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Transportation & Land Use

New Bedford’s historic character is preserved while updating the transportation & land use network to reflect the needs for equitable accessibility to multiple modes of transportation, affordable housing, and active living spaces that foster community cohesion.


Transportation & Land Use

NB Resilient Goals

A connected and well-designed transportation and land use network helps us prepare for and reduce the intensity of climate change. To reach that point, NB Resilient has laid out four goals:

  1. Improve, enhance, and connect the city’s multimodal transportation opportunities. 
  2.  Increase the use of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit as mode choice for local mobility.
  3.  Update zoning and building regulations to support climate readiness for existing and new developments.
  4.  Provide safe and affordable housing for all residents throughout the city that reflect the historical and cultural character of each area.

To learn more, read our Transportation & Land Use Fact Sheet and our Housing Plan.


Project Update

Route I-195 to Route 18 Interchange Rehabilitation Project

The goal of this project is to address poor conditions on the aged structure and improve safety throughout the I-195/Route 18 interchange. The interchange was constructed in 1965 and is in need of rehabilitation and replacement to continue to carry traffic safely. 

The scope of this project entails:

  • Replacing the I-195 viaduct bridge structure from County Street until just beyond the Route 18‐ Exit 15 /Acushnet Avenue Interchange
  • Replacing deficient bridge piers and abutments
  • Replacing ramp bridges
  • Widening merge lanes and lengthening on- and off-ramps
  • Repairing local streets and adjacent sidewalks impacted by construction
  • Repairing the parking lot below the structure
  • Constructing new stormwater drainage system for DOT infrastructure

For more information and project updates, check out MassDOT's project webpage and the public presentation from October 2023.  

Green Buildings

Sustainable Development

Our built environment has a great impact on the amount of energy the City uses. NB Resilient seeks to promote sustainable development and redevelopment to ensure energy efficiency and green construction practices in our buildings. This action will examine current zoning and building codes and find opportunities to promote sustainable land development and the incorporation of additional resilience measures.



Energy-Efficient Transportation

GHG Emissions from Transportation

Transportation makes nearly a third of New Bedford’s greenhouse gas emissions. Passenger vehicles account for the largest portion of the city’s transportation emissions followed by light-duty trucks. 

Energy-Efficient Transportation

Municipal Emissions

New Bedford is committed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions coming from the municipal transportation sector by 50% by 2030. Currently, 12% of municipal emissions come from the transportation sector (Source: 2019 data presented in the 2023 GHG Inventory Update). The City is working to green the municipal fleet by exploring clean fuel, transitioning to electric vehicles, and supporting anti-idling laws. As of 2018, there were 23 electric vehicles in the municipal fleet.

A picture of a bikeshare rack in New Bedford

Multimodal Transportation

Lots of Options

A priority action that came out of NB Resilient is to allocate resources to a multimodal master plan that increases the safety and access to non-motorized transportation connection to public transportation. Such a plan would reduce New Bedford’s greenhouse gas emissions by making more complete streets and multimodal paths which are inclusive and welcoming to increase inter-City connectivity.


Multimodal Transportation

The Blue Lane

The Blue Lane is designed to showcase New Bedford’s commitment to bicycle planning for public health and outdoor recreation. The Blue Lane is a cohesive designation for the city’s waterfront path from the CoveWalk and HarborWalk along the South End peninsula to the planned RiverWalk on the banks of the Acushnet River in the North End. Spanning the shoreline of the city as a signal to residents and tourists of a contiguous set of recreational pathways that allows travel along the entire New Bedford waterfront, connecting the attractions not only to local neighborhoods, but also to one another. The improvements along the waterfront allow visitors to New Bedford’s spectacular water views as never before.

This is a map of New Bedford that highlights "the blue lane," which includes a set of on- and off-road bike lanes that surround New Bedford Harbor.

Actions You Can Take

Reduce Your Impact

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is something everyone can do! Here are some ideas.

Commit to minimize idling
Opt for the bus
Ready to go electric?