Environment & Transportation
Climate change is an emergency, and cities have a major role to play in mitigation and adaptation. Reducing our municipal carbon footprint will require us to redouble our efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy and to decarbonize our transportation system by making it easier and safer to bike, walk, and use public transit. This will have the added benefit of easing the traffic congestion in our streets.
Moreover, a healthy environment is an essential part of maintaining the high quality of life that Newton residents expect and cherish. All of us, young and old, deserve to be able to breathe clean air and enjoy recreation on our public lands and rivers without fear of health risks.
As your next Ward Councilor, I will…
Push for Newton to set hard targets to cut its carbon emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement/IPCC projections required to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Environmental, energy, and transportation policy all go hand-in-hand in meeting that goal, because 31% of Newton’s greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation, 36% are from gas and oil use by residents and businesses, and 8% are from gas leaks. We’ll have a cleaner and better community for everyone if we meet these climate obligations.
Support and continue the acceleration of recent substantial reductions in energy usage by Newton’s public facilities and support conversion of the city fleet to emission-free vehicles.
Fight to crack down on polluters that have endangered public health and safety by polluting Newton’s land, waterways, and air quality, especially by stopping the crisis of natural gas leaks poisoning our air, soil, and trees.
Support enhanced restoration of streams and wetlands in Newton, which will promote a cleaner community and reduce the damage from poorly controlled floods that we expect to occur more and more frequently.
Advocate for improvements to stormwater management and sustainable infrastructure upgrades.
Support substantial expansion of protected bike lanes and bike paths so that any resident can go anywhere in Newton safely by bicycle, and promote coordination with Needham to extend the new bike path in Upper Falls across the river and to link it up with the other bike paths.
Seek to extend the City Council’s recent efforts alongside other nearby municipalities to curb dangerous and unsustainable plastics usage and to support and grow recycling programs.
Advocate for expanded public ownership of green and open spaces in Newton, especially those with forest cover, and advocate for funding to improve and make safer the public access trails in places like Cold Spring Park.
Work together with other councilors and municipal and state officials to secure more public access to – and funding for improvement of – state-owned parks, trails, and lands within Newton, such as Hemlock Gorge and Echo Bridge, as well as the Sudbury Aqueduct.
Promote cooperation with the state and surrounding municipalities such as Needham and Wellesley to better regionally integrate public transit options for short-distance trips.
Support reforms to parking requirements to aid local businesses in our village centers, increase safe walkability in those centers, and facilitate transit-oriented housing, while decreasing car dependency and making alternatives viable.