How do you measure the effects of transportation on the environment? Air quality. Climate change. Fossil fuel usage. Even land-use factors like housing density and sprawl play a role. And, in Oregon, we use something called VMT — that's shorthand for Vehicle Miles Traveled — to tie it all together.

In Bend our annual VMT has increased dramatically in recent years — almost 100 million miles since 2013, according to State data. During our recent urban growth boundary expansion process, City officials showed how greater housing density, and walking, biking and transit improvements can help Bend reduce VMT.

The Bend City Council has adopted a Community Climate Action Plan to guide both the city and the community in working together to achieve fossil fuels reduction goals. And a Climate Action Steering Committee (CASC) is at work to support the development of the Bend Community Climate Action Plan. The CASC working group meetings are open to the public, tackling a wide range of energy conservation topics.