A $2 million federal grant will allow parts of Portland's Downtown to ban delivery vehicles that emit emissions.
According to officials at PBOT, a 16-block area that has not yet been determined publicly will be the first zero-emission zone in the country. The zone will only allow zero-emission vehicles, such as electric vans or trucks, cargo bicycles or hydrogen fueled cars to park.
This program will help to improve safety by reducing traffic in downtown areas from heavy trucks and replacing them with vehicles that emit no harmful chemicals, such as carbon dioxide. The program only applies to delivery vehicles, not cars or bicycles.
Transportation emissions in Oregon, and across the United States, are major contributors to greenhouse gases. The EPA states that transportation accounted 27% of all greenhouse gas emissions for the United States in 2020, followed by electric power at 25%.
Transportation is responsible for 40% of Oregon's greenhouse gas emission.
PBOT was one of 59 organizations that received this grant through the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transport discretionary program. It competed against 392 applicants across the country. The program is a part of the Bipartisan infrastructure law signed by President Biden on November 20, 2021.
The project pilot program will be funded by this $2 million grant. If the pilot program is successful, PBOT may be eligible to receive a $15-million bid for its expansion and permanent implementation. Washington, D.C. federal transportation officials will visit Portland on April 26th to see the site, along with Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps, PBOT's head.