“Greenest City in America” Failing to Meet Weak VMT Reduction Goal

The new Greenworks progress report came out last week, which tracks the efforts of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to make Philadelphia the “Greenest City in America.” While there was much to celebrate in there in terms of building energy savings and fresh food access, one major cause for concern jumped out – the uptick in vehicle (car) miles traveled.

The Nutter administration had set a pretty weak goal at the outset of reducing vehicle miles just 10% between 2009 and 2015.

This goal already falls far short of what a city hoping to become the Greenest City in America would set, but the wussiness of it all is compounded by the fact that 2005 was the peak yearfor VMT in the US. Using the highest VMT year as the baseline is setting an extremely low bar from the get-go. Why hasn’t the baseline been adjusted downward yet in response to this new information, which has been available for years now?