Oregon gets high marks for transporation investment
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Oregon received high marks for its transporation policies and investments.
Oregon was one of five states that received a high score for all six of the priorities for transportation investment scored by a Pew Center for the States study on the topic released this week.
Oregon received top marks from the report's authors for safety, jobs and commerce, mobility, access, environmental stewardship and infrastructure preservation. Only four other states also aced the list, including Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota and Virginia.
The criteria evaluated by the authors of the study, "Measuring transportation investments: The road to results," included:
- Safety. All 50 states and the District of Columbia scored well due to a sharp decline in highway fatalities in recent years.
- Jobs and commerce, or the measure of how closely aligned the transportation system is with economic development goals.
- Mobility, or how efficiently people can move, whether in cars, on foot, by bicycle or by transit.
- Access, which is defined as how well the transportation system meets the needs of all populations. Oregon received kudos for its attention to transit for the elderly and disabled.
- Environmental stewardship.
The report highlighted Oregon's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and the Oregon Department of Transportation's leadership in developing a tool to analyze the the policy choices most likely to achieve the goal.
"Oregon has a long history of using data to reduce air emissions, mitigate environmental damage from new construction and road maintenance and limit urban sprawl," the report states.
The Pew study authors also commends ODOT for its hiring of Sustainability Program Manager Lifsey Bradway in 2004, as the first state transportation official devoted solely to sustainability.
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