In a sign-on letter written to governors throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, as well as the mayor of Washington, D.C., a coalition of 59 organizations encouraged these politicians in their work on a regional transportation emissions reduction agreement and urged sustainable policies.
The coalition is calling itself Our Transportation Future and its members include environmental, health, scientific and business groups, from the Appalachian Mountain Club to groups like the Conservation Law Foundation, Transportation for America, Union of Concerned Scientists and more. Their united goal is the creation of low-carbon investment strategies and priorities for the Transportation and Climate Initiative.
That initiative is a regional partnership for Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states which promises clean transportation. So far, the OTF indicates that it likes what it sees of the agreement, and agrees with its underlying charge.
“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,” the OTF wrote. “Driving represents over 80 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.”
The OTF wants to see more equitable outcomes promoted by policy and to see those outcomes particularly emphasized in those communities more affected by air pollution and the traditionally underserved. They want reduced vehicle pollution in general and new economic opportunities specifically. They also seek the creation of innovative sources of financing for accelerating investments into bike paths, walkways, electric vehicle infrastructure, and improved public transit, as well as enhancing those which already exist. Lastly, they urge policies for more sustainable, yet affordable development, which is transit-oriented and would reduce the amount of miles vehicles need to travel.
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