32 results for tag: transportation


Tolling in Oregon: What’s The Deal?

What is tolling? It seems like a simple question, but a “toll” can be understood in many different ways. Most simply, a toll is a charge for driving a vehicle on a specific piece of roadway.  Looking beyond that, though, there are a lot of really interesting questions worth considering.  For example, how much should a toll cost? What is the toll really paying for? Should every vehicle be charged the same amount, regardless of factors like the time of day or the number of passengers? The answers to these questions are more important than you might think. The price of a toll, much like the price of a loaf of bread or a gallon of gas, can ripple ...

The Inflation Reduction Act for Oregon

Only a few months ago, things were not looking good for federal climate action. The Supreme Court had just voted to strike down the Clean Power Plan. Senator Manchin of West Virginia had just announced he would not support a reconciliation package with new spending on climate change. And, after decades of denial, delay, and failed attempts, everyone’s hope was wearing thin.  Then, seemingly out of thin air, Senate Democrats announced they had struck a deal on a new package that would inject an unprecedented $370 billion in climate and clean energy programs nationwide. Weeks later, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into ...

Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program: Building on past successes to maximize climate, health and economic benefits in Oregon

From the Climate Protection Program to the Clean Truck Rules, Oregon has made significant progress in recent months to tackle climate emissions from our top polluting sector: transportation. Yet, even with these important policy achievements, Oregon is still not on track to meet the level of progress needed or envisioned to achieve our climate goals. While our state has reemerged as a national climate leader, we will need to go bigger and bolder every year to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. If we want to reach our climate goals, we need to be really bold, and that means changing the way we get around. For starters, we’ll need to ...

Oregon Climate Action Plan Turns Two!

Two years ago, Governor Kate Brown made history when she signed the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP), executive order 20-04. It’s the largest executive action on climate in Oregon history, and arguably the biggest single climate action ever undertaken by the state given its broad sweep. OCAP set in motion a broad array of state agency activities to respond to the climate crisis by reducing climate emissions from our state’s largest polluting sectors and prioritizing communities on the frontlines of climate impacts. OEC and our partners in the OCAP Coalition, which includes more than 50 climate, environmental justice, youth, labor, public ...

What could we do with a billion dollars?

Now that Congress has passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, more than a billion dollars will be coming to Oregon for transportation. That’s great news and it presents us with a big opportunity to think about how we can spend that money wisely. Some of the money is committed to specific projects already underway. But, we’ll have choices with the rest and we should demand that it be invested in things that we know we need in the future. Things that will give people more freedom, access, and choices about how they get around, and which also make our communities safer, healthier, and more resilient. What kinds of things could this ...

ODOT Mega-projects in the Portland area

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a mega-project wishlist. The top projects on this list are the Abernethy Bridge on I-205, and the Boone Bridge, the Rose Quarter, and the Columbia River Crossing on I-5.  These projects have been waiting for funding for years or even decades. A total price tag for Oregon of at least four billion dollars seems likely, and for that, we’ll receive a few short segments of highways with more lanes.  ODOT says these projects will increase safety and reduce traffic congestion in the Portland region. However, they will not meaningfully achieve these goals. If we really wanted to address safety and ...

Building Bridges: Connections Between Communities, Climate, and Equitable Transportation

The Columbia River between Washington and Oregon has been significant for transportation around the region for thousands of years, with people moving along and across the river to meet their needs, make a living, and connect across communities. The I-5 bridge between Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon, is currently at the center of a regional conversation about transportation, connectedness, and community needs.  Replacing the bridge has been discussed for decades. Most recently, a proposed project to replace the bridge died when the Washington State Legislature decided not to fund its state’s share of the project in 2013.  In 2019, ...

Buying a car? Go electric!

Are you considering buying a car? This is a great time to consider your electric options! Before we even get started, though, we have to ask you a tough question. Depending on where you live, do you really need a car? At Oregon Environmental Council we know that we won’t reach our climate and equity goals if we don’t reduce the number of cars on the road or how many miles they are driving, so we will always encourage you to take the time to think about whether you can meet at least some of your transportation needs without a car. (Hint: electric bikes can make a terrific car substitute!) If you really need a car, read on! Why buy (or ...

Don’t Let Winter Weather Limit Your Transportation Options

Getting around by bike, foot and transit is great for your health, your community’s health and safety, and the long-term prognosis for the livability of the planet. However, it can feel more difficult when the weather turns dark, cold and wet. Here are a few ways you can get through the long dark months without reaching for the car keys! Plan ahead. Set out your bike gear the night before. Make sure you know which bus you’re going to catch when, and plan your morning accordingly. This may feel like a hassle, but the fact is that your bike ride and your walk (and your transit ride, if you’re lucky enough to have some good bus-only lanes ...

Climate-Friendly Communities Don’t Magically Appear

Oregon Environmental Council and 1000 Friends of Oregon have a long history of partnership, especially working together to advance compact community design with a myriad of reliable alternatives to driving. When people live close to their daily destinations and have lots of transportation options, we can significantly curb climate pollution from everyday travel. And the good news is that climate-friendly communities have lots of other benefits: the air is cleaner, the costs of getting around are lower, it’s easier to get exercise by walking and biking, they are cheaper to build and maintain, and--because they use less space--precious farm and ...