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Tacoma’s Roads Will Be Green Roads

Tacoma’s Roads Will Be Green Roads

August 15, 2014
Gwen Schuler, Media and Communications, gschuler@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5160
Carrie McCausland, Media and Communications Office, cmccausland@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2005

Tacoma’s Roads Will be Green Roads

Tacoma City Council has signed a resolution – the first of its kind in the nation – directing the City Manager to create a green roads policy and program. The effort will outline how Tacoma’s roads and transportation facilities can become models of environmental, economic and social stewardship through sustainable design, construction and maintenance. 

The City has four existing Greenroads® Certified projects, which established Tacoma as a national leader. 

“This is a great step for more sustainable transportation in Tacoma. We’re very proud of Tacoma and that this resolution originated from within the City as a result of their successful projects,” said Jeralee Anderson, Executive Director of Greenroads Foundation. “The formal commitment to green road practices and explicit goals for Certification show not only that Tacoma is being proactive about their community’s concern for sustainability and climate change, but are willing to prove it. The City’s resolution is a great example for other local agencies that want to build better transportation projects, enhance quality of life, and improve the environment within their communities, too.”

Tacoma’s experience so far has proven that the approach combines environmental benefits with reduced costs over time. 

“Because it’s new and perceived as higher quality people assume it’s more expensive,” said Public Works Director Kurtis Kingsolver. “That’s not necessarily true. But as we develop the policy and program we will have to weigh community benefits, operations costs and other factors to find the right fit for Tacoma.” 

The policy’s aim will be to achieve Greenroads® Gold-Certification on large projects, plus one certified example of a residential block, alley, and trail to compliment the four existing projects. City staff will also attempt to apply the same practices, though not full certification, to all new and reconstructed road projects. 

For residents, the policy should also make a difference providing healthier opportunities for those who choose to use the pedestrian and bicycle facilities that will be included as a part of future improvements, plus a host of other possible benefits.