Ground Transportation

Environmental Indicators


Ground travel represents motorized transportation within Fort Collins city limits. Ground transportation emissions account for about 20% of the community’s carbon inventory. These emissions occur when vehicles burn gasoline and diesel, both fossil fuels. As public transit, biking, and walking become more feasible for day to day needs, and alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric vehicles, replace traditional vehicles, these emissions will decline, helping the community reach its climate action goals.

Ground Transportation Emissions

Ground Transportation Measures

The following measures are categorized as direct or indirect. Direct measures track data used to calculate carbon emissions. Indirect measures show community trends that may impact carbon emissions but are not directly tied to carbon calculations. Some measures are not evaluated against a target and are simply informational. This is indicated when the status bar is gray instead of green, yellow, or red.





Direct Measures
Vehicle Miles Traveled (miles/year)
Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is one indicator used to calculate carbon emissions from ground travel – 23% of community emissions in 2020. As long as the majority of vehicles on the road run on fossil fuels, this measure will track overall vehicle emissions trends. VMT is predicted to continue increasing as the Fort Collins population grows. The reduction in VMT in 2020 was due to COVID-19 and resulting Stay-at-Home orders, and that reduction is not expected to become a trend in following years. Growth in VMT can have positive, negative, or neutral impacts on emissions depending on vehicle type. VMT data is modeled by the Northern Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO).
1,195,860,176 2021
Indirect Measures
City-wide sidewalk network (square feet)
This is a measure of the number of sidewalks constructed or repaired to improve pedestrian connectivity citywide to eliminate hazards and remove obstacles. An increase in sidewalk square footage is a positive trend. With current funding levels, the City aims to complete about 45 projects a year or about five miles of additional sidewalks. Data is provided by the City of Fort Collins.
259,046 175,000 Q4 2021
Percent of People Commuting by Transportation Type
This metric estimates the percentage of people who commute (to work or school) by a particular type of transportation such as car, bike, by foot, etc. Data comes out once per year from the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census.
1,195,860,176 2020
Percent Arterial Bike Network Crossings Completed
This measures arterial bike crossing improvements implemented since the adoption of the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. Arterial bike crossings are areas where a bicycle route crosses a major street. Crossing at such intersections can be uncomfortable and a barrier to bicycle travel. Improvements include things like widened ramps and waiting areas, overhead signals, pavement markings and signage to guide bicyclists. Improving bike crossings helps people bike safely, encouraging more ridership thus indirectly decreasing emissions. An increase in bike crossing improvements is a positive trend. Data is supplied by the City of Fort Collins.
26 28 Q4 2021

Ground Transportation Initiatives

Initiatives are projects, programs, and positions that the Fort Collins City Council has funded through its budgeting process. Those shown here have a direct impact on ground travel emissions.
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Transit System Expansion

Transit System Expansion