The Town of Wellesley is celebrating momentum in our community with a May is Mobility Month campaign to encourage residents to try a variety of mobility opportunities that are available in Wellesley. From commuting by public transportation or using micro transit service, to walking, biking & rolling to school and work, residents can re-evaluate their own transportation behaviors and consider making changes that contribute to a healthier lifestyle, improve the environment, and help reduce the harmful impact of climate change.
Throughout May, the Town is collaborating with state and regional transportation groups and local nonprofits to highlight opportunities and events focused on mobility. These include:
May -- Bike Month
May 4 -- Walk, Bike & Roll to School Day
May 12 -- Wellesley Municipal Light Plant & Sustainable Wellesley Electric Vehicle (EV) test drive event
May 22 -- Wellesley Police Department & Kiwanis Club of Wellesley Kids’ Bike Rodeo (part of Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend)
All month - FREE Catch Connect micro transit service in and around Wellesley
All month - Wellesley Trails Committee trails walks
All month - Wellesley Green Schools Idle Free campaign
Transportation contributes to 43% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Wellesley. In the coming weeks, the Town will be running a series of online columns – written by local leaders – in The Swellesley Report with information on transportation alternatives for residents. Watch for these weekly guest posts beginning on Wednesday, May 4 and running through Wednesday, June 1 for ideas on ways to get from here to there without using your car.
Sustainable Mobility Plan Launching Soon
In mid-May, the Town will launch its Sustainable Mobility Plan that outlines the community-wide initiatives and actions Wellesley government is targeting to enable more mobility alternatives, from sidewalk connectivity to bike racks, road crossing lights, and bike lanes for everyone. This plan was developed with input from many individuals in our community, and co-funded by the Planning Board and the Select Board. This plan will guide the Town in mobility decisions in the years to come.
The Sustainable Mobility Plan will be used together with Wellesley’s recently launched Climate Action Plan as a roadmap for Town officials, community and business leaders to help Wellesley meet town and state climate goals: achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 and interim goals of a 50% reduction by 2030 and a 75% reduction by 2040.
Time to get moving, Wellesley!
Make time to vote on or before Dec. 7th.
The one thing on the ballot this time is a two-part infrastructure vote - - 2 votes for the future.
Sustainable Wellesley would like to voice its support of the sustainable features in the proposed new Hardy and Hunnewell elementary school buildings. Both school designs exemplify necessary steps the Town is taking, and is compelled to take, to reduce carbon emissions produced by municipal buildings. Buildings in Wellesley account for approximately 56% of the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions. As you know, at the October 2020 Special Town Meeting, members overwhelmingly voted to require all Town boards, committees, and departments to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all projects. The proposed plans for Hardy and Hunnewell do just that.
The Hardy and Hunnewell projects will replace two inefficient, fossil fuel burning buildings with buildings that have all-electric heating and cooling systems. Additionally, each building will have solar energy producing photovoltaics on the roof. Sustainable Wellesley also thanks the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (MLP) Board for its decision to facilitate the installation of solar on the new Hunnewell School, and to retire the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) associated with its produced electricity.
The Hardy building will be LEED Certified, thus earning the town more rebates through the partnership with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). The Hunnewell building will be LEED Certifiable. We support the Town’s plans to build Hunnewell to these standards, but not incur the costs associated with the certifications.
Voting yes on both Hardy and Hunnewell, will bring all-electric systems, solar on the roofs, and LEED certified buildings to our community. We are in the midst of a climate emergency and building two net zero ready schools is a meaningful step in the Town’s goal to reduce carbon emissions. Building energy efficient buildings will decrease the buildings operating costs, and help address the hidden costs of climate change.
To provide some framing, the newest school in town is Wellesley High School. This building, built in 2012, has an energy use intensity (EUI) of 44. The current Hunnewell building has an EUI of 127. The proposed building will be 26.4. The current Hardy School has an EUI in the range of 86-109. The proposed Hardy EUI will be between 25-30.
Specifically, the proposed advanced, high-performing buildings will include:
» Maximized Insulation and Enclosure Tightness (Walls & Roofs)
» Passive House Strategies
» Air Infiltration Reduction
» All Electric Heating and Cooling System
» Plug Load Controls
» Life Cycle Cost Factors
» Commissioning & Testing during Design and Construction
» Roof-top Photovoltaics
Thank you to the Town departments and volunteers for working hard to demonstrate the meaningful steps that can be taken to reduce carbon emissions through building system design. This provides a guide not only for future municipal projects, but for all residents to make similar changes when replacing systems in their own homes.
Thank you for getting out and voting for both Hardy and Hunnewell. Specific voting information is below:
Voting By Mail? Don't forget to return your ballot if you have requested one, either by mail with one regular stamp or (Recommended!) delivering directly to the dropbox outside Town Hall. Vote by mail ballots can be requested through December 1. If you are requesting either vote by mail or absentee at this late date, we strongly recommend hand-delivering your ballot to the Town Hall dropbox to ensure it gets back in time to be counted. Ballots MUST be received at Town Hall by Election Day, December 7.
Additional details on vote by mail and absentee ballots can be found on the Town Clerk's page.
Voting in Person? Polls will be open from 7:00am - 8:00pm on December 7.
Voting locations have changed!
Precincts A & C: Bates School
Precinct B: Sprague School
Precincts D & E: Warren Building
Precincts F & G: Dana Hall School
Precinct H: Tolles Parsons Center
Don't know your precinct? Find it here.
Click here for a map of the voting locations.