Transportation — and the land use decisions that determine how much we drive and emit — accounts for the largest share of carbon emissions in the United States. In 2019, Concord's community-wide transportation related greenhouse gas emissions far outweighed any other emission factor at 56% (percentage is based on both Concord resident and inbound commuter emissions). Concord Greenspace believes that to achieve local climate goals and to create more livable and equitable communities we need to find ways to allow people to get around outside of a car. We also believe in following through with our city's goal of replacing existing gas and diesel powered vehicles with efficient alternatives and providing electric infrastructure.
Increasing transit options and green infrastructure means less traffic and faster movement for cars. Less traffic means fewer emissions. Less cars means safer streets. Safer streets mean a quieter, peaceful, more livable city for ALL.
Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC)
Here's the good news! The city's transportation policy advisory committee (TPAC) is already moving Concord in the healthy transportation direction! Spend one evening in a TPAC meeting and you'll hear forward-thinking ideas and thoughtful discussions around the transportation needs of our most vulnerable populations. They hold their meetings at the City Wide Community Center to make meetings more accessible to communities on the Heights. The TPAC chair encourages members of the public to pull up a chair, ask questions, and provide input. Currently, the TPAC Bike/Pedestrian subcommittee is looking for new members - don't hesitate to get involved!
In Fall 2022, TPAC worked hard preparing recommendations and taking public testimony around the I-93 Expansion project. They came to the consensus around the plan to push for MINIMIZING the highway widening and increase bike/safety at all interchanges - thank you TPAC! We encourage the Concord community to participate and support innovative transportation efforts led by this important committee.
CG3 Transportation Efforts
Currently, CG3 is advocating to minimize State highway expansion through Concord and to connect our city with an innovative deck park and pedestrian river bridge. We supported the Merrimack River Greenway Trail efforts with a RAISE grant letter to the US Department of Transportation. We are rallying support for Concord's new "form based code" zoning ordinance which will have a deeply positive impact on the development of our city by creating mixed-use highly walkable neighborhoods. And we plan to collaborate with the city's Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC), Energy & Environment Advisory Committee and Planning Division to advocate for more innovative, equitable, climate sensitive, transportation systems moving forward.
Learn more about transportation and health equity here.
Join us by coming to our next monthly meeting - please RSVP!
"Transportation is one issue that has an outsize positive or negative impact on our health, through both how we’re able to get around (benefits of more exercise, costs of spending more time in a car, etc) and the environmental impacts of the system itself on our communities (pedestrian deaths, less/more pollution from highways). Communities with limited access to transportation options tend to have a higher risk of being struck and killed by drivers while biking, walking, or rolling, and limited access to healthcare, jobs, and other essential goods and services, and resulting poorer health outcomes." (Smart Growth America)
Using your feet is the most sustainable form of transportation there is. It's free, it's relatively easy, it improves health, and is a key piece in equitable development. We are working to make walkability Concord's 1st priority in its transportation system. This includes well-maintained high-quality sidewalks and tree canopy for shade during the summer and to slow traffic.
In addition to walking infrastructure having places to walk to is just as important! Creating mixed use neighborhoods is key so Concord residents can live walking distance from their school, grocery store, office, or friends house.
When walking isn’t possible or practical Concord residents need to use their wheels. We are working to make a multi-use path network that is separated & protected from high speed traffic our city's 2nd most important priority for its transportation system.
Multi-use paths provide people ability to get from A to B using various forms of low speed, wheeled vehicles, whether it’s a wheel chair or roller skates or electric scooter having a safe accessible place to use these vehicles is vital to maintaining a healthy city.
Come to a Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) meetings to learn about what's been done around multi-use paths in Concord.
Options, options, options. When you can’t walk or roll you ride. The 3rd priority in Concord's transportation should be mass transit. The city currently has mass transit in the form of our City Bus or Concord Area Transit (CAT) this system is reliable and currently free but can always be improved. This system should be expanded to serve as much of Concord as possible, as often as possible. This means shift workers, without a car, don’t have to take expensive taxis to get to and from work, or people, who legally cannot drive, are able to travel to a festival across town, or someone who is physically unable to walk, roll, or drive, can make it to the pharmacy to pick up their prescription on a weekend.
Purchasing, operating, repairing, registering, and insuring a personal vehicle is one of the largest expenses a person or family has, but to exist in Concord today owning a car is an unspoken requirement. Because of this, cars need to be accommodated within the City’s transportation network. However, we can rethink car infrastructure to include electric charging stations and solar energy.
Innovative, effective transportation initiatives are being implemented across the country. Check out the powerful work Smart Growth America is doing around transportation here including their "Complete Streets Program". Complete Streets are streets for everyone. Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing, building, operating, and maintaining streets that enables safe access for all people who need to use them, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.