Improve air quality by reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
Reduction of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is an official goal of the U.S. Government policy, as stated in sections of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Vehicles (or mobile sources) are a major contributor to urban air pollution. Technology (cleaner vehicles and cleaner fuels) will continue to reduce vehicle pollution, but more people living in an area generally equates to more vehicles on the road. Recent national trends show a decrease in personal vehicle miles of travel per person and it is likely that this trend will continue. However, the population is also increasing and the economy is entering a period of growth. Thus, it is anticipated that overall travel demand will continue to grow. If demand is not met in an efficient and multimodal manner, additional congestion may ensue, potentially compromising air quality.
Lexington is a relatively vehicle-dependent city and some damage to air quality has already taken place. The Lexington Area MPO monitors local air quality and promotes ways to reduce air pollution.
Advisory has included:
- Reduce driving and fuel consumption by using public transportation, walking, carpooling, or riding a bike;
- Ask employers to consider flexible work schedules or telecommuting;
- Trip-chain (plan daily trips or errands to reduce excess driving);
- Fill gas tanks during cooler evening hours to cut down on evaporation;
- Avoid spilling gas and don’t “top off” the tank. Replace gas tank cap tightly;
- Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, for example, at fast-food restaurants or banks. Park vehicles and go inside.
Other incentive programs that can be explored include:
- Employer pay-to-park program. Employers offer parking passes but reimburse in compensation for employees who opt not to use parking passes. Multiple cities have used this method to encourage employees to commute using alternative transportation rather than single occupant vehicles.
- Explore policies including VMT tax, tolls, or congestion pricing in downtown areas
- Implement parking pricing schemes • Reduce the availability of on and off street parking to encourage alternate forms of transportation
- Create alternatives to single occupancy vehicle travel through the improvement of multimodal transportation options, including carpools, vanpools, public transit, and active transportation – any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation.