plan. If you would like more information on the work we are doing, please contact us at TLab@L2020.org.

(Dave Thielk is part of the Local 20/20 TLAB, has made the bicycle his primary transportation mode for 56 years, and is a Recyclery Board member.)

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