Transportation Transformation: The Writing Is On The Wall

Greenhouse gas emissions aren’t something you can easily feel or smell or see in your daily life. It’s hard for us to get a sense of what the volume is, and whether it’s going up or down. That’s why it’s so important to track the measurements to see what’s working and what isn’t working

On September 18, the City of Portland released a report on greenhouse gas emissions in Multnomah County from 1990 to 2017. This report tells us that some things are working, though not quickly enough, and some things are working much worse than others.

Here’s the good news: Emissions are down nearly 40% from 1990 levels, even though the population has gone up in that time. Most of those improvements come from increased efficiency and shifting to lower-carbon fuels.

Here’s the bad news: Even though people in the region are driving fewer miles per person (which is good!), there are lot more of us on the road than there were in 1990, and emissions are 8% higher.  This trend is happening at the state and national level, too. 

We know what we need to do when it comes to transportation – we need to reduce the miles traveled on our roads and decarbonize the remaining miles driven.

This won’t be easy, and it will require some changes that we can feel and see in our daily life.

Our communities need to shift our priorities from cars to other ways of getting around that are much more carbon-efficient. Those shifts will open up all kinds of other great benefits – better air quality, safer public space, better access to jobs, businesses and other destinations, healthier bodies, more ways to connect with our communities. We also need to decarbonize our fuels, and replace the remaining vehicles on the road with vehicles powered by increasingly clean electricity.

We know what to do to reverse this trend. And we know that we can do it, given leadership from our cities and counties.

We can invest in transit, and walking and biking infrastructure. We can work out new ways to fund our transportation system to support those investments and make our traveling more efficient. Let’s work to make sure that the next time we check in on our greenhouse gas emissions measurements, the numbers are going in the right direction, and quickly.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Transportation Solutions Featured Living Green Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy Climate Protection OEC News/Updates/Events Toxics-Free Environments Air Quality Media/PR/Statements
Sort by

Transportation Pricing for Equitable Mobility

When we talk about traffic congestion, we usually talk about how frustrating it is compared to the way things used to be. We are exasperated that it takes twice as long to get to work as it used to. The truth is, though, that we can’t go back to the way things used to be, because that old approach isn’t working any more, and it won’t work in the future. People will continue to be born in Oregon while many more move to our state, and we all need to get places every day. We need a syste
October 23, 2019, 1:29 am


Transportation Options Abound During National Bike Month!

May is here and warmer weather is on the way. Spring is calling us to get out and enjoy all the
May 2, 2019, 8:05 am


Speak up for Transportation Justice

Calling all Oregonians: Join us as we
April 5, 2019, 10:26 pm


Transportation Options

December 3, 2017, 7:02 pm


Oregon’s transportation plan supports a healthier state

Safer roads, more options, cleaner air  (UPDATED: 7/6/17) Oregon
July 6, 2017, 2:20 am


Oregon’s Transportation Bill

We created this helpful infographic to walk you through what’s proposed in Oregon’s transportation funding package, House Bill 2017-3.
June 6, 2017, 5:45 pm


Transportation bill offers key pieces for Oregon’s future + more work to be done

The Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on T
June 1, 2017, 4:03 pm


Mid-Session Update: Transportation for Oregon’s Future

Oregon’s Transportation Package must invest in the infrastructure and services that most meet Oregonians’ needs: rural and urban transit, safe walking and biking options, and clean air solutions. Rural and urban Oregonians deserve a modern, connected transportation system with safe, affordable, healthy options for everyone. More info visit Transportation for Ore


No Replies to "Transportation Transformation: The Writing Is On The Wall"