Making Climate Change a Priority for Transportation Planning

The threat of climate change has not guided transportation planning in Chicago, and the city and region could be doing much more to promote sustainable transportation, according to the article.

1 minute read

December 15, 2019, 1:00 PM PST

By Camille Fink


CTA Chicago

Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons

Courtney Cobb argues that policies and plans to support sustainable transportation are lacking in the Chicago region. "Curious about what the state of Illinois has its website about the subject, I went to the ‘Climate Change in Illinois’ page and did not see transportation listed as a sector where the state is committed to taking action when it comes to climate change."

Other places have taken proactive steps to address transportation and climate change, says Cobb. For example, Vancouver, Canada, has stepped up its goal to have two-thirds of trips made by biking, walking, and transit, and the state of California is working to reduce transportation emissions. "We are headed in the opposite direction of reducing transportation related emissions [in Illinois] by expanding highways and funnelling the majority of transportation funds into car-centric infrastructure," she notes.

"What would a state, city, and county transportation system look like if it was designed with climate change in mind?" asks Cobb. She offers a long list of measures and strategies that she would like to see implemented in Chicago and surrounding areas—including parking and congestion charges, an increase in the gas tax, and more funding for sustainable transportation infrastructure.

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