This Autumn, Task Force members considered project investment recommendations on Tier 1 Corridors. In October, Task Force members received Metro’s Preliminary Staff Recommendation for projects to recommend for inclusion in the T2020 measure.
The Coalition spent countless hours with our Research Committee analyzing the projects based on our values of racial equity, safety, climate, and affordability, and made our recommendations to Task Force members to the types of amendments to the project list we would like to see. Read our recommendations here.
Many Task Force members agreed with our recommendations and put forward suggested amendments during meetings in November to make changes to the project list, including:
- Double down on safety and equity to create transformational change where needed most by increasing funding on the big three corridors: TV Hwy, 82nd Ave, McLoughlin
- Include Enhanced Transit on every funded corridor in the measure
The 60+ organizations and countless individual supporters of the Coalition were glad (but not surprised because they’re based on really good values) to see these recommendations receive broad support from Task Force members and come through in the Proposed Task Force Amendments to Staff Recommendations.
At the December 18 Task Force meeting, members voted to make recommendations to the Metro Council on projects to include, enhance, or remove for the T2020 measure. Our recommendations put more investment into projects needed now, do not make any direct investments in roadway expansion, and focuses investments with a racial equity lens on the three highest need corridors in our region (TV Highway, 82nd, and McLoughlin). Read our full 12/18 Written Comments.
Big Step Forward
After the vote, the community represented by the Getting There Together Coalition made a big step forward with many projects that will provide transportation options that work better for people of all ages, abilities, races, incomes, and backgrounds. Projects and project amendments we support include:
- Enhanced transit investments in all funded corridors!
- Increased funding for safety in 82nd Ave, TV Highway, McLoughlin, and Powell
- Safety improvements on NE/SE 122nd, 162nd, and 181st, SW 185th, and Canyon Rd
- Central City improvements
- Albina Vision
- Trolley Trail Bridge
- Council Creek Trail
- Hwy 212 Safety; Sunrise Planning & Design only
Several Task Force Votes were undecided or unclear (meaning they did not reach the 75% threshold of support), including two projects the Coalition advocated for removal from the project list: Airport Way and the Columbia-to-Clackamas Connector between 172nd & 190th. Both of these projects are pure roadway expansion and will result in an increase in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and transportation emissions that contribute to climate change.
We remain especially concerned about the Airport Way project, which would clearly induce more vehicle trips to the airport — when what we need is fewer trips and more people on transit. Furthermore, it is highly questionable how this project would serve the thousands of people who travel to the airport daily to check-in travelers, clean rooms, pull espresso before your flight — and often don’t travel by car because they can’t afford to.
It’s clear these two projects will continue to be controversial, and it’s now up to Metro Council to decide whether to include them in the measure.
T2020 PROJECTS PUBLIC HEARING JANUARY 13
Mark your calendar and start preparing your 2-minute testimony on what you would or wouldn’t vote for in a regional transportation measure, and why we should only be including projects that provide affordable and accessible transportation options including transit and transit access, safety, trails, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that will work for people of all ages and abilities.
Metro Council Public Hearing
Monday, January 13, 6-9 pm
Metro HQ – 600 NE Grand, Portland (Council Chambers)
See you then!