Program recognizes developments with excellent traffic reduction and innovative parking strategies
CONTACT Ann Cheng
Decision makers and prospective neighbors often ask themselves, "How do I know whether a proposed "green" project is truly green when a new development is proposed?" But they often lack the tools to easily determine whether new smart growth development will actually help future residents drive less.
That's why TransForm developed the GreenTRIP certification program to recognize developments with excellent Traffic Reduction and Innovative Parking strategies. GreenTRIP is an objective, third-party program. Developers can apply to GreenTRIP to have their projects evaluated and certified if they meet GreenTRIP standards.
"With 50% of the Bay Area's greenhouse gases coming from transportation, how people get to and from their new homes is just as important as what those homes are made of," said Ann Cheng of TransForm, who is managing the development of the GreenTRIP program.
The first project to receive a GreenTRIP certification is The Ohlone in San Jose, CA. "We are very pleased that The Ohlone has been selected as a pilot project for GreenTRIP," said Michael Van Every, Project Executive with Green Republic, developers of The Ohlone. "We are trying to do the right thing. With TransForm's objective GreenTRIP standards, we can demonstrate just how green The Ohlone is from a transportation perspective."
The GreenTRIP scoring system was developed with guidance from an advisory committee of independent experts. GreenTRIP certifies projects whose future residents are projected to drive at least 30% less than the Bay Area average and that have exemplary traffic reduction and innovative parking strategies. According to Kate White, Executive Director of ULI's San Francisco District Chapter and advisory committee member, "TransForm's new GreenTRIP certification program for new development is the next frontier of greenbuilding."
Development in the right places, with appropriate densities and parking, will allow families to drive less. It will also help reduce freeway congestion that chokes our economy and harms our air quality and public health. With less driving also come fewer vehicle accidents and more support for local businesses as more people get to transit, work and daily destinations on foot or by bicycle.
One of the reasons why it is so important that the first GreenTRIP project is located in San Jose is explained by TransForm's recently released report, Windfall for All. The report found that in San Jose families who live near jobs, downtown and transit spend $13,000 less on transportation annually than those living in areas requiring a car for every trip. GreenTRIP certified projects will directly create savings for families. Overall, Bay Area residents living near transit save $10 billion annually on transportation costs.
TransForm works to create world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. We build diverse coalitions, influence policy, and develop innovative programs to improve the lives of all people and protect the environment.