Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Alterations to the Public Right-of-Way
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The climate system is warming, and the primary cause of this warming since the mid-20th century is likely to be the increase in emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. This thesis examines strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making modifications to streets and how the implementation of those strategies in Seattle would change the configuration and allocation of the City’s right-of-way. The right-of-way is the space where people and goods move through the city, and includes sidewalks, parking, travel lanes, bus lanes, bike lanes, alleys and more. This thesis uses Geographic Information System analysis to create a breakdown of the existing right-of-way and how the right-of-way could change if GHG reduction strategies are implemented. “Moving Cooler: An Analysis of Transportation Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions” (Cambridge Systematics, Inc. 2009) provides the background information for the strategies and the possible levels of GHG emissions reductions. Greenhouse gas reduction strategies that alter the right-of-way in Seattle could include completing the pedestrian and bicycling networks by adding sidewalks and bicycle lanes, and increasing the amount of nonmotorized areas. If the GHG strategies were applied in Seattle it would alter 4.2% of the city’s right-of-way and has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 6% annually.
- Urban planning