Why did Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, become a Cool City?
According to a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, when asked why he signed on to the Mayors Climate Protecton Agreement, Mayor James Brainard answered: “The answer is pretty simple. I signed the agreement to help establish goals for improved air quality, energy independence and carbon reduction.”
How has your city moved forward to reduce emissions?
“The City of Carmel has built over 50 roundabouts, which reduce gasoline usage by roughly 24,000 gallons of gasoline per roundabout per year. We are implementing a ‘smart code,’ which increases pedestrian connectivity throughout the city with better planning; we have added tens of miles of bike and pedestrian paths; we have increased density to cut down on automobile trips; we have a no-idling policy for city vehicles; we have a requirement that all city vehicles must be hybrids or use alternative fuel; we have replaced incandescent street lights with LEDs; we have created a walkable city center through public-private partnerships that help cut down on car trips; and we have developed a street tree program, which spends approximately $25 per person per year on street trees. Mixed-use development initiatives, especially, cut down on long car trips from commercial to residential zones.”
Which initiative in your city has had the greatest impact on reducing GHG emissions?
“Residents burn an estimated 470,000 fewer gallons of gas when using a roundabout versus waiting at a 4-way stop or traffic light. At $2.50 per gallon of gas, drivers save approximately $1,750,000 per year. Recent studies indicate roundabout interchanges significantly reduce toxic automobile emissions, creating a positive impact on the environment. Analysis performed at the 96th and Keystone intersection in Carmel, using traffic analysis and Environmental Protection Agency software, has indicated that replacing the existing signal at the intersection with a new roundabout interchange will reduce annual carbon monoxide emissions by 42 percent, nitrous oxide emissions by 29 percent, and hydrocarbon emissions by 71 percent. Additionally, studies cited by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that annual carbon dioxide emissions are typically reduced by 37 percent when a traffic signal is replaced by a roundabout.”
Glen Ellyn has at least one roundabout. Do you know where it is?