Minnesota and California Take Steps to Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled

The two states both approved measures that will set VMT reduction goals and create enforcement mechanisms to promote more climate-friendly policies.

April 6, 2021, 10:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


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Minnesota and California both recently made decisions that will help their states meet the goal of reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT), reports Rayla Bellis in SSTI. Minnesota's Department of Transportation (MnDOT) "made a highly anticipated decision to adopt a number of recommendations from the state’s Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council (STAC) made in December 2020, including setting a preliminary statewide goal for a 20% VMT reduction statewide and per capita by 2050," with the final figure to be determined after a public input process. "MnDOT also plans to develop an approach for estimating program and project VMT outcomes by assessing both induced demand from adding lanes and reduced demand from increasing walking access, as well as evaluating the accuracy of travel demand forecasting methods."

On the West Coast, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) released a draft of its Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI). The draft "comprises 28 action items, intended to 'help advance a slate of projects that meet climate goals, ensure that these projects are prioritized for state funding, and promote project construction and operations that minimize emission and impacts from climate change.'" In addition to meeting climate goals, CAPTI "also seeks to address the transportation system’s entrenched inequities, such as pollutants that disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities" through a stronger emphasis on equity and a new equity assessment tool.

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