Can Portland Be a Climate Leader Without Reducing Driving?

By Nadja Popovich & Brad Plumer

Read the full article from The New York Times, here.

Over the past few decades, Oregon’s largest city has built an extensive light rail system, added hundreds of miles of bike lanes and adopted far-reaching zoning rules to encourage compact, walkable neighborhoods. Of the 40 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, Portland saw its residents drive the third-fewest miles per day in 2019, on average, behind only New York and Philadelphia.

But despite Portland’s efforts, the number of cars and trucks on its roads has kept rising as the city and its suburbs have grown — along with tailpipe pollution that is warming the planet. While Portland has set ambitious climate goals, the city is not on track to meet its targets, largely because emissions from transportation remain stubbornly high.

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