For one morning in June, 2016, Northampton transformed a section of its Main Street with spray chalk, traffic barrels, potted plants, and tables and chairs. The event was a real-world quick and cheap test of concepts for redesigning the street.
Sustainable transportation consists of the efficient use of existing resources to increase mobility while positively impacting economic development, quality of life, and the preservation of the natural environment. The Sustainable Transportation Plan identifies the existing sustainable transportation initiatives in the region and develops strategies to improve the sustainability of the regional transportation system in the Pioneer Valley. The purpose of the plan is to identify how sustainability can be incorporated into the transportation planning process in order to meet existing needs without compromising the assets of future generations.
Reducing single occupant vehicle travel is critical to sustainability. Fundamental shifts in transportation and land use (such as increased density and mixed land use) planning are necessary to support measurable change in the way people and goods travel sustainably through the region. One key strategy is Transit Oriented Development (TOD), which promotes a balance of jobs, housing, and retail development; encourages the use of bus and other transit opportunities; and reduces single occupant vehicle trips. TOD helps to limit sprawl, improve air quality, and provide access to goods, services and jobs in close proximity to residential areas.