Local Environmental Group Hosts Community Forum On Transportation

Jan 13, 2015

Credit ECAT

The environmental group 350 Pensacola is hosting a presentation on the future of transportation in northwest Florida Tuesday evening.

You might wonder, what’s an environmental group doing in the world of road and highway construction?

“Their main goal is to reduce greenhouse gases through a variety of different ways,” said Brandi Whitehurst with the West Florida Regional Planning Council. “This meeting focuses on how transportation can help.”

One of the Planning Council’s goals is to help bring about more sustainable forms of transportation that reduce greenhouse gases, such as walking and bicycling more and driving less, and taking public transportation.

A survey of preferences by residents for transportation will also be discussed. Whitehurst says Tuesday’s presentation is just one in a series involving the long-range transportation plan, which covers a number of areas: how to reduce and manage congestion, greenhouse gas reduction, improving safety, and bringing about economic vitality.

The goal of Pensacola 350 is in its name. The group is working to get and keep greenhouse gases in the region under the 350 parts per million. Whitehurst says they’re not at 394 parts, and anything over 400 parts per million trigger global warming issues.

Gary Kramer, a senior transportation planner for the council, says the schedule for getting a new plan into place is being placed on the fast track because of a November, 2015 deadline for submission.

Kramer says they’re bringing the Council’s previous long-range plan for the year 2035 to the Tuesday presentation, to show what their needs were and if 350 Pensacola likes anything from it.

One change that’s expected to make a difference in air quality involves new ECAT buses that operate on CNG: compressed natural gas.

The 350 Pensacola meeting kicks off at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, at the Bayview Senior Resource Center on East Lloyd Street in Pensacola. It’ free and open to the public. More information is at world.350.org/Pensacola.