Seattle Mayor Calls for ‘Low-Pollution Neighborhoods’

An executive order signed last week consolidates actions the city plans to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

1 minute read

December 14, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

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As part of an executive order signed last Wednesday, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has directed the city to create three “low-pollution neighborhoods” in the next five years as part of the city’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

The executive order, according to The Urbanist’s Ryan Packer, includes “overly broad” language that “leaves the door open to multiple strategies, with several options on the table likely presenting bigger political battles than others.”

The options range from the superblock strategy, which limits the types of vehicles that can access certain areas and reduces traffic on smaller streets, to further investment in bus-only lanes and a commitment to create safe and accessible bike facilities near every school. “In an interview following Harrell’s announcement, Jessyn Farrell said that the city would be focusing on strategies that have been proven to work for shifting commute trips — transit, parking pricing — to non-commute trips, with an intentional focus on school-related trips.”

Packer criticizes the executive order for its vagueness, writing that “Long-range plans and vague commitments have abounded, but a clear vision and action in the here and now has been lacking.” According to Packer, the city has not made significant progress toward meeting its 2013 Climate Action Plan goals.

Friday, December 9, 2022 in The Urbanist

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