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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.51
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date July 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of New Hampshire
OP-18: Support for Sustainable Transportation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Steve Pesci
Special Projects Director
Campus Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution provide secure bicycle storage (not including office space), shower facilities, and lockers for bicycle commuters?:
Yes

A brief description of the facilities for bicycle commuters:

Bike storage, lockers and shower facilities are available for use at the newly-renovated Hamel Recreation Center (free for students), and at the Field House (free for employees). UNH has formal and informal indoor bike storage in several buildings. Most office spaces permit riders to bring bikes indoors. In addition, bicycle theft and vandalism is not a huge issue in Durham, and many riders are comfortable using outdoor racks near their building location.


Does the institution provide short-term bicycle parking for all occupied buildings and makes long-term bicycle storage available for students who live on-site (if applicable)?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle parking and storage facilities:

Racks are located outside of entrances of all buildings, and covered racks/indoor storage is available at residence halls. UNH has consistently been increasing the number of bike racks on campus with an average $20,000-plus investment each year. In FY17 we added an additional 200+ spots--an increase of just over 10%.


Does the institution have a bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy (or adhere to a local community plan/policy) that sets standards and practices for campus streets to enable safe access for all users?:
Yes

A brief description of the bicycle and pedestrian plan or policy:

Both the Town of Durham and the University do include bicycle and pedestrian elements in their Master Plans.

As the Campus Master Plan is built around a ‘walking campus’ we strive to constantly maintain and enhance bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure during all renovation, rehab or expansion projects in our roadway and path system. This is articulated as one of six key goals in our Campus Master Plan: "IMPROVE ACCESS TO AND MOBILITY AROUND THE CAMPUS: As the University grew throughout the 20th century, the railroad tracks to the west and the town center to the east have been physical boundaries that have kept the campus core compact and comfortably walkable. The Campus Master Plan maintains and enhances this commitment to a walkable campus by adjusting the circulation patterns of service and transit vehicles and removing private vehicles from many pathways in the academic core. Consolidation and limited expansion of parking in addition to adding to the network of streets by connecting portions of the campus now separated by the railroad tracks will significantly ease congestion on Main Street and improve access. The plan also recommends the removal of small interstitial parking lots and thru-traffic from the academic core. Eliminating cul-de-sacs and dead ends will make vehicular circulation more fluid and return open space to a pedestrian network while still being mindful of service and ADA access. Finally, the plan calls for a series of comprehensive transportation improvements built on system infrastructure investments, expanded transit options, and enhanced visitor information to support long-term campus development. The Plan is consistent with transportation demandmanagement (TDM) strategies adopted in Spring 2003..."

Pedestrian and Bicyclist access and safety are also reflected in our 2003 Transportation Policy, which still applies: (http://www.unh.edu/transportation/sites/www.unh.edu.transportation/files/media/PDFs/TPC/2003finalreport.pdf; pp 22-24 regarding Bike/Ped)

For more detail about pedestrian and bike access policies and plans in our campus Master Plan, see
https://www.unh.edu/sites/www.unh.edu/files/departments/facilities/CMP/unhcampusmasterplan2004.pdf
-Executive summary pp 14-16 and 24-25
-pp 48-49 lay out design templates for complete streets incorporating bike and ped
-pp50-54 lay out circulation principles etc

Also, as an internal policy, when campus streets are retrofit they are evaluated for introduction of either dedicated bike lanes or shared-lane (sharrows) introduction.


Does the institution have a bicycle-sharing program or participate in a local bicycle-sharing program?:
No

A brief description of the bicycle sharing program:
---

Does the institution offer free or reduced price transit passes and/or operate a free campus shuttle for commuters?:
Yes

A brief description of the mass transit programs:

The University offers free transit service to faculty, staff and students. Two systems are operating offering transit opportunities in Durham and to the surrounding communities. University Transportation Services offers a number of on-campus shuttles as well as six off-campus transit routes (two Dover routes, two Portsmouth/Newington routes, one Rochester route, and one Newmarket route). The University’s transportation system is the largest in the state of New Hampshire.

Campus Connector: Free, on-campus shuttle system is open to all in UNH Durham community (including community members). More than half of this fleet runs on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Wildcat Transit: Off campus transit system that is free to UNH ID holders and 1.50$ for general public access throughout the week and weekends. Handicap accessible with bike racks for use on all buses, Wildcat Transit connects the UNH community with surrounding communities and other transit hubs such as the Dover Transportation Center. Wildcat Transit also offers a guaranteed ride home program for transit riders during the academic year. UNH continues to grow its transit offerings, especially into the densest travel routes and off-campus housing areas used by UNH faculty, staff, and students. The service is operated without federal operating assistance.

Amtrak Downeaster rail service: Since 2001, The Amtrak Downeaster has provided five daily round trips between Boston and Portland with intermediate stops in Old Orchard Beach, Saco, and Wells in Maine; Dover, Durham and Exeter in New Hampshire; and Haverhill and Woburn in Massachusetts. Amtrak Downeaster ridership exceeded 60,000 trips to/from Durham in 2009. For the Durham station alone, this represents 318,000 trips over the eight years which equates to approximately 11 million reduced VMT.

Intercity Bus Service: Starting in fall 2010, UNH also hosted an additional fixed route intercity bus service , C&J. The service connects Durham with Boston and Logan Airports. This service compliments the existing Amtrak service.


Does the institution offer a guaranteed return trip program to regular users of alternative modes of transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the guaranteed return trip program:

Faculty/Staff and student commuters who have taken Wildcat Transit, a carpool, or vanpool can call for a guaranteed ride home if needed. Participants may schedule up to two emergency rides per semester. There is a 40-mile limit.

https://www.unh.edu/transportation/guaranteed-ride-home


Does the institution participate in a car/vanpool or ride sharing program and/or offer reduced parking fees or preferential parking for car/vanpoolers?:
Yes

A brief description of the carpool/vanpool program:

Commuters with a parking pass that choose to carpool can register with Transportation Services for a carpool pass (no additional charge) to have special access to a convenient, reserved parking area within Lot C. The carpool section of Lot C offers 50 of the closest parking spaces to the student union (Memorial Union Building). Thus, the incentive is that carpoolers have a dedicated reserved section in the heart of campus, close to Campus Connector stops, at a free or reduced cost. Otherwise, Lot C is available for short-term parking, at an hourly rate of $1, up to three hours maximum from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Carpoolers are free of these limitations.


Does the institution participate in a car sharing program, such as a commercial car-sharing program, one administered by the institution, or one administered by a regional organization?:
Yes

A brief description of the car sharing program:

ZipCar launched at UNH on October 22, 2009. ZipCar is a membership-based car-sharing service available to students, faculty, and staff for $35/year. Members can drive a car for $8 per hour during weekdays and $9 per hour on the weekends. There is a mix of six hybrid and fuel-efficient cars available 24 hours a day at three convenient locations around campus (adjacent to the train station, at Thompson Hall in the heart of campus, and Upper Quad on the east side of campus). ZipCar is but another way in which community members can be car-free.


Does the institution have one or more Level 2 or Level 3 electric vehicle recharging stations that are accessible to student and employee commuters?:
Yes

A brief description of the electric vehicle recharging stations:

The University has one public EV charging station on campus, in its Petee Brook lot. It was installed in summer 2015. The University and its host community, the town of Durham, split the cost of the charging station. The University is exploring options for installing more EV charging stations in the future.


Does the institution offer a telecommuting program for employees as a matter of policy or as standard practice?:
Yes

A brief description of the telecommuting program:

UNH strives to be an Employer of Choice and aims for high employee satisfaction. The university also considers sustainability in offering flexible work arrangements and works toward consistency in the offering of flexibility across campus.

In 2011 UNH established a Flexible Work Arrangements Task Force to explore flexible work schedule policies and practices that align with the University's strategic planning goals, help employees sustain work/life balance, and save energy and resources, among other benefits. As a result of those efforts, telecommuting is one of five Workplace Flexibility Options available for UNH employees. Certain employees may work with their supervisors to allow telecommuting or other work-from-home techniques, usually for up to one day a week.

Employees who seek to establish a telecommuting arrangement are asked to submit a brief proposal. (See http://www.unh.edu/hr/developing-proposal.) There are then protocols in place to aid the supervisors in making the determination as to whether this is a suitable arrangement for this employee. For employees who telecommute, IT support services are available.
HR provides the following guidelines for employees who wish to telecommute (see http://www.unh.edu/hr/workplace-flexibility-options#telework):

"Teleworking/Remote Work

OUT OF STATE TELEWORKING?
PLEASE READ: For ANY teleworking arrangement that is based outside the state of New Hampshire AND prior to beginning that work - the supervisor MUST communicate with the appropriate HR Partner to ensure proper workers compensation and unemployment coverage for that particular state.

Teleworking is an alternative work arrangement in which staff members use electronic media to interact with others inside and outside the institution and to perform tasks outside the normal work location for some portion of their work schedule.

It is not applicable to all jobs. The number of work hours or days assigned to the position does not change due to a teleworking arrangement.

Teleworking does not include work that is not intended to be performed at the normal work location, such as admissions recruiting, certain Cooperative Extension jobs, fundraising, athletics, and/or committee work. Teleworking requires continued compliance with USNH policies, including policies governing appropriate use of the information and data.

Employees who propose a teleworking arrangement should ensure a safe and suitable workspace that is appropriately confidential and free of distractions and interruptions that may interfere with work. Where applicable, teleworkers will need to find ways to maintain a distinct separation between work activities and personal activities.

Employees who telework are responsible for ensuring security of university information and of the university information technology systems they access remotely. The employees must follow all applicable university policies and good practices, such as the UNH OLPM Privacy and Security of Technology Resources policy, the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources policy, and the good computing practices, accessible on the UNH Information Technology Security Policies page.

**Special attention should be paid to setting up a remote work space. A home office should be equipped (by the employee) with furniture and lighting appropriate to the tasks being performed. For suggestions on how to set up an ideal remote work arrangement see our Resources page.

IMPORTANT:

Normally, employees will not be eligible for teleworking until after the completion of their introductory period. A telecommuting arrangement ordinarily does not exceed two days per week.

For arrangements greater than this, such as full-time telecommuting, the supervisor must consult Human Resources prior to implementation of the arrangement.

Examples:

Regularly work at home part of week.
Regularly work part-time at another work location.

Benefits

Employee maintains their full pay and benefits.
Employee saves commuting time and costs.
Enhanced productivity: some tasks may be better done away from the office, less interruption.
May enhance the use of facilities or equipment.
May ease parking demands.
May provide extended hours of service.
May provide heightened sense of autonomy and enhanced capacity for setting, achieving objectives.

Challenges

Fewer networking opportunities for the employee.
Employee needs organized work space at home and may incur some additional hidden expenses (increased heat and electric bills, etc.) while saving on commuting costs.
Not all employees may work as productively in this arrangement.
Not all jobs are performed easily off-site.
May be more difficult to supervise and evaluate.
May create difficulty in scheduling meetings, coordinating projects, etc.
Confidentiality and security of data.
Full-time teleworking out of state requires the purchase of Workers’ Compensation coverage for the state in which the employee works.
May require training on good computing practices and/or purchase of equipment and software to ensure safe remote computing and communication sessions.

Telecommuting proposals need to address:

- How meetings and joint projects will be handled.
- How communication with co-workers and supervisor/manager will continue uninterrupted.
- What technical support is needed.
- How university information and remote computing sessions will be protected."

For more information about UNH's efforts to support telecommuting and other Workplace Flexibility Options, please see http://www.unh.edu/hr/workplace-flexibility.


Does the institution offer a condensed work week option that reduces employee commuting (as a matter of policy or standard practice)?:
Yes

A brief description of the condensed work week option:

A condensed work week is also (like telecommuting) one of the five Workplace Flexibility Options available to UNH employees. As with the other options, employees are asked to submit a proposal, which can then be reviewed by their supervisor using standard criteria made available by HR. The following is just some of the information made available to all employees and supervisors to support consideration of this Flexible Workplace Option (see http://www.unh.edu/hr/workplace-flexibility-options#compress):
"A compressed work week condenses one or more standard workweeks into fewer, longer days.
Examples: (for a 40-hour-per-week employee)
- A full-time schedule of work is accomplished by working four 10-hour days.
Benefits:
- Employee keeps full pay and benefits unless number of hours worked each week decreases.
- May reduce employee’s child-care or elder-care costs.
- Provides employee with larger blocks of time off.
- May reduce commuting time and costs.
- Provides a low-cost employee benefit.
- May enhance productivity, with fewer interruptions during atypical office hours.
- May enhance the use of facilities or equipment.
- May increase total staff hours on especially busy days or periods during the day.

Challenges
- Employee may or may not be as productive on longer-day schedule.
- Employee may not receive supervision at all hours.
- May cause understaffing at times.
- Key people may be unavailable at times, requiring cross-training to ensure coverage.
- May create difficulty in scheduling meetings, coordinating projects, etc.
- For exempt staff, difficulty defining a full work load.
- For non-exempt staff, the need to be careful not to incur overtime.

Compressed work week proposals need to address:
- How effective channels of communication will be established.
- How weeks with holidays will be handled. (Holidays have the basic hourly value of 8 or 7.5 hours, not 10 hours.)"

For more about this option and how UNH employees are guided and supported in pursuing it, please see http://www.unh.edu/hr/workplace-flexibility.


Does the institution have incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the incentives or programs to encourage employees to live close to campus:

UNH offers lesser-cost Amtrak Downeaster tickets between three local communities (Exeter, Durham and Dover) and has free transit service to communities next door to Durham (Dover, Newmarket, Rochester and Portsmouth); the system carries 1.2 million riders/year.
See:
www.unh.edu/transportation.


Does the institution employ other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting (e.g. preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, cash-out of parking programs)?:
No

A brief description of other strategies to reduce the impact of commuting:
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.