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|Articles - June 2013|
|Tuesday, May 28, 2013|
Page 4 of 6
Transportation: Growing bikes, trains and electric vehicles
Oregon, and Portland in particular, have earned a national reputation for promoting innovative approaches to cycling, transit and other low-emission transportation — even in urban landscapes that, like the rest of America, are still dominated by cars.
In 2011 bicycling represented an average of 2.8% of all trips across the Portland metro area, with that figure ranging as high as 9.8% in parts of Portland proper. Bike commuting (trips taken solely for work purposes) more than quadrupled to 4.6% — some 50,000 rides daily — since the survey was last conducted in 1994. Those figures remain meager compared to the city’s goal to make bikes account for a quarter of all trips by 2030, yet Portland is in a leading national position when it comes to bicycles’ share of traffic.
Regional investment in bike infrastructure appears to be paying off. A study released in May by Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism agency, found that bicycle tourism injects $400 million annually into the Oregon economy.
Despite a rash of service cuts and fare increases in the past few years, the state’s predominant transit agency tells a similar story of growth. The agency’s 2011 per-capita ridership was seventh in the nation, despite Portland being the 24th largest metro area in the country. Fourth-quarter 2012 data from the American Public Transportation Association confirms TriMet’s average weekday ridership is comfortably above that of similarly sized cities like Sacramento and San Antonio, and even above much larger metros like San Diego and Houston.
Oregon governments have committed significant resources to expanding transit rail systems, pitching in roughly half the cost of the $148 million extension of the Portland Streetcar and a $745 million investment in the $1.5 billion Portland-Milwaukie light-rail extension. These efforts, however, faced significant opposition from many residents and public officials disputing the projects’ usefulness.
In other low-carbon transportation, Oregon has assembled significant funding for electric vehicles, including $700,000 in federal stimulus funding and $2 million from a federal TIGER II grant to build an extensive network of fast chargers. More than 2,000 electric vehicles are registered here — up from 400 in 2010 — and only Hawaii has more charging stations per capita. A Northwest Economic Research Center study released in January estimated the state’s electric vehicle industry generates $267 million in gross economic activity and employs more than 400 people.
In Oregon the transportation of people and goods accounts for the largest share of greenhouse-gas emissions — about 38%. But that number is flattening, and not just because the recession caused a reduction in vehicle miles driven, says Angus Duncan, chair of Oregon’s Global Warming Commission. “We’re seeing people drive less and drive more efficient cars.” Duncan notes the state has set a 2050 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 75% below 1990 levels. “We think we have a fighting chance of getting there,” he says. “That’s in part because we expect zero-emission and electric vehicles to be a dominant form of transportation.”
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN
Latest development in Nestlé plant saga sparks debate about the value of water.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.
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Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
3 Degrees Event Celebrates 5th Year Bringing Nonprofit and Business Professionals Together to Benefit Portland.
Bend energy leader brings passion for efficiency and renewable energy to the nonprofit.
Event in Forest Grove marks recognition of Global Food Safety Initiative Certification.