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Year One Progress on the Transportation and Climate Justice Executive Order

It’s been just over a year since Mayor Bruce Harrell signed the Executive Order directing City departments to work together to prioritize and expand actions that equitably reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) within the transportation sector. Since then considerable progress has been made to advance the 23 actions put forth.

As of January 2024, the City has completed seven of the 23 actions introduced in the Executive Order and is in progress on the remaining 15 actions, with significant progress made in 2023. Actions are designed to invest in and build resilience among communities that are hardest hit by the climate crisis, expand workforce opportunities, and improve the health of Seattle residents and workers – by improving air quality and making streets safer. 

Some key progress from 2023 includes: 

Built incentives for zero-emissions freight 

To advance this work, the Mayor is partnering with C40 Cities, a global network of mayors working to confront the climate crisis. In March, the City completed the C40 Zero Emission Freight report, which created recommendations for how the City can pursue zero-emission delivery actions for commercial vehicle load zones and electric cargo bikes. This C40 partnership includes drafting legislation to advance zero-emission freight options and creating an advisory group of urban goods delivery freight companies. These relationships will help inform future program designs, including potential projects in 2024 to encourage e-cargo bike delivery in Seattle. 

Developed the Climate Change Response Framework 

The Climate Change Response Framework (2023) is a vision for reducing transportation emissions and making it easier for Seattleites to choose more efficient, shared, and sustainable travel options. The City is accelerating its work to scale up and innovate zero-emission options for all Seattleites to access every day. 

Mayor Harrell hosted the Youth Transportation and Climate Summit 

In December 2023, Mayor Harrell convened a Youth Transportation Summit, a free event for young adults ages 14-24. This inaugural event gathered insights from young people across Seattle on how the pandemic changed their transportation experience by creating a Youth Climate & Transportation Action Plan. Over 60 young people attended this full-day event and delivered their feedback directly to the Mayor, who is looking to leverage youth ideas to build on the momentum of the statewide implementation of free youth transit. 

Created pathways to increasing the efficiency of EV charging, permitting, and installation 

As the number one source of climate pollution in Seattle, zero-emissions transportation solutions play a key role in mitigating the local effect of climate change. Seattle City Light led an interdepartmental team consisting of SDOT, SDCI, and OSE to prepare for EV adoption by streamlining the process for the installation of EV charging infrastructure. This report is completed and outlines several recommendations for the City to adopt. 

Reviewed Vision Zero Program for Pedestrian Safety 

The City conducted a top-to-bottom review of Vision Zero efforts to help us better understand why serious injuries and deaths on Seattle streets are on the rise and to identify opportunities to reduce harm while creating a culture of care and dignity for all travelers. The review considers the effects the pandemic had on streets locally and nationally, uses data analysis to show where to focus investments and what actions to take, identifies internal challenges holding us back, and makes 12 recommendations. 

Learn more 

Seattle has long been a leader in environmental action, and now, under the Transportation and Climate Justice Executive Order, we are working to match the scale of the climate crisis with investments and innovation that both decrease carbon pollution from transportation and support people’s ability to safely get where they need to be. 

For more information and to see the status of the rest of the actions, read the full 2023 Progress Report.