Press release: Regional leaders unite to send strong message on federal transportation priorities

Posted by on January 15th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Below is a press release sent out yesterday by Metro. I have just received the actual resolution and list of projects and I might do another story about it on the Front Page soon.

For now…

Regional leaders unite to send strong message on federal transportation priorities

The Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) is set to approve tomorrow Metro Resolution 09-4016 – sending a list of policies and projects for federal funding to the Metro Council for final approval. The resolution sets funding and policy priorities for the next Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) six-year transportation investment program.

The new national transportation legislation, scheduled for adoption in fall 2009, will address a variety of issues that have significant effects on transportation in the Portland metropolitan region. In addition to providing significant funding for programs such as bridge repair and transit operations, the reauthorization process also earmarks specific projects and establishes the amount of federal funding eligible for these projects.

“Working together on shared transportation priorities will benefit every resident and business throughout the region,” said JPACT member and Clackamas County Chair Lynn Peterson. “Our unified voice on these issues allows us to confidently move forward with funding requests to our federal delegation this spring,” she added.

For more than 30 years, through strong regional cooperation, the Portland region has pursued a different path than most urban areas of the United States. The result is economic vitality that positions the region well in a competitive global economy, and produces a high level of livability and pride in significant environmental accomplishments. From implementing the mandates of Senate Bill 100 establishing urban growth boundaries, to cancelling a freeway expansion that would divide the central city and destroy neighborhoods, regional leaders have directed resources to multi-modal transportation systems and aligned land use plans to support vibrant regional centers.

“Recommendations in this resolution reflect the region’s collaborative working history and our current strong consensus on how we want to approach a future faced with economic uncertainty, fluctuating energy prices, deteriorating infrastructure and global climate change,” said Metro Councilor and JPACT Chair Rex Burkholder. “By moving forward with consensus on land use and transportation strategies, we are well positioned to create a better place for us all to live as well as provide a framework for other regions in the country to pursue,” he added.

The recommendations in the resolution define elements of the federal transportation bill that represent the priority directions that the Portland region believes the bill should include, including metropolitan mobility, freight movement and climate change, as well as a detailed compilation of specific recommendations on aspects of the bill that impact the Portland region.

Burkholder, Petersen and several other members of JPACT will be taking this message and this specific set of policy priorities to the Oregon congressional delegation and federal transportation authorities in Washington, DC this March.

A complete list of priorities can be found online at www.oregonmetro.gov; search for JPACT.

(JPACT) is a 17-member committee of elected officials and representatives of agencies involved in transportation that evaluates transportation needs in the region and makes recommendations to the Metro Council. Metro is the federally mandated metropolitan planning organization that develops the overall transportation plan and allocates federal funds through the Transportation Priorities program.

The collaboration between JPACT and the Metro Council assures a well-balanced regional transportation system and involves local elected officials directly in decisions that help the Metro Council develop regional transportation policies, including allocating transportation funds.

Metro, the regional government that serves 1.4 million people who live in the 25 cities and three counties of the Portland metropolitan area, provides planning and other services that protect the nature and livability of our region.

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