Members of Our Transportation Future joined 300 state lawmakers, business leaders, transportation experts, and public figures in Baltimore, Maryland, today at a regional public workshop on developing low-carbon investment strategies and priorities for the Transportation & Climate Initiative, a regional partnership for clean transportation in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. The OTF groups participating in today’s workshop announced a sign-on letter to the Governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia, and the mayor of Washington, D.C.
An excerpt of the OTF letter said: “We commend your leadership on TCI and support your efforts to develop a regional agreement to reduce transportation emissions. Transportation is the largest source of climate-changing pollution in the U.S., and a significant cause of unhealthy air that increases asthma attacks, cardiovascular problems, and respiratory illnesses. Driving represents over eighty percent of emissions from transportation and those emissions are growing despite cleaner fuels and more efficient vehicles because people are forced to make more frequent and longer trips. In addition to continuing to improve vehicle efficiency and increase electrification, we also need to make it easier for people to drive less by increasing clean, reliable and safe public transportation, and encouraging walking and biking. We believe an equitable and environmentally robust policy, designed through TCI, will be an important component of our shared vision.
“Our priorities for a regional policy include an agreement that the participating states will:
• Promote more equitable outcomes, particularly for populations and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution and those with inadequate access to transportation and mobility.
• Reduce vehicle pollution that contributes to unhealthy air quality and climate change;
• Leverage transportation networks to create new economic opportunity for people, businesses, and communities;
• Establish new—and enhance existing—sources of funding to accelerate investments in bikeways, pedestrian walkways, electric vehicle infrastructure, and improved public transit, including intercity rail; and
• Foster policies that support sustainable, affordable, transit-oriented development and other land use decisions that reduce vehicle miles traveled.”