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Oregon Ranks Fourth in Transportation Funding

Wed February 07, 2024 - West Edition #3
Oregon Department of Transportation

Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Tranportation
   (Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Tranportation)    (Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Tranportation)

Oregon is ranked 4th in the nation for transportation policies and funding that improve equity, public health and climate change outcomes, according to a report published last month by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The report assessed states on several metrics to create a final scorecard ranking out of 100 possible points. The metrics included state planning for climate and equity, vehicle electrification, expansion of transportation choices, system maintenance, and procurement.

"We're proud of our ranking and what we've accomplished so far with our federal and state partners," said Susan Peithman, ODOT Climate Office interim director. "There is much more work to be done, and we'll keep pushing to realize our vision of a clean, safe and equitable transportation system."

The report's authors cite the recent historic federal investments in transportation infrastructure for spurring their interest in state transportation policy and spending.

Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Tranportation

In 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated $1.2 billion in additional transportation funding for Oregon over the next few years. About $800 million of that funding is directed to specific purposes.

The remaining $412 million is flexible funding. Last year the Oregon Transportation Commission directed the flexible funding be spent in ways that will make Oregon's roads, streets and walkways safer and easier to use.

In 2021 the commission approved $255 million in federal funding for active and public transportation for ODOT's 2024-27 budget cycle. The nearly $100 million increase from the previous cycle doubled funding for these modes.

Both investment decisions contributed to Orgon's high ranking in the report.

Outside of federal funding decisions ODOT and partners are continuing work to reduce emissions from transportation by cleaning up each mile driven, and reducing how often and how far people drive.

Oregon is projected to make the strongest progress in cleaning up each mile driven. Recent regulations on emissions from cars, trucks and SUVs — and a shift to electric vehicles — will yield the biggest reduction.

Reducing how far and how often people drive has the most room for improvement. Oregon can make progress here by investing in active modes like walking, rolling and biking; improving transit services; pricing the transportation system; and enacting land use policies to support shorter trips.

We're tracking our emissions reduction progress on our transportation emissions website. Our data says by 2050, emissions from transportation will be 60% lower than they were in 1990.

Top 10 States

California, 87 points

Massachusetts, 69 points

Vermont, 68 points

Oregon, 64 points

Washington, 63 points

New York, 61 points

Colorado, 57 points

New Jersey, 53 points

Connecticut, 53 points

Minnesota, 53 points

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