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Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative looks to lower-carbon future
01/04/2012
Oregon has long led the nation in developing innovative environmental policies like the bottle bill, and with the Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative (OSTI) the state is once again leading the way in exploring how the state, working with local communities, can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector to help offset effects of global climate change and foster energy independence.
 
OSTI is a partnership between the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) and Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which grew out of bills passed by the Oregon Legislature, HB 2001/The Jobs and Transportation Act (2009) and SB 1059 (2010).

  OSTI consists of a number of related elements:
  • A statewide transportation strategy;
  • Metropolitan GHG reduction targets;
  • Scenario planning guidelines;
  • A toolkit communities can use to reduce emissions; and
  • An outreach effort to educate the public about the costs and benefits of reducing GHG emissions.
 
Statewide Transportation Strategy
The Statewide Transportation Strategy examines what it would take to substantially reduce future GHG emissions from Oregon’s transportation system, looking to the year 2050. Recommendations will be developed for transportation and land use actions that show the most promise in reducing emissions, such as intelligent transportation systems management, transportation choices, and encouraging growth to occur within urban growth boundaries. The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) will review the strategy, and the agencies will develop an implementation plan.
 
Metropolitan GHG Reduction Targets
The Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) adopted GHG emissions reduction targets for light vehicle travel for each of the state’s six metropolitan areas. The targets help provide a benchmark for metropolitan areas that are required to or choose to undertake scenario planning for GHG emissions reductions and other community goals. 
 
Scenario Planning Guidelines
Scenario planning will be used to explore how land use and transportation decisions can help Oregon’s metropolitan areas meet their long-term goals. This visioning process will help communities plan for anticipated growth by comparing different choices and potential outcomes that affect GHG emissions. DLCD and ODOT are developing the guidelines to serve as a best practices guide for how to do scenario planning to reduce GHG emissions and meet other community goals.
 
Toolkit
The toolkit provides information about modeling tools and about actions and programs that local governments can put in place to reduce GHG emissions from transportation. The toolkit will be available in the form of an online database that provides information about effectiveness and costs, and identifies other benefits or goals that may be achieved through implementation of a particular action.
 
Outreach
A statewide outreach effort will be initiated to educate the public about the need to reduce GHG emissions and the costs and benefits of doing so.
 
For more information, visit the OSTI webpage.