749 The Way to Go Plan


Accept Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Way to Go Plan, a transportation demand management strategy to advance mobility, climate, and equity goals


WHEREAS, the City of Portland has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050; and

WHEREAS, local transportation emissions are actually increasing – currently 6% over 1990 levels, and 12% over their lowest levels in 2012, climbing faster than population growth over the same period; and

WHEREAS, the impacts of climate change are here today, with Portland and Oregon experiencing extreme heat, flooding, wildfires, life-threatening winter storms, and other extreme weather events; and

WHEREAS, impacts of climate change and greenhouse gas emission from transportation disproportionately affect people living on lower-incomes and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and will continue to harm those communities; and  

WHEREAS, the City of Portland has ambitious goals to reduce vehicle miles travelled (VMT) and shift away from single-occupancy vehicle trips to trips by people walking, rolling, biking, on transit, and in carpools; and

WHEREAS, traffic and congestion are increasing, preventing people and goods from getting where they need to go; and

WHEREAS, BIPOC, people on low incomes, and people with disabilities face longer travel times, poorer transportation service, and greater safety threats in getting around Portland; and

WHEREAS, mobility freedom means people should be able to get where they need to go safely, reliably, and affordably; and

WHEREAS, we cannot achieve mobility freedom for all Portlanders without understanding the real experiences of BIPOC neighbors; including the threat of violence for simply using public space; and

WHEREAS, congestion has significant economic, human health, and environmental impacts; and 

WHEREAS, building more and larger roads has been proven to lead to more car trips and congestion, induced demand, increasing air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and traffic deaths; and

WHEREAS, to effectively manage demand for Portland’s transportation system, PBOT needs a toolkit of strategies that address the multifaceted nature of human travel behavior, with strategies that reduce or redistribute travel demand in space, in time, or by mode; and

WHEREAS,Transportation Demand Management (TDM) describes policies, programs, and projects that shift drive-alone automobile trips to walking, biking, rolling, and taking transit to move more people in the same amount of roadway space; and

WHEREAS, the Way to Go Plan identifies two strategies as being among the most important to advance right now to achieve our climate, mobility, and equity goals: 1) pricing driving trips and/or parking (“pricing”) and 2) financial incentives for alternatives to drive-alone trips; and

WHEREAS, Resolution No. 37442 directed PBOT and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to form a task force to study and recommend strategies for ‘Pricing for Equitable Mobility’ (POEM) and the POEM Task Force has voted to adopt final recommendations and concluded that pricing has the potential to be a powerful  strategy to help move people and goods in a more efficient, climate-friendly and equitable way if it is carefully designed and implemented; and

WHEREAS, PBOT staff heard from representatives from Portland community-based organizations that serve people living in affordable housing, communities of color, people living on low incomes, and people with disabilities, that cost is one of the biggest barriers to using non-driving transportation options, and financial incentives are critical to increase access and use.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Portland accepts the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT’s) Way to Go Plan, a transportation demand management strategy to advance our mobility, climate, and equity goals as attached as Exhibit A and Exhibit B; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that demand management strategies are a key to advancing the city’s climate, mobility, safety, and equity goals; and that PBOT must lead, with other public and private partners, to implement a toolkit of demand management policies, projects, and programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council directs PBOT to select, prioritize, and implement the most effective demand management strategies using the following guiding principles: 1) reduce structural barriers to safe, reliable, climate-friendly, and affordable transportation options for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; people with low incomes, and people with disabilities; and 2) reduce vehicle miles traveled in Portland; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that given the criticality of pricing as a demand management tool Council directs PBOT to develop and implement new pricing policies that are in accordance with the equitable mobility principles outlined in the forthcoming POEM Task Force report; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that in addition to pricing strategies PBOT staff will design an equity-centered, comprehensive, and citywide financial incentive program that is guided by transportation demand management principles and developed in collaboration with community stakeholders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that PBOT will develop evaluation metrics to measure the success of transportation demand management programs, policies, and projects, and will report annually on progress against those metrics.

Documents and Exhibits

Impact Statement

Agenda Items

749 Regular Agenda in October 13, 2021 Council Agenda

Referred to Commissioner of Public Affairs

Prepared by

Liz Hormann

Requested Agenda Type


Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Time Requested
30 minutes