Reduce the Number of Single-Occupancy Vehicle Trips of Staff and Residents
The following actions are needed to complete this objective:
Create education campaigns to:
Promote benefits of a car-free lifestyle: better health, lower costs.
Participate in Open Streets events to promote alternative methods of transportation.
Promote the Transit Windsor corporate pass.
Promote use of existing active transportation infrastructure and its expansion.
Direct promotional activities toward improved health and quality of life through increased physical activity. Promote recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
Recruit and identify sponsor funding to reinstitute free bus rides on poor air quality days.
Investigate partnerships with industry and surrounding municipalities for City car pool vans and parking (www.carpool.ca
Continue to provide incentives to City staff to leave their cars at home such as discounted bus passes and end-of-use facilities.
Support alternative work styles such as telecommuting, or working from home one day per week to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
These indicators show the progress the City is making to achieve this objective:
Vehicle Kilometres Travelled Indicator
Among all the various uses of transportation, routine travel between home and work or school puts the greatest demand on roads and fuel use. In Windsor, 90.6 percent of commuting trips are made using a car. The greater the number of kilometres that are driven, the higher the impact on air quality and congestion, both of which impact the health of residents and the environment.
An increase in commuting mileage is an indicator of urban sprawl, which in South-West Ontario generally means that roads and low-density housing developments are encroaching into natural areas, as well as quality farmland. Total vehicle mileage is an indicator of Windsor's dependence on fossil fuels. As well, the use of these fuels, such as gasoline and diesel add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.
How are we doing?
The above figure illustrates that the total vehicle kilometres travelled by Windsor residents has decreased since 2007.
What is the City of Windsor doing to reduce the total vehicle kilometres driven?
- Increasing Transit Windsor's ridership is an objective of the City of Windsor that would help to reduce the total mileage of private automobiles in Windsor.
- During the repaving of streets, including Wyandotte Street West and Erie Street, sustainable street design practices were incorporated. Shared-lane markings, or Sharrows indicating that cyclists and motorists share lanes for travel have been added to encourage cycling. An increase of benches and lighting was included to promote safety and walkability.
- The City has partnered with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust to extend the Waterfront Trail through the City of Windsor, connecting to the Town of Tecumseh to the east and the Town of LaSalle to the west, adding an additional 620 kilometres to the trail.
- The City administers the Crossing Guard Program, responsible for the safety of elementary school children who walk to and from school by crossing them safely across intersections.
- We provide in-kind support to the Health Unit for their Active & Safe Routes to School program.
- 20 kilometres of multi-use trail will be incorporated into the Rt. Hon. Herb Grey Parkway upon its completion. This trail will tie in with existing neighbourhood trails to promote active transportation.
- Bicycle travel is also a substitute for automobile trips in some instances, in particular for commuting over short to medium distances. The City has adopted the following plans that contain initiatives to increase bicycle travel:
What can you do to reduce the total vehicle kilometres driven?
The 2006 Canada Census included questions about how people get to work. It found that the automobile was by far the preferred means of commuting in Windsor. The number of people in Windsor who walk or bicycle to work was the lowest among 36 major urban areas in Canada:
- Car: 90.6 percent
- Bike/walk: 5.6 percent
- Public transit: 2.9 percent
- Other: 0.9 percent
There are many options available that would allow residents of Windsor to reduce the number of cars on the road and the total distances driven. For drivers, such options include:
- Telecommuting, whereby some employers allow staff to work from home during one or more days per week
- Selecting a place of residence in a neighbourhood that is within a short distance to work, shopping and other services
- Combining errands into a single excursion by car instead of several separate trips
Other options include:
- Riding public transit
For more information on Environmental Initiatives