Fewer Drivers Can Create Benefits For Local Economies

<p>A new report looks at how reducing the amount of driving can create sizable economic benefits for cities.</p>
August 21, 2007, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Because Portland-Vancouver drivers log 20 percent fewer miles a day than most U.S. urban dwellers and spend less on cars and gasoline as a result, the region's economy saves $2.6 billion a year, or about 3 percent of the area's annual economic output, according to a new study for the Chicago-based CEOs for Cities."

"'It stimulates local businesses rather than rewarding Exxon or Toyota,' says the five-page report titled 'Portland's Green Dividend' and authored by Portland economist Joe Cortright."

"As cities from Los Angeles to Miami look to remake themselves with rail transit and mixed-use housing, the report could have widespread implications."

"It raises the question of how much it costs Americans to live in cities that require residents to drive for nearly all their daily needs. Though transit, bicycling and walking are relatively minor contributors to Portland's savings, the study implies that development patterns that shorten commutes and facilitate walking, bicycling and using transit can have a positive economic impact."

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Published on Monday, August 20, 2007 in The Oregonian
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