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INDOT Develops Strategy to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

INDOT’s Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) was formed in 2023 and to support Indiana’s carbon reduction efforts.

In 2002, federal funds were made available for each state DOT to establish a CRP to provide funds for projects designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from on-road highway sources. INDOT began developing a federally required Carbon Reduction Strategy (CRS).

“Our goal was to be the leader and one of the first state DOTs to develop a CRS with implementable actions,” said INDOT Technical Modeling Director Nunnally.

Alison Shaner, INDOT’s CRP coordinator, has worked to establish the Indiana’s CRS, coordinating with teammates and departments, state metropolitan planning and regional planning organizations, state and federal agencies, neighboring DOTs, and other stakeholders.

The CRS involves:

  • Alternative fuels and energy efficiency: Strategies that support electric or alternative fuel vehicle adoption or improve energy efficiency and lower/zero emissions. An example would be INDOT’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.
  • Active transportation modes: Strategies that encourage walking, biking, and transit.
  • Transportation Demand Management: Strategies that reduce demand for roadway travel by incentivizing reduced trip making (managed lanes, land-use planning) and higher occupancy (carpooling) to reduce the total number and length of vehicle trips.
  • Technology Solutions: Strategies that deploy advanced technology to improve roadway operations and traffic flow. Examples: modernized traffic signals, traffic monitoring, efficient fuel-burning engines, GPS, dynamic/adaptive signs, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and bike shares.
  • Other: Projects or programs that demonstrate a reduction of carbon emissions when implemented. Examples: intersection improvements, pavement material that absorbs or reduces key emissions, access management strategies, and roadway capacity improvements.

INDOT will implement the CRS through four actions:

  1. Develop carbon reduction performance measure and targets, and continuously monitor and report.
  2. Identify early opportunities for carbon reduction within the current Statewide Transportation Improvement Program by using analysis tools.
  3. Identify new opportunities for carbon reduction in each project and strategy category.
  4. Integrate carbon reduction into the transportation planning/scoping process by using analysis tools.

The CRS, federally required to be updated at least once every four years, will be integrated into Indiana’s planning documents, processes, and project development activities. This will ensure that current policy goals and objectives, performance measures, and expected transportation trends will be identified and considered.

INDOT expects to receive $156 million over five years under the CRP. We’re required to allocate 65% of these funds to urbanized areas in accordance with their relative share of the state population with the flexibility to allocate the remaining 35% at the state’s discretion.

The next steps for Indiana’s CRP include:

  • Monitoring trends, conditions, state vehicle fleet information, alternative fuel consumption, and regional programs and funds that impact our goal of reducing our carbon footprint.
  • Working with agency experts on new greenhouse gas targets, performance measures, and reporting requirements.
  • Ensuring that planning, project development, and construction activities adhere to our CRP.
  • Verifying that CRP and strategies are considered in INDOT's 2050 Long Range Transportation Plan, which is currently under development and will be completed in late 2025, as well as other required planning documents.
  • Supporting the INDOT Modeling team in conducting greenhouse gas analysis on key projects. Results from these analyses will ensure that Indiana selects the right project program that keeps us on target to reduce our carbon footprint and possibly qualify for additional federal funds.

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