Virginia ranks among top states for policies that link land use and transportation

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Virginia ranks high when it comes to policies that link land use and transportation. In a national survey of the 50 states, it scored well for its smart-growth policies, street connectivity, congestion pricing and use of the gasoline tax to help fund transit investments. But it needs to do more to align transportation funding with its polices. 

That’s one of the findings in a report released Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Smart Growth America. It looked at what states are doing to reduce emissions caused by transportation. Entitled “Getting Back on Track: Climate Change and State Transportation Policy,” the report found that current policies in nearly all states fail to curb carbon emission rates at a time when states could play a strong role in this public policy arena since a climate bill has stalled at the federal level. 

“Virginia’s policies score relatively well and offer commuters options that help to reduce vehicle miles traveled, congestion, emissions and our long-term infrastructure costs,” said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth in Washington, D. C. 

Where Virginia falls down is in the area of investment. Virginia can do much more, Schwartz said, in aligning funding with land use and transportation policies put in place since 2007.

“With limited resources we need to invest first in fixing existing infrastructure and second in the smart-growth policies and more energy-efficient transportation that saves families money, reduces our oil dependency and fights climate change,” he said in a statement. 

The top ranked states were California, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Virginia ranked in the second tier with states such as New Jersey and Nevada.

The full report is available at

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