Oregon Vehicle Miles Traveled Legislation

At a Glance:

Location: Oregon

Date: 2009

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Reliable Transportation, Thriving Natural World

Determinants of Health: clean air,nutrition,transit system,traffic safety,clean water,physical activity

Affected Population: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, Children and Youth, Older Adults, People Living in Poverty, Urban Communities

Research Methods: Literature review, Primary research, Qualitative research

Community Types: urban

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Upstream Public Health conducted this health impact assessment (HIA) of proposed state legislation designed to reduce car use and ultimately meet greenhouse gas emission targets to help curb global warming. The proposed legislation would provide funds to Oregon’s six Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to design and implement vehicle miles traveled (VMT) plans using a variety of policies, such as VMT tax and investments in public transit. Specifically, the HIA looked at 11 proposed strategies for reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled in the state and assessed them as they relate to physical activity patterns, air pollution, and vehicle collision rates. The HIA found that five of the policies would be the most beneficial to the well-being of the public. These policies include maximizing the density of neighborhoods already within the urban growth boundary,requiring new developments be mixed‐use and high‐density with good connectivity, improving pedestrian infrastructure of neighborhoods, increasing the coverage area for public transportation, and requiring businesses in metropolitan areas to charge a fee for employee parking. The HIA recommended a combination of these strategies be adopted to decrease individual driving and lower VMT in Oregon.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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