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Salt Lake City’s Popular ‘Hive Pass’ Again Available to Residents

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Following a highly successful pilot program last year, deeply discounted transit passes are again available exclusively to Salt Lake City residents.

Dubbed Hive Pass 2.0, this Salt Lake City program, in partnership with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), continues to offer residents easier access to mass transit by reducing the cost of a UTA monthly adult pass by 50 percent.

“Our Hive Pass program has created a great new, and very affordable, way for residents to make public transit a regular part of getting around,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “Not only does it create new mobility options, but using the Hive Pass makes a great contribution to addressing our air quality challenges, reduces traffic and helps make our community an even better place to live, work and play.”

Residents can purchase the Hive Pass for only $42 a month. Pass holders have access to unlimited rides on UTA buses, TRAX light rail, and the S-Line streetcar. The program also provides a $2.50 discount on one-way FrontRunner and Express bus trips. Hive Passes can be purchased for any amount of consecutive months up to a full year and will be activated on the first day of the month for which it is purchased. A 12-month purchase comes with an additional 10 percent discount.

Passes are sold Monday through Friday at the following locations and times. Customers must live inside Salt Lake City boundaries and bring a photo ID and two additional forms of eligibility documentation (proof of residence) to purchase a Hive Pass.

Salt Lake City & County Building
451 S. State Street
Treasurer’s Office, Second Floor
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Salt Lake Public Utilities Office
1530 S. West Temple St.
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sorenson Unity Center
1383 S. 900 West
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

To learn more about the Hive Pass, determine your eligibility and learn how to get your pass, visit www.ridewithhive.com, e-mail  ridewithhive@slcgov.com or call 801-596-RIDE (7433).

Mayor Becker Takes Action to Protect City Water Supply in Face of Climate Change Impacts

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Water conservation starts at home! Register for a free sprinkler check by calling 1-877-728-3420.

SALT LAKE CITY – Mayor Ralph Becker is working to protect Salt Lake City’s water supply in the face of another year of below average snow levels and spring run-off for Salt Lake City by declaring a Stage 1 Advisory in accordance with the Salt Lake City Water Shortage Contingency Plan. A Stage 1 Advisory calls for water customers to be watchful in regards to water use by avoiding overwatering and water waste.

The Salt Lake City Public Utilities Department is closely monitoring water supply levels and demand patterns to determine if further declarations are warranted. While the City’s current overall water supply is about 90 percent of normal, stream flows are very low, prompting the Stage 1 Advisory.

“This careful water management approach is part of our overall efforts to adapt to, and mitigate, the impacts of climate change that are already upon us,” said Mayor Becker. “Conservation, efficiency and sustainability guide how we approach all our goals for the City and I hope residents will join us in this effort.”

“Unfortunately, Salt Lake City is not immune to the realities of the climate change crisis and our recent below average snow fall is a clear sign of that. We are doing everything we can to address this problem for the short and long term.”

Mayor Becker has been actively working to address climate change at both the local and national level for many years.  In addition to implementing a wide array of cutting-edge sustainability practices in Salt Lake City, Mayor Becker also served on the White House Climate Change Task Force which developed recommendations for the federal government on mitigating the damage caused by climate change in local communities like Salt Lake City.

“Last year, we were able to carry over a portion of our water allocation and save it in our reservoirs in the event of another year of below average snowpack,” said Salt Lake City Public Utilities Director Jeff Niermeyer.  “This year’s snow levels mean that it is important to maintain that goal of reserving water for future need, should this pattern of low snow fall and runoff continue into next year.”

The Water Shortage Contingency Plan outlines five water shortage stages triggered by water supply levels, stream flows, and water demand. It also provides recommendations for actions within each stage aimed at reducing water demand to levels that reflect current supply and future water needs.

Public Utilities offers these simple recommendations for using less water:

  • Adjust sprinkler controllers to reflect the season and weather
  • Check sprinkler systems for broken or misaligned spray heads
  • Check indoor faucets and fixtures for leaks and repair promptly
  • Sign up for a free sprinkler check by calling 1-877-728-3420
  • Visit http://slcgardenwise.com/ for water-saving tips and landscape information

For more information on how to reduce water use or to view the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, visit www.slcgov.com/waterconservation or contact Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Manager at 801-483-6860 or stephanie.duer@slcgov.com.

Mayor Becker’s 2015 State of the City Address

Today Mayor Ralph Becker visited Whittier Elementary for the presentation of his 2015 State of the City Address.

Mayor Becker was joined by Whittier students from grades 3-6 and aimed his speech at these future leaders with a focus on themes including air quality, the outdoor environment, mobility, housing, economic prosperity and civility.

“When I spoke to the adults last year about air quality, they weren’t very good listeners,” quipped Mayor Becker. “So, I thought maybe talking with the kids about the important issues facing our city might help bring more positive progress.”

At last year’s State of the City address, which focused on air quality and called on the Utah Legislature and Governor to take five specific actions to address the issue, students from Whittier’s fourth grade ELP class attended and sang a song they’d written about cleaning the air.

“Since the class took transit and trudged through a big snowstorm last year to attend my State of the City speech, I thought the best way I could repay their effort and commitment this year was to bring the speech to them,” said Mayor Becker.

And to keep things interesting, throughout the State of the City Address Mayor Becker encouraged students to growl whenever he said “bear”, gave everyone a “wiggle break” halfway through the address and read out wishes that the students had written on slips of paper. Wishes ranged included several for cleaner air, that everyone would have a home, and that no child would go hungry.

Mayor Becker explored themes of fairness, education, mobility and access to transit, civility and environmental protection. To learn more about Mayor Becker’s Livability Agenda, please visit http://www.slcmayor.com/#home

The complete text of Mayor Becker’s 2015 State of the City speech can be viewed at http://goo.gl/bvGgL3.

SLCgreen Highlights from 2014

Happy New Year! It’s been a busy year for the Salt Lake City Green team, and we look forward to an exciting 2015 with your ongoing support. Since we’re in a reflective mood, take a look at some of our highlights from 2014.

Climate Task Force

We started the year with Mayor Ralph Becker’s appointment to the White House’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Both Mayor Becker and Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett attended a series of round tables throughout the year, which culminated in the presentation of recommendations to the President in Washington D.C.

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Project Skyline

In May, Salt Lake City hosted EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a historic visit. In addition to a round table discussion with key partners, Administrator McCarthy joined Mayor Becker to kick off Project Skyline and the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge, a new initiative to curb energy waste from our city’s commercial buildings. SLCgov.com/ProjectSkyline

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SmartTrips Sugar House

During the summer, we kicked off a new year of SmartTrips in the Sugar House/S-Line neighborhood. The program focused on encouraging residents to walk, bike and take public transit to reduce their vehicle trips and impact on air quality. It was a great success! Over 500 households participated, increasing their alternative transit trips by 46% during the height of the program. SmartTripsSLC.com

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SLC Goes Solar

In June, we flipped the switch on Salt Lake City’s new solar farm. The farm produces 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually for our net zero Public Safety Building. We also celebrated two other important solar projects at the event, rooftop installations on the Public Safety Building and Plaza 349. Over 4,000 solar panels were installed on the three project sites, which will generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours annually. SLCgreenBlog.com

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Popperton Plots Community Garden

In August we celebrated the successful opening and dedication of the Popperton Plots Community Garden in the Avenues. Popperton is one of the first community gardens to open on a parcel of city-owned land, made available through an expanded Green City Growers program. Popperton was also the receipient of a Partners for Places grant to support their development. It was a wonderful harvest celebration and an important milestone! More plots are available for development: SLCgreenblog.com

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Sustainable Business Leadership Award

In November, Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett was recognized by Utah Business Magazine with a Sustainable Leadership Award, and the whole SLCgreen team was there to help her celebrate! Vicki has led Salt Lake City’s award-winning Salt Lake City Green program for 13 years, spearheading initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and divert waste from the landfill. Congratulations, Vicki! SLCgreenblog.com

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Mayor to Host Community Conversation on Air Quality Issues

Mayor Ralph Becker invites residents to join him and a panel of local policymakers for an informal community conversation about air quality issues on Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Sorenson Unity Center, 1383 S. 900 West.

Mayor Becker reiterated his commitment to working toward addressing the region’s ongoing air quality issues in his recent State of the City Address and outlined air quality-focused work Salt Lake City has accomplished during his administration, City efforts planned for the year ahead and the critical areas that require action by Utah state leaders.

Attendees will have an active role in the discussion as Mayor Becker and panel members answer questions, outline what is happening at the local level to improve air quality and what community members can do to help make a difference.

Joining Mayor Becker will be Salt Lake City Councilman Kyle LaMalfa, Salt Lake City Councilwoman and Breathe Utah Executive Director Erin Mendenhall and Salt Lake City Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett.

“I look forward to this opportunity to explore air quality issues with our residents and brainstorm on ways we can work together toward positive change,” said Mayor Becker. “Improving our dreadful pollution problem is going to require a wide-ranging collaborative effort that includes definitive action by state government in addition to ongoing efforts by municipal entities and all of us who call Utah home.”

This event is the first in a series of monthly gatherings at Sorenson Unity Center focused on issues important to Salt Lake City residents.

EVENT: Community Conversations with Mayor Becker

WHO: Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker
Salt Lake City Councilman Kyle LaMalfa
Salt Lake City Councilwoman and Breathe Utah Executive Director Erin Mendenhall
Salt Lake City Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett

WHERE: Sorenson Unity Center
1383 S. 900 West

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 5
6-8 p.m.

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Open Letter from Mayor Becker on Air Quality

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you may know, air quality has been a major focus of my work as mayor. My administration has been working on bringing greater attention to the issue and I’ve been advocating for aggressive, meaningful steps to that can be taken by Salt Lake City, state government, industry and individuals to help clean our air.

This is a complex problem and the only way we’re going to solve it is with a comprehensive solution. Let’s come together and fix this problem right away-we can’t wait, the time for talk is over, we need to take action.

Mayor Becker delivers his State of the City address on air quality to a packed house.

Mayor Becker delivers his State of the City address on air quality to a packed house.

During my recent State of the City Address on solving the air quality problem, I proposed key actions that must be taken in order to accomplish this goal.

With clean air as our goal, Salt Lake City has adopted anti-idling ordinances, more than doubled our bike lanes and introduced the City’s first solar farm. For the upcoming year, we are launching the City’s first-ever multiple transit pass and are creating an incentive program to phase out wood burning stoves.

In addition to what Salt Lake City is doing, I’ve also outlined what the state ought to do. Those actions should include:

  • Allocating More Money for Public Transit
    • Increased funding for public transit in Salt Lake City would allow for buses and trains to run more frequently. We must make it more affordable and accessible for individuals to drive less and ride more.
  • Making Lower Sulfur Gasoline a Requirement
    • Tier 3 gasoline has lower levels of sulfur and therefore helps decrease emissions. It is widely available to us but is not required. Mandating that it be required would provide an immediate impact on our air quality.
  • Requiring Buildings to Use Power Efficiently
    • Utah’s energy code standards date back to 2006, lagging far behind many national and international standards. Adopting an updated building code for energy efficiency would help reduce energy use and improve air quality.
  • Making the True Cost of Driving Transparent at the Pump
    • Gas prices have a significant impact on how much people drive their cars. Raising the gas tax would help pay for better roads while also encouraging less driving and improving air quality.
  • Allowing Utah to set Utah-specific air quality standards
    • Setting air quality standards tailored to Utah’s needs is imperative if we are to improve our air quality. Generic national conditions will not work in Utah, and we need to set air quality standards that will work for us.

These are real solutions that will not only produce tangible differences, but produce them quickly. We have received a great response from the community, and are looking to turn that response into results.

If the state is unable to do these things for any reason, I’ve asked that they grant local governments the ability to make these changes because we will get it done at the local level. Enough is enough.

There are 2 things that I would ask of you in order to help improve our air quality.

  1. Lobby your legislators — Ask them to support these measures that I am bringing up and consider the other proposals that will clean up our air.
  2. If they do not support these measures, ask your legislators to grant authority to the local level, so that we can take care of our own problems. We can get this done on the local level if the state can’t or won’t.

I would also implore you to work with your legislators, and not against them. To be effective and to make real change, we need to work together in a respectful and civil manner. While it is important to let your voice be heard, it is equally important to do so in a manner which conveys respect and encourages cooperation.

One of the most memorable moments of my State of the City speech was when a class of 4th graders from Whittier Elementary School took the stage and sang a song they wrote about the inversion and what needs to be done. Our children are, at the end of the day, the most important reason we must strive to clean our air and these kids said it better than anyone could. Watch the video.

There has been enough talk, and it is time for action. A change must be made, and it is up to each and every one of us to make that change.
I hope you will join me in the fight to help improve the air quality of Salt Lake City.

Warm Regards,

Ralph Becker
Mayor
P.S. If you were unable to attend my State of the City address in person, the full text of the speech and some additional information about the issue can be found here.
Also the Salt Lake City Tribune ran a terrific op-ed that discusses the ideas I laid out in my air quality address and if you’re interested, you can read it here.

Mayor Becker Takes on Air Quality

On Wednesday, January 8, Mayor Ralph Becker gathered with residents, students and stakeholders to deliver his 2014 State of the City Address.

But instead of following tradition and sharing the administration’s accomplishments, Mayor Becker focused his entire speech on air quality.

The Mayor began by focusing on what Salt Lake City has already accomplished to reduce emissions and help clear the air. Efforts include the City’s Idle Free Ordinance, bike share, electric vehicle charging stations, biking infrastructure and the new net zero Public Safety Building. Read the full summary.

Then he outlined Salt Lake City’s next steps on air quality issues, including discount transit pass for city residents, creating an incentive program to replace woodburning stoves and phasing out inefficient maintenance equipment like 2 stroke engines. Read the full summary.

In some of the most compelling moments of the address, Mayor Becker outlined five clear requests for state government. These requests specifically deal with limitations that local governments face when combating air pollution. Part of the plea included the message “If this can’t be accomplished at the state level, let us. We at the local level can get it done.”

  1. Allocate more money for public transit. “We have to make it easier for people to use transit as an alternative to driving. We need more coverage that runs more frequently and costs less. Recent polling and many anecdotes I hear reinforce how difficult it is for most people to use transit. It just takes too long and is too inconvenient. And the only way to improve transit service is to better fund it. I urge our State to raise the cap on sales tax for transit. It should be a no-brainer. Or, if you are unwilling to do so, let us do it. Give us local control to fund transit. We at the local level can get it done.”
  2. Make lower sulphur gasoline available. “Tier 3 gasoline, as it is called, has lower levels of sulphur and therefore decreased emissions. It is mandated in other states and should be required for use along the Wasatch Front. This technology exists today to significantly reduce tailpipe emissions. Interestingly, one of our local refineries, Chevron, already produces Tier 3 gasoline, but it is shipped to Washington State because it’s is required there. Even our Salt Lake County Council of Governments endorsed the shift to Tier 3. Or, once again, if you are not willing to do that, let us make that determination locally.”
  3. Change state law to allow for standards that are relevant to Utah. “Do you all know that we have a state law that says our air quality standards here in Utah cannot be more strict than federal standards? Are we really okay with a standard that represents a passing grade for most other cities and states, but still allows us to fail? Since when are we content with Federal officials in Washington determining what’s best for the people of Utah? If this can’t be accomplished at the state level, give us local control over air quality standards so we can make them fit our local needs.”
  4. Make the true cost of driving transparent at the pump. “Gas prices directly affect whether people drive their cars more or less. According to a recent statewide survey, about half of Utahns would reduce vehicle use if gas cost an additional 25 to 75 cents per gallon. And, at an additional $1 per gallon, nearly two thirds would reduce their vehicle use and find other ways to run errands, get to work, and live their lives. If this can’t be accomplished at the state level, let us. We at the local level can get it done, and in fact local governments are united around a proposal for a local option gas tax increase.
  5. Require buildings to use power efficiently. Utah’s energy code standards date back to 2006. Since then, national and international building codes have been upgraded and have been proven to achieve a 30% improvement in energy efficiency. Many other jurisdictions across America have done this already. If state entities cannot or will not, let us do it. We can get it done locally.”

The event closed with the 4th grade ELP students from Whittier Elementary singing an original song called “The Frightful Inversion.” Watch the video below!

Additional Resources

Read a full transcript of the 2014 State of the City Address.

View images on SLCgreen Instagram.

Join the conversation! Use the #clearupslc hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

Mayor Becker Wins Climate Protection Award

MayorBeckerSalt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy have been selected as the nation’s top winners in the 2013 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards, an initiative sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Walmart.

The annual awards program, now in its seventh year, recognizes mayors for innovative practices that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An independent panel of judges selected the winners from a pool of applicants.

“Mayor Becker and Mayor Bellamy are great examples of the strong leadership at the local level working on climate protection,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “As others debate these issues, mayors are acting on real climate solutions, showing how to curb both energy use and climate-harming emissions.”

“We are proud to honor these cities and their mayors, who remind all of us how their leadership is making a real difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of life in their communities,” said Greg Hall, Walmart’s Vice President of U.S. Sourcing and Manufacturing. “At the end of the day, these local efforts reduce our energy dependence and save money, results that help strengthen the U.S. economy.”

“In Salt Lake City, we are committed to doing what we can right now to address the climate change impacts that are already being felt at a local level and will only become more challenging,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. “Setting goals for ourselves like constructing net-zero public facilities is one of the many things we can do as a community to mitigate and adapt to changes in our climate, helping to ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for our City.”

“The City of Asheville is honored to receive this award,” said Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy. “By reinvesting our energy savings through our Green Capital Improvement Program, we are reducing air pollution in our region, making neighborhoods safer by installing high quality LED lights, and demonstrating fiscal responsibility by recycling tax dollars.”

“Mayors are leading the way on climate protection just like so many other issues before the nation,” said Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran. “In their cities, we can see the innovation and imagination that leads to new strategies to combat the growing energy and climate challenges before us.”

First Place Winners

·       Salt Lake City, UT Mayor Ralph Becker for the Net Zero Public Safety Building and Salt Lake Community Solar (Large City Category – population over 100,000)

The Salt Lake City Public Safety Building will be the first public safety building in the nation to achieve a Net Zero rating. To reach this lofty goal and ensure the building produces as much energy as it uses, the city employed a host of innovative technologies including rooftop solar and an off-site solar farm, planned LEED Platinum certification, locally-sourced and environmentally-sound materials and high efficiency mechanical systems. Its Salt Lake Community Solar (SLCS), a unique, market-driven approach to reducing the cost of solar energy using innovation and ingenuity to tackle the logistical and financial barriers of going solar, helps businesses and homeowners purchase and install solar energy systems.

·       Asheville, NC Mayor Terry Bellamy for the Green Capital Improvement Program (Small City Category – population under 100,000)

The City of Asheville established a goal to cut carbon emissions in its municipal activities by 80 percent by 2030. In the five years following the adoption of this target, the city has achieved a 17.67% reduction in emissions, and it has also established a self-sustaining funding source that recycles energy savings to invest in additional sustainability programs. More recently, these energy savings and dollars are directed into the Green Capital Improvement Program (Green CIP) which funds the city ongoing initiatives to make further progress on its 80 percent reduction goal. During the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Asheville creatively reinvested energy savings to invest in improved greener services for its citizens.

In addition to the first place winners, Honorable Mentions were awarded to mayors in four large cities and six small cities for their exceptional achievements in efforts to promote climate protection:

Large City Honorable Mentions: Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic, Akron, OH, Mayor Gregory A. Ballard, Indianapolis, IN, Mayor Thomas Barrett, Milwaukee, WI, and Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Washington, DC

Small City Honorable Mentions: Mayor Kathleen J. DeRosa, Cathedral City, CA;  Mayor Roy D. Buol, Dubuque, IA, Mayor Nancy R. Rotering, Highland Park, IL, Mayor Jerry Willey, Hillsboro, OR, J. Richard Gray, Lancaster, PA, and Mayor Chris Koos, Normal, IL.

Read the report (PDF):

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Bike Share Has Arrived!

IMG_0456_webWhat was once a dream of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker became a reality today with the launch of the GREENbike program – Utah’s first bike share system.

Ten stations are now up and running with 100 bikes available in downtown Salt Lake. Another station is on the way, and plans to expand the program are already in the works. The University of Utah, 9th and 9th and Sugar House neighborhoods are all potential areas where GREENbike could appear.

Check out our other GREENbike blog post for details on this awesome new program.

Be sure to download the Spotcycle mobile app to view real time data on where available bikes are located.

And get biking, Salt Lake City!
(Well, maybe in a few days when the weather clears up)

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GREENbike Launches Next Monday (April 8)

Photo courtesy of GREENbike (Facebook)

Photo courtesy of GREENbike (Facebook)

Next Monday, April 8th the highly anticipated bike share program lands in Salt Lake City! GREENbike stations officially go online in less than a week, and we wanted to give our readers a preview of the program so you can be as excited as we are.

Quick Facts

  • Program will launch with up to 120 bikes available
  • 10 bike share stations are located at key spots in downtown Salt Lake City (see map below)
  • Projected to save 77,000 vehicle miles in the first year alone, including 20,000 “cold starts” (a key contributor to poor air quality)
  • Designed for short trips in the city by people wearing regular clothes and carrying ordinary stuff (no spandex required!)
  • There is a great mobile app available for download at the GREENbikeslc.org website (i.e. Spotcycle).

Short Trips

GREENbike is designed for short, 30 minute trips that get you from point A to point B downtown. Think of it as your “puddle jumper” that will get you from one downtown hot spot to another. For example —

  • Take a quick and direct route from the UTA Intermodal Hub to Gallivan Center or Library Square.
  • A quick lunch trip for downtown employees (stopping by Squatters, Harmons Grocery or a variety of other restaurants)
  • Getting to and from a downtown meeting.
  • Hopping from City Creek to The Gateway on a downtown shopping spree.
  • And any other short, downtown trip that you can dream up!

Membership

A 24-hour Access Pass ($5), 7-day ($15) or Annual Membership ($75) lets you take UNLIMITED 30 minute trips at no extra charge! Every time you dock a bike, you get a fresh 30 minutes. Get on board.

Launch & Party

The public is invited to attend the official GREENbike launch on Monday, April 8th at 10:30 a.m. at the west entrance to Gallivan Center. Join Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City Council Member and R.D.A. Chair Stan Penfold and other excited community members. SLCGreen will be there to cover the event too!

A fundraising launch party is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Squatters. Tickets are $50, and include all things needed for a very fun night — DJ, open bar, appetizers and a prize drawing for a $1,100 TREK bike at 8 p.m. Join the fun.

GREENbike Fact Sheet (PDF)

GREENbike Map (PDF)

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