Portland to make downtown a zero-emission delivery zone

"No one has done this, this way, in the US."

Officials in Portland have announced a new pilot project that would restrict a 16-block area of the city’s downtown corridor to only zero-emissions delivery vehicles.

According to KGW8, as part of a $2 million federal grant program the area — which will encompass the Portland Building, the Federal Building, and the County Courthouse, will be off-limits to gas-powered delivery vehicles for loading and unloading but all other vehicles would be unaffected. 

Officials said in a release that the goal of the project will be to "reduce traffic from heavy trucks in the downtown area and replace those trips with zero-emission vehicles, such as electric vans and trucks, cargo bikes, or hydrogen-fueled vehicles."

Dylan Rivera, a spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation said, “No one has done this, this way, in the US.”

The 16-block area is made up mostly of city, county, and federal office buildings, along with parks and parking structures. Four of the sixteen blocks hold commercial offices.

Rivera added that those who violate the rules will be subject to a parking citation and that the new plan will be implemented in early 2024.
He noted that Portland will create distribution hubs where larger loads can be broken down and delivered by electric bike to smaller private businesses.
The city will be partnering with B-line Sustainable Urban Delivery, a local business that specializes in zero-emissions delivery tricycles, and plans to provide incentives to companies as they work to adjust to the new regulations.  

According to Rivera, Portland is one of “only a small handful” of municipalities to be awarded the federal grant, which is part of the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation program (SMART).
The program was created under President Joe Biden's Infrastructure Bill and in 2022 distributed approximately $100 million for almost 60 projects.

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