City’s Climate Plan to Address Transportation

The City of Alameda’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP), adopted in July, outlines plans to address environmental and climate resilience issues like sea-level rise, carbon emissions and droughts. Such plans aim to make Alameda a more sustainable and safe place to live, and remedy the effects of climate change whilst preventing further damage. Now fully developed, the proposal needs to be put into action.

The city split implementation of the plan into three phases, spread out over roughly five years. Phase one will go into effect in 2020 and 2021, and focuses heavily on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This will be done by switching fuel use in buildings, electrification of the city’s fleet and additional electric vehicle charging stations. 

Phase two extends from 2022 into 2023 and involves compost application in parks and a shoreline adaptation project at the Veteran’s Court seawall. 

Phase three, from 2024 to 2030, envisions completion of larger plans, that address the complex and deeply affective sea-rise level issues on Bay Farm Island and the Main Island’s east shore.
Though expansive and well planned, CARP will not be easily implemented. Actions in line with adaptation and sustainability present many challenges. One such challenge is the reduction of greenhouse gases. 

“Two of our biggest challenges as a community for reducing greenhouse gases are reducing natural gas consumption in existing buildings and reducing solo driving,” said Patrick Peligri-O’Day, the city’s climate action coordinator. “Natural gas use and solo driving are entrenched in our built environment and urban form.” 

CARP will also reduce greenhouse gas production through the promotion of mode-switching from solo driving to transit, biking, carpooling and other forms. This stands as a main priority, but will be complemented by strategies to increase electric vehicle use. The planned actions represent CARP’s mission to improve the city’s environment, with small steps adding up to a bigger picture for Alameda.

The plan itself has developed rather quickly, dating to April 2018 to its final adoption by the City Council in September 2019. Various city staff members have contributed to its development, with the Public Works department playing a particularly large role in its drafting. 

Staff from the Building, Planning, and Transportation departments as well as from Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) were greatly involved in the process. Community groups such as Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda, or CASA, were also instrumental in the development of the plan. 

Implementation of the plan is currently being led by senior city staff: the assistant city manager, the directors of planning and public works and the general manager of AMP.

Sindhu Ananthavel is an Alameda Sun intern. She can be reached at editor@alamedasun.com.