Bill targets transportation and greenhouse gas reductions

Bill sets the stage for tackling transportation & greenhouse gas reductions
SB 1059 is the product of a diverse work group established in the 2009 session
By Senate Majority Office,

SALEM – Legislation that will help governments make decisions about how to develop smart, sustainable, and cost-effective transportation systems passed in the Senate this afternoon. Senate Bill 1059 lays the groundwork for communities to plan for future population and employment growth while reducing greenhouse gases.  “This bill deals with one important piece of the climate puzzle – transportation,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Ashland), who carried the bill on the floor. “We must design our cities more efficiently, everything from timing our traffic signals to increasing our ability to run errands with fewer or shorter trips in the car. This bill sets the stage for progress.”

A task force established by the 2009 Legislature proposed Senate Bill 1059, which would assist Oregon’s six major metropolitan areas to develop plans to broaden transportation choices while also helping Oregon meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

“Oregon is fast becoming a leader in green transportation options, be it light rail or streetcar, bike paths, or pedestrian friendly neighborhoods,” said Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland). “Cutting down on driving saving money, encourages healthy behavior, and promotes greater energy independence.”

Specifically, SB 1059 lays the groundwork for smart and cost effective action by developing a state-level strategy to reduce greenhouse gases from transportation sources, developing a “toolkit” to assist local governments and metropolitan planning organizations,  setting greenhouse gas reductions targets, and encouraging public education.

“A sizable majority of people want to live in communities that allow them to drive less often,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), citing a study by the National Association of Realtors. “This bill is a good step forward in figuring out how to address Oregon’s transportation needs while meeting Oregon’s renewable energy goals.”

The bill will now go to the House for consideration.

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