Portland residents drive less… While per capita vehicle miles traveled is increasing nationally at an average of 2.3% per year, VMT per capita in the Portland area is now declining thanks to reliable transit service, smart land-use planning, and public outreach programs.
…bike more… Bicycles’ mode share almost tripled between 1990 and 2005, and Portland has the most bike commuters of any city in the nation. 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 0 2,500 5,000 7,500 10,000 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 2,850 3,555 3,885 3,830 3,207 4,520 5,225 5,690 5,910 6,015 7,686 8,250 8,562 8,875 10,192 78 84 86 103 113 143 166 183 213 222 235 251 254 257 259 Year: Cyclists Per Day Bikeway Miles Miles of Bikeways Bridge Bicycle Traffic 1992: 83 miles of bikeways 2,850 daily trips Bridge Bicycle Traffic: Bikeway Miles: 2005: 259 miles of bikeways 10,192 daily trips
… and take more transit. Per Capita Transit Trips, 2005 Source: National Transit Database, www.ntdprogram.gov Only 6 U.S. metropolitan areas have higher per capita transit ridership than Portland, and all are older cities with substantially larger populations.
Why? Because we sprawl less. In the past two decades, the majority of the Portland area’s population growth has taken place in urban areas that are close to existing destinations and easily served by transit, bike, and pedestrian networks. Source: Nelson and Sanchez, 2003. Growth by Density Category, 1990-2000
Portland’s per capita GHG emissions are falling. Metro has not yet conducted a region-wide GHG inventory, but the region’s most urban county lowered per capita GHG emissions due to transportation by 15%, and total per capita GHG emissions by 12.5%, and in between 1990 and 2004. Source: Portland Office of Sustainable Development, 2005.
The 2040 Growth Concept Metro’s 2040 Growth Concept tightens the UGB slightly and designates centers, corridors, and transit lines along which to focus development and investment over the next three decades.
Reduced Land Consumption The 2040 Growth Concept reduces the amount of new land developed in suburban and exurban locations at the edge of the UGB.
Single-Family Housing Demand The 2040 Growth Concept increases demand for single-family housing near mixed-use centers that are linked via transit to jobs and services around the region.
Multi-Family Housing Demand Demand for multi-family housing increases even more dramatically near centers.
Impacts on Equity Demand for housing among low-income, elderly, and single-occupant households increases in the central city and North Portland, areas that are particularly well-served by transit.
Metro Travel Behavior Survey Granting low-income residents access to transit is particularly important because they are significantly more likely to take advantage of it than average residents , leading to greater reductions in VMT.
Smart Growth Saves Money Residents of well-planned cities with good transit service spend less of their household budgets on transportation. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005.
Other Programs to Reduce Driving Metro’s Bike There! map informs cyclists of the best routes around the region. CarpoolMatchNW.org is a free online service that matches commuters up with others who share the same routes. Drive less. Save more. is a website providing transit and travel options information, promoting efficient driving, and helping users calculate the real cost of driving. Under the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) investment program, Metro purchases land located near bus and light-rail stations and then sells the land back to developers at a reduced cost, provided that they agree to create high-density, mixed-use developments. Metro also allocates federal funding for TOD developers in proportion with the projected increases in transit ridership created by each project.
The Regional Transportation Plan The latest update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) reinforces the 2040 Growth Concept by ensuring that the transportation network allows residents, commuters, and freight easy access to regional centers. The plan’s goals focus on livability, public heath, and protecting the environment: <ul><li>Foster Vibrant Communities and Efficient Urban Form </li></ul><ul><li>Sustain Economic Competitiveness and Prosperity </li></ul><ul><li>Expand Transportation Choices </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize Effective and Efficient Management of the Transportation System </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance Safety and Security </li></ul><ul><li>Promote Environmental Stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance Human Health </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure Equity </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver Accountability </li></ul>
Overall Impacts Overall, the 2040 Growth Concept shortens travel distances while increasing residential density. Since residents drive less, their cars emit fewer greenhouse gases.
Reduced CO 2 Emissions In between 2005 and 2035, the shorter commutes created by the 2040 Growth Concept will prevent an average of 97,746 metric tons of CO 2 from entering the atmosphere each year. We would have to plant Douglas Fir forests over 27% of the area inside the UGB to sequester that much carbon.
Rex Burkholder Metro Councilor Portland, Oregon [email_address]