Road transportation represents the largest percentage of Palo Alto’s existing carbon footprint – and a congestion headache. Reducing emissions from the transportation sector requires addressing three things:
- Reducing the carbon intensity of fuels
- Increasing vehicle efficiency
- Reducing the number of miles travelled in a vehicle
Bicycling and Walking
Combined with a lively and historic downtown, and great connections to Stanford University and regional transit, the city attracts commuters, students, and visitors alike to bicycle or walk at much higher rates than other South Bay Area communities. Palo Alto can build upon this history and demand for bicycling and walking to solidify its status as one of the most bicycle-friendly communities in California, if not the country.
Palo Alto has been at the forefront of reducing emissions from transportation since the early 1980’s, when the City developed the nation’s first bicycle boulevard on Bryant Street.
Idle Free Palo Alto
The City of Palo Alto passed an anti-idling ordinance requiring drivers to shut off their engines after two or three minutes if they are not in active traffic. Enforcement of the ordinance is centered on community education about the health and environmental impacts caused by vehicle idling.