Fresno, CA

Haze hangs over the Valley on Tuesday in this view from Highway 180, looking west toward Sanger and Reedley. (Kurt Hegre / The Fresno Bee, August 15, 2002)

From the Fresno Bee Editorial, September 15, 2002:
Fresno has the highest incidence of childhood asthma in the nation.



At a state hearing, Valley residents tell of respiratory illness.

By Lesli A. Maxwell, Bee Capitol Bureau, Thursday, February 6, 2003.

From the article:

"When there were 107 unhealthy air days last year and people were warned not to go outside, we have no choice but to get serious."
-- Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter

To be rebroadcast at 11:30 a.m. Friday, February 6, 2003, on Cable Channel 14.


Portland, Oregon

In 1972, Portland's downtown air was so dirty it violated federal health standards one out of every three days. Today, there are no violations.

TriMet's MAX light rail system is virtually air pollution free, because it runs entirely on electricity.



Scroll to the blue arrow at the bottom of this page to visit Portland, Oregon's, Virtual Light-Rail, Streetcar, and Trolley Tours!

Includes information about:

  • "Fareless Square" Downtown District!
  • Vintage Trolley stops at the library, museums, galleries, performance halls, and the Cultural District
  • Public art projects at transit centers
  • Public library inside the light-rail station
  • Multimodal transit system that is 100% bike accessible


Comparisons: Air Quality, Mass Transit, Health, Kid-Friendliness, Quality of Life, Urban Planning

  • Why does Fresno have the worst air quality in the nation by some measures while Portland has no air violations?
    See Fresno's Air Quality for statistics and articles about how the Valley's air quality is negatively affecting our health.

    From Tri-Met & the Environment:

    At TriMet, our goal is to be an environmental leader. Not only are we committed to complying with environmental regulations, we exceed requirements by preventing pollution and reducing our impact on the environment.

  • Why does Fresno rank 138 out of 140 as one of the least healthy for children in the country, while Portland is named as the city having the highest quality of life for children in the US?

  • Why does Fresno have no pollution-free mass transit, while Portland has a light-rail system that is virtually air-pollution free because it runs entirely on electricity? Their transit system reduces ozone precursor emissions by nearly 4.2 tons every day!

    TriMet annual ridership set records! 89 million rides on MAX and buses! July 24, 2002: TriMet set a new ridership record, with nearly 89 million rides taken on MAX and buses during the past 12 months. These figures for fiscal year 2002 show a 4.3 percent increase over the previous year, and mean that ridership has increased for 14 straight years.

  • Why does Fresno give low priority to non-polluting, alternative transportation, while Portland is voted Best Bicycling City in the country?



The mission of The Kid-Friendly Cities Report Card is to present the best available data on the social, economic, educational and physical environment in our cities--exactly where our children live, grow, learn and play.

about Fresno's Air Quality. Click on the underlined link to go to the source.






Planet Ark
USA: August 23, 2001

WASHINGTON - Portland, Oregon, is America's most "kid-friendly" city, while Atlanta finished last in a report released this week that graded major cities in terms of quality of life for children.

Environmental group Zero Population Growth used seven categories - education, health, community life, economics, environment, population change and public safety - to grade 25 major U.S. cities, 140 smaller ones and 74 suburban areas.

Portland placed first with a grade of A+ in the ranking of major cities with a population of more than 2 million people, while Atlanta came in last with a C-.

Portland got top marks because of easy access to good education, jobs, health care and clean air as well as safe streets and public transportation.

Excerpt from the article:

Atlanta suffered from severe urban sprawl and traffic congestion, had the worst air pollution of the major cities and the highest violent crime rate, Zero Population Growth president Peter Kostmayer, said at a news conference to release the report.

The complete article can be found at Planet Ark, your daily guide to helping the planet.


New! From Population Connection!


Portland, Oregon. That's the word from the environmental group Population Connection, which evaluated which U.S. cities were safest and healthiest for our children.

Examining data for the 25 largest U.S. cities, as well as 140 smaller cities, and 74 suburban areas, Population Connection used seven categories to come up with its rankings. These included education, health, community life, economics, environment, population change, and public safety. According to The Washington Post, Portland got the top nod for its good schools, lots of jobs, excellent health care system, clean air, safe streets, and good public transportation.

The least kid-friendly city is Atlanta, Georgia, which fell to the bottom of the list due to suburban sprawl, traffic congestion, air pollution, and the highest violent crime rate.

For the rest of the article, please see Population Connection, which also lists 239 Kid-Friendly Good Ideas from 239 Cities.





Today, Portland, Orgons's TriMet provides easy access to world-class transportation service that encompasses bus, rail, shuttles and carpools, as well as innovative programs to reduce pollution and enhance your total transit experience.

Benefits of MAX

MAX, a 38-mile light rail system, runs east and west from Portland and connects the cities of Gresham, Beaverton and Hillsboro. A new Airport MAX extension provides direct service between downtown Portland and the Portland International Airport. Buy TriMet tickets online.

Environment and Clean Air

Here are some TriMet Clean Air Facts :

  • The daily average of car trips taken off the road because of TriMet is 164,000. This figure is from FY1999 showing 196,900 average originating daily rides divided by the number of average automobile occupants (1.2 per car).
  • About 260f downtown Portland workers take TriMet to work.
  • In 1972, Portland's downtown air was so dirty it violated federal health standards one out of every three
    days. Today, there are no violations.
  • When just one commuter leaves their car at home and uses TriMet for a year, our lungs and planet are
    spared 78 pounds of pollutants:

    63 pounds of carbon monoxide,
    9 pounds of hydrocarbons,
    5 pounds of nitrous oxides, and
    1 pound of particulates.

  • The average car emits three times more carbon monoxide per passenger mile than a TriMet bus. MAX light rail runs 100 percent on electricity.
  • Since the first Earth Day in 1970, TriMet ridership has more than tripled. People boarded TriMet over 61 million times last year.
  • Emissions from cars and buses have been dramatically reduced due to new pollution control equipment, vehicle testing programs and new fuels. For example, TriMet's buses are emitting 90 0.000000 fewer particulates and nitric oxides than they did 10 years ago. We're using "clean diesel" fuel which has been reformulated to reduce sulfur by 90%.
  • TriMet fully supports all alternatives to single occupant vehicles:
    Car Sharing
    Van Pools

Visit the TriMet site for information about:


Portland MAX Virtual LIGHT RAIL Tour

The tour opens with a complete, clickable map of Portland's light rail stations. From there, the tour will take you to each station on the Blue, Red, or Yellow lines.

About the artwork (see TriMet Public Art Program, below for examples):
"When the MAX line was extended from downtown Portland to Hillsboro in 1998, the project formed the Public Art Program, to oversee the design and installation of art elements. The vision of artists was added to the planning and design, two volunteer citizen committees oversaw the work of eight design team artists and 15 project artists.

Collaborating with architects and engineers, the artists created over 100 permanent art elements, bringing individual identity to each of the 20 stations and honoring the history, culture and landscape along the line."

Another great tour site, featuring notable public art, maps, links and more.

Of special interest: The public library inside the Hillsboro station; metal doves paved into the Tuality Hospital Station platform to symbolize healing; tiled wall and mosaic bench at the Washington Street station; drawings of Native American baskets and symbols of nature etched into the windows of the Merlo Rd. station; "Ghost leaves" imprinted on the westbound Millikan Way station, and charts on the platform pavement showing graphs measuring the songs of local birds.

TriMet Site Map

Fareless Square (Downtown Portland)!

All rides in "Fareless Square" are free.

"Fareless Square" includes most of downtown Portland (within the boundaries of the Willamette River, NW Irving Street, and the I-405 freeway) and the Lloyd District.

Downtown Transit Mall Map

Click on a symbol to see which routes serve that stop.

Realtime Streetcar Schedules:


Portland Virtual STREETCAR System Tour

To start the tour, pick your point of departure on the map, or click on"Clickable Map" to start anywhere along the Streetcar Route! Streetcar map.

Streetcar running through
Portland State University

The College of Urban and Public Affairs is a brand new addition to the Portland State campus. The Urban Studies Center was completed in 2000, along with the section of streetcar tracks that run diagonally through it's block. Devoted to studies of civic government and public works, The Urban Studies Center sits in two buildings on both sides of the northbound streetcar tracks and are connected by a skybridge.

You can bring your bike with you on all buses, MAX trains and the Portland Streetcar. No permit is required.

Portland Vintage Trolley

A Vintage Trolley makes a stop at the
Portland Art Gallery on a bright Sunday afternoon.

The Portland Central Library and Portland's museums, galleries, and performance halls, and the Portland Cultural District are also served by the Vintage Trolley.



Home | Fresno's Air Quality | Fresno's Water Quality | Transportation | Downtown Fresno Coalition | Heritage Fresno
Livable Communities | Native Plant Society | Misuse of Pesticides | Recycling | Elected Officials| City/County Agendas
A Tale of Two Cities | Animal Welfare | Community Resources | Community Calendar | Contact Us
Copyright 2004 1000 Friends of Fresno