Transportation and Land Use in Sonoma County, California: what’s the connection to climate change? Practically everything. These three issues are joined at the hip—along with a few others such as housing, air and water pollution, runoff, open spaces, endangered species, energy use, and even social issues like road rage.
But individual contributions to these problems are insignificant, and individuals can’t affect the global picture—Right?
Wrong. Environmental impacts on a global scale are the summation of contributions from seven billion people living their individual lives.
SCTLC operates on the principle that individuals can make a difference. We can drive less, use public transit, carpooling, and ride sharing, consume less, and teach our neighbors how to do so. We can influence public policy makers by writing letters, making phone calls, and giving public testimony at City Councils, the Board of Supervisors, and any number of topical meetings. Read more
Climate & Transportation
“Transportation is the largest source of emissions for Sonoma County; over 60% of total countywide emissions were from transportation in 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, vehicle miles traveled by residents and employees within the county increased by approximately 260,000 daily miles between 2010 and 2015.” Source: County 2015 GHG Emissions Inventory Update
Transportation in Sonoma County is mostly fossil fuel dependent, and the number of gasoline-powered vehicles is still growing.
Climate & Land Use
A natural landscape with undisturbed soil and vegetation is a carbon sink, pulling carbon out of the air through plant photosynthesis and storing it in the ground. Paving land for roads and parking lots and building housing outside the existing city destroys carbon sinks, increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Sprawling suburban development will not only use more land, it will make travel distances longer. Public transit systems are more difficult to build in less-dense communities and walking and biking may be impossible.
SCTLC supports Transit-Oriented Development, where denser development is prioritized around transit, reducing sprawl and pavement, and making it possible to get around without a car.