Oberlin Looks to Make Its Transportation Options More Energy Efficient
Case studies for sustainability often involve really big places, like Portland or San Francisco. But a much different place hopes to demonstrate that it can be a model for energy efficient mobility: Oberlin, Ohio, population 8,761. Small towns and rural areas face some unique transportation challenges, and Oberlin hopes to demonstrate solutions that can be used in other communities.
CNT is helping Oberlin identify local strengths for sustainable transportation, such as its walkable downtown, biodiesel conversion station, and abundance of bicycles. But like many communities, Oberlin’s transit service has been cut in recent years and many residents own a car just to reach jobs and shopping. Earlier this month, CNT interviewed local leaders and community members about ways the town can overcome those challenges as it cuts the carbon impact from residents and workers traveling to, from, and within Oberlin.
CNT will use the lessons learned as it develops an energy efficient transportation plan for the city. The plan is part of a larger award from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop energy efficiency policies in Oberlin that can be replicated in small towns throughout northern Ohio. The plan will include an actionable portfolio of policy strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the city and college through reduced car ownership, fewer vehicle miles traveled, and cleaner fuel use. CNT expects to deliver it to leaders in Oberlin at the end of the summer.