Contributing Editors

Jerome Lyle Rappaport

Jerome Lyle Rappaport
Founder and Board Member
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Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser
Professor of Economics at Harvard University
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Stephen P. Johnson

Stephen P. Johnson
Executive Director of Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation
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Greg Massing

Greg Massing
Executive Director for the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service
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Alasdair Roberts

Alasdair Roberts
Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School
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Joseph Curtatone

Joseph Curtatone
Mayor, City of Somerville
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Tim H. Davis

Tim H. Davis
Independent Research Consultant
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Scott Harshbarger

Scott Harshbarger
Senior Counsel, Proskauer Rose LLP
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Vivien Li

Vivien Li
Executive Director of The Boston Harbor Association
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Guest contributors

Monika Bandyopadhyay
Suffolk University Law Student

David Barron
Harvard Law School and former Deputy Counsel for the Office of Legal Counsel in the US Department of Justice

Linda Bilmes
Senior lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Assistant Secretary of Commerce during the Clinton Administration.

Brandy H.M. Brooks
Director, Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, Bruner Foundation

Felicia Cote
Rappaport Fellow, Harvard Law School/Harvard Kennedy School.

Amanda Eden
Suffolk University Law School student

Sara Farnum
Student, Suffolk Univ. Law School

Kristin Faucette
Student at Suffolk University Law School

Benjamin Forman
Research Director, MassINC

Arthur Hardy-Doubleday
JD/MBA student at Suffolk University Law School and the Sawyer School of Business

Theodore Kalivas
Boston Green Blog, Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy

David Linhart
Student, Boston University School of Law

Antoniya Owens
Research Analyst, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Susan Prosnitz
Senior Advisor, TSA, Washington, DC

Ben Thomas
Boston Green Blog, Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy

Matthew Todaro
Student at Boston College Law School

Alexander von Hoffman
Senior Researcher, Joint Center for Housing Studies

Brett Walker
Student, Boston College Law School

Margarita Warren
Student at Suffolk University Law School

Paving a Greener Future with Sustainable Transportation

Monday, February 7th, 2011
By Ben Thomas

On Earth Day 2010 (04/22/10), the Climate Action Leadership and the Community Advisory committees sent the report Sparking Boston’s Climate Revolution to Mayor Menino. The report offers strategies for achieving Mayor Menino’s goal to reduce Boston’s GHG emissions 25% by 2020. The proposals covered three areas: building efficiency and energy, solid waste, and transportation.

The report states that 27% of Boston’s 2008 GHG emissions originated from the transportation sector. To make reductions, Boston has several programs in place including WalkBoston, Boston Bikes, Complete Streets and the diesel retrofit grant program for businesses. Additionally, the city has retrofitted its diesel vehicles to run on biodiesel and has begun to retrofit school buses for ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and pollution control. To reduce transportation GHG emissions even more, the committees recommend the following:
  • Encourage the use of energy efficient taxis, and find ways to require efficiency improvements in taxis.
  • Develop a public campaign to improve automobile use behavior including improved vehicle maintenance, reduced driving speeds and smooth acceleration.
  • Improve enforcement of excessive anti-idling laws and educate the public on the benefits of reduced idling.
  • Expand bicycle infrastructure, including bike lanes and parking areas.
  • Promote bicycle and car sharing programs.
  • Utilize social media to encourage the use of mass transit, bicycling, walking, and ridesharing.
  • Encourage businesses to join transportation management associations.
  • Increase parking meter rates and analyze the costs and benefits of increasing meter hours.
  • Institute residential parking permit fees, including a graduated fee structure based on the number of vehicles in a household.
The committees predict that 30% of Mayor Menino’s GHG reduction goal can be achieved by creating and expanding green transportation programs.

Boston is one of several cities nationwide focusing on transportation emissions. Another leader is the San Francisco Bay Area. Recently, seventeen transportation projects in the Bay Area each won a share of $33 million in federal funds from the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission Climate Initiative Program. Nearly $10 million was awarded to electric vehicle purchase programs, including $6.9 million to purchase electric taxis in San Francisco and San Mateo and $1.7 million to buy electric vehicles for a car-share program in Berkeley and San Francisco. The city of Berkeley also received $2 million to institute a new parking plan, which will include the creation of a flexible parking permit system designed to discourage driving and the installation of smart parking meters to afford variable parking fees. Other programs received awards to create green school routes. For example, Alameda County received $500,000 for its BikeMobile project, which will use a mobile truck to provide bike repairs along with bike safety and repair education to school children. Other counties also received funding to create bike-sharing and car-sharing programs. As these seventeen projects are instituted, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission hopes to find programs to expand throughout the Bay Area.


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Mayor Menino attends Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Course for high school students
 MA Attorney General Martha Coakley Hearing on Sexual Exploitation Online
U.S. Representative Barney Frank speaking at the Harvard Kennedy School, cosponsored by the Rappaport Institute.
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Former Lt. Governor Kerry Healey speaks about political parity at the Rappaport Center
Arianna Huffington and Alan Khazei speaking at the Rappaport Center
Gov. Deval Patrick speaking at the Rappaport Center's Gubernatorial Speakers Series

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