Help Reduce Traffic Congestion and Carbon Emissions, Enjoy Physical and Cognitive
This week as you plan for back to school and going back into the office, consider changing the way you get where you're going.
“We encourage every family with school-age children to try mobility alternatives that will reduce emissions, offer physical and cognitive benefits, and may save money,” said Catherine Mirick, Climate Action Committee and Wellesley School Committee member.
With Wellesley Public Schools starting tomorrow, Town and School officials are partnering with Sustainable Wellesley to share this joint message - make a plan to walk, ride a bike or scooter, take a bus, carpool, or commute by subway or train when possible.
“Making changes in how we get from here to there will help reduce the nearly 34% of greenhouse gas emissions that come from transportation in Wellesley. To encourage this change, Wellesley’s Sustainable Mobility Plan identifies supportive policies, and infrastructure projects like more sidewalk connectivity, additional bike racks, more road crossing lights, bike lanes, and EV charging stations,” said Select Board member Colette Aufranc.
Grab your backpack and try some of these transportation options:
Walk. Cycle. Scooter.
Join with friends and neighbors to form a walking school bus or scooter group. Adults and guardians in the neighborhood take turns walking students safely to and from school, promoting habits of physical wellness they can carry with them for a lifetime.
Get a biking buddy or make a bike train and cycle to school with others. Every school in Wellesley has a bike rack. If you attend Wellesley Middle School, check out the new covered
bike racks in the Calvin Road upper lot.
Wellesley Public Schools is committed to the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program to support walkers and bikers. Support this movement and get involved in walking to school activities, setting up walking school buses or identifying a good bike to school route. Reach out to School Committee member Catherine Mirick and Select Board member Colette Aufranc via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And mark your calendars for iWalk Day (International Walk, Bike & Roll) to School Day
on Wednesday, October 12, 2022!
If your bike needs a tune-up, there is a free bike repair station at the Wellesley Police Department and another soon to be provided at the Warren recreation building.
“It is fun to ride my bike to and from school each day. I don’t have to wait around for my mom in the carline. I care about the climate, and I like my independence.” said Elena Dudkina, a Wellesley High School student.
With a helmet and the use of hand signals, try on-road bike lanes, or the Town trails system for a quieter, more scenic ride. Wellesley is friendly to bicyclists on sidewalks, except in the downtown area. You may even reach your destination faster on your bike than in a car if there is traffic. Did you know that if you have AAA, bike service is included? They’ll pick you up and assist with disabled bikes.
Take public transportation:
Why fight crosstown traffic in Wellesley when your student can ride the school bus? Seats are still available on some school bus routes. Contact WPS Transportation Director Deane McGoldrick at email@example.com, to see if there is space available for your children.
If you are a commuter, try the MBTA Commuter Rail or ride the T. A no-cost option is CatchConnect, an on-demand service from the Metrowest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) operating between 6:45 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. weekdays. This service is available to all, but unaccompanied youth must be 12 or older to ride. Download the MWRTA CatchConnect app and request a pick-up anywhere in Wellesley, to the Woodland MBTA and to a few locations in bordering towns.
Carpool: Save gas and reduce emissions by carpooling to school, activities, and work.
Avoid idling: It is against the law in MA and may result in a $100 citation.
Consider an electric vehicle: Electric vehicles (EVs) are fun to drive, emit far less pollutants and may help you save thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance when compared to a gas-powered car. Depending on the make and model purchased, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit and a MA state rebate. For EV advice, and more information about incentives and services, go to the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant Wellesley Drives Electric webpage.
Climate Action in Wellesley
In April 2021, the Town of Wellesley approved a goal to reduce the town’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2050, in concert with the state of Massachusetts and the nation’s carbon neutrality goals.
The weather is good, so this is the prime time to try out new mobility options in town. More than 30% of our emissions come from transportation in and around. Like what you say? How about FREE rides around Wellesley and useful neighboring spots on the Catch Connect van service for folks 12 and over. Try taking the train to Natick or Boston; the T to the Red Sox game; walk, scoot, or bike to work, to friend's houses and to do errands this month.
While you are trying new transportation options, try combining your Amazon deliveries (maybe your neighbors too) to 1 x a week to reduce truck deliveries in town.
These are all part of Town of Wellesley's Sustainable Mobility Plan which also includes more sidewalk connectivity, new bike racks and bike repair stations, more road crossing lights, bike lanes, and electric vehicle charging stations.