Driving in Fort Collins accounts for 36% of energy use. According to the RMI report, Stepping Up, Fort Collins could cut energy use in the transportation sector by 48% (without sacrificing mobility).
Action Step: Send an email to city council and "tell them to prioritize the Transfort Strategic Operating Plan in the 2015/2016 transportation budget."
Smart Growth development refers to designing and building communities that do not require the use of a car. Homes, shopping, schools, community centers, and centers of work are all within easy walking or biking distance of one another. Fort Collins planning and zoning should require new development to meet smart growth standards. It is extremely difficult to retrofit for this. A recently missed opportunity is the redevelopment of the Foothills Mall. It is in close proximity to the Mason St. Transit system, but the design of the redevelopment still requires heavy dependence on the automobile. At the very least this project should have been denied City funding without meeting smart growth standards.
Alternatives to Driving – CforSE will continue to work with Transport to improve the system. In 2009, the people spoke. We generated over 4,300 comments to council demonstrating that FTC residents want a quality public transportation service and are willing to pay for it. The system is much improved since then, but we still have a long way to go (a recurring theme on this website…) Fort Collins is known for it’s biking and we are continuing to improve the bikability of our town.
We will also push for electric vehicle (EV) charging rates from FCU and charging stations at parking garages, park and rides, and large places of employment. Education is another key factor. EVs are already cost competitive and practical for many people. Fort Collins may be able to provide property tax cuts or utility bill rebates to folks who buy EV. Traveling out of town and need a longer range? We may be able to work out a deal with a rental company to get a discount on long distance rental for EV owners.
For alternative fueled vehicles I’m not a big fan of natural gas (what with the whole fracing thing). I like the idea of algae oil. Maybe we can accelerate the work of Fort Collins company, Solix, and implement their technology for local use.