In celebration of Earth Day, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a video to demonstrate how state Department of Transportation (DOT) programs have improved the livability of communities and sustainability of transportation systems.
Earth Day was established 45 years ago to promote environmental concerns, which the DOT includes as better, interconnected transportation systems.
"Transportation represents the critical link between home, school, work, community and commerce," AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright said. "States are applying tremendous creativity and ingenuity to ensure that transportation systems enhance the world in which we live."
One of the programs is called “Walking School Bus,” which was implemented by the Utah DOT.
"Researchers found that fewer parents were choosing to have their children walk or bike to school because of safety concerns and other factors," Utah DOT Director Carlos Braceras said. "UDOT partnered with the community to create a Walking School Bus. The idea is simple --students with at least one adult present -- walk or bike to and from school together. Utah families and the environment are benefiting because children are healthier, there are fewer greenhouse gas emissions and bus operating costs have been reduced."
The Minnesota DOT and the University of Minnesota partnered to begin a bicycle and pedestrian initiative across the state.
Various other DOTs used recycled materials, reducing the amount of products sent to landfills as well as reducing construction costs. They also took special steps to protecting endangered species.