We have written this joint platform as our unified vision for the future of the city of Durham. This week, we’re releasing the fourth of five concrete policy proposals that will help us achieve our shared vision of sustainability. Please take a look and let us know what you think!
We believe that everyone deserves to live in a healthy community. Durham faces many threats to our city’s health and sustainability, including global climate change, inequitable access to outdoor spaces and green infrastructure, and overwhelmingly car-centric development patterns. Aggressive investments in equitable green infrastructure (including protected bike lanes and greenways), public transportation, conservation, and renewable energy are no longer optional. With these investments, we can improve the health and well-being of our residents and contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.
Here's what we're proposing for the next four years:
Begin implementation of the City Council’s recent resolution on global climate change by creating a fundable action plan for an equitable transition to carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy in city operations by 2050.
Create a “sustainability scorecard” within the city’s capital budget process to identify projects that support Durham’s renewable energy and carbon neutrality goals.
Incorporate renewable energy design principles in all new city building projects.
Help homeowners and local businesses to convert their buildings to include renewable energy.
Improve on-time performance of GoDurham transit services, expand frequency of service at night and on weekends, and prevent fare increases.
Implement an equitable “fare capping” system for GoDurham transit services that will ensure that riders are not penalized for paying cash for individual rides.
Build more bus shelters throughout the city of Durham so that more riders are protected from the elements while they wait for the bus.
Work closely with Durham County and our regional partners to revise the Durham County Transit Plan in a way that combines deep and equitable community engagement with cutting edge transit solutions to our region’s 21st century transportation challenges.
Continue to make land use decisions that help combat urban sprawl, protect our watershed and preserve natural environments.
Require all “green infrastructure” projects such as trails and greenways to incorporate the City of Durham’s Equitable Engagement Blueprint from their inception so that the voices of those living near these projects can help shape them.
Fully fund the remainder of the 2011 Trails & Greenways Master Plan.
Expand equitable access to parks and trails by reducing or removing financial and physical barriers to these wonderful public amenities.
Fund implementation of the City of Durham Urban Forest Management Plan which aims to increase tree planting in low-income neighborhoods with an emphasis on native tree plantings where possible.
Maintain and replace the existing tree canopy with a commitment of at least 10% tree preservation and a goal of increasing tree preservation citywide.
Expand current composting program to include residential customers and apartment complexes.
Develop action plan for the funding and construction of the remaining sidewalk, bicycle and intersection improvement projects identified in the 2017 Durham Bike+Walk Implementation Plan.
Complete and fund the Vision Zero Action Plan requested by the City Council in 2017 with the stated goal of zero traffic fatalities on Durham roadways.
Expand Durham’s current system of bike lanes as part of a low stress cycling network throughout the city composed of not only protected bike lanes but also bicycle boulevards.
Continue to build more sidewalks throughout Durham but especially in parts of the city that are sidewalk poor.
Encourage pilot projects throughout Durham that showcase the latest thinking in transportation planning and design, possibly including a downtown pedestrian plaza and a “pedestrian scramble” in downtown Durham.
Lobby at the state level to move away from single use plastic and provide grant money to local business willing to shift practices towards more sustainable ones.
Lobby at the state level to change current practices at the state utilities commission to allow for energy use policies that promote more sustainable and renewable energy use.
Lobby at the state level for the creation and implementation of a plan to transition North Carolina away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.