Transportation Planning to Improve Air Quality and Address Climate Change


Transportation Planning to Improve Air Quality and Address Climate Change

Supporting Sustainable and Equitable Transportation

Vehicle emissions account for a substantial amount of Houston’s air pollution and the lack of transportation options exacerbates air quality and environmental injustice. We advocate for a transportation system that supports sustainability and facilitates equity for all communities. 

The issue

A city as large as Houston generates a lot of harmful pollution from day-to-day usage of single-occupancy vehicles. Fossil fuel emissions can negatively impact neurological function, reproductive organs, as well as the respiratory and immune systems. These emissions are also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Our region’s car-centric planning continues to perpetuate existing inequities as low-income neighborhoods of color are disproportionately exposed to vehicle pollution as well as struggle most with access to efficient transportation. 

What we’re doing

We focus on building broad public support for a transition to an equitable multi-modal transportation system, advocating for policies that promote alternative transportation modes that can reduce vehicle miles traveled, increase fleet electrification, and ensure everyone can get where they need to go.

Multi-modal transportation initiatives

We support several plans and initiatives aimed at improving multimodal transportation options both within the city and in the wider Houston region. These include the Houston Bike Plan, Houston’s METRO bus and light rail system, H-GAC’s High Capacity Transit Task Force, and Houston BCycle. In addition to supporting individual projects, we advocate for structural funding redistributions and project reprioritization at the local, regional, and state level to better support an accessible, sustainable transportation infrastructure system. 

Electrification

We research and advocate for electrification projects to encourage a transition from fossil fuels to renewable electric power. In 2019, we contributed to the drafting of the City’s EVolve Houston electrification roadmap. We continue to partner with the participating organizations to advance the goals and strategies outlined to extensively electrify fleets in the region, and encourage studies on the infrastructure needs for mass adaptation of electric vehicles.  

Houston Climate Action Plan

We work with the City of Houston on its first-ever Climate Action Plan (CAP). After co-leading the transportation working group for the CAP, we now continue to collaborate with local leaders and community organizations to ensure equitable implementation influenced by the needs and opinions of community stakeholders. We are also advocating for Harris County to create a similar action plan to address climate change impacts. 

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