The City of Ketchum Transportation Plan is a good start towards a cleaner, safer, and more accessible transportation system. The plan could benefit from a greater emphasis on how transportation impacts climate.

We support the overall goals in the Transportation Plan to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety, reduce the risk of auto crashes, and reduce road traffic. And we’re encouraged that the plan allocates the majority of the budget to pedestrian safety, about a third to car-related safety measures, and the rest to benefit bicycle infrastructure.

Increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists is a key way to support the greater use of climate-friendly ways to travel within Ketchum. Less traffic also reduces the amount of air pollution from automobiles, which benefits public health. As a city with major climate goals, as demonstrated in Ketchum’s clean energy resolution, we would like to see a stronger link between transportation and climate.

We encourage the City to use the plan and future transportation system as a strategy to protect our air. Some suggested plan components to consider:

  • Develop a baseline emission profile for city- and publicly-owned vehicles.
  • Devise strategies to reduce emissions from city-owned vehicles, including switching from gas to electric vehicles (EVs).
    Promote public adoption of electrification by planning an EV charging network.
  • Educate the public about the benefits and opportunities for electrification by using the city fleet as an example.
  • Monitor, track, and display air quality improvements and greenhouse gas reductions to demonstrate progress internally and to the public.
  • Integrate ways to increase access to public transit with measures already included in the plan, such as improving sidewalks and other safety enhancements.

Overall, we believe that this transportation plan is a great start and a bit more emphasis on connecting transportation policy decisions to climate impacts would improve it considerably. Transportation is one of the top greenhouse gas-producing sectors in Idaho so acknowledging the impact of transportation on climate change is extremely important. Making clear this link will ensure that climate change policies are integrated throughout the City of Ketchum’s plans, including its transportation system.

Speak up!

The City of Ketchum is seeking your input on their transportation plan. Use your voice to let the city’s decision-makers know you want to see the climate impacts of transportation addressed in their plan. City officials are asking for public comments on their transportation plan by email, Comments will be accepted through Feb. 5. For tips and talking points on crafting your comment to city officials, check out our comment writing guide.