Our post on the passage of Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan inspired many fine comments, most of them centered on the quote we highlighted from Metro president Lynn Peterson, “When 67% of the people in Clackamas County get up in the morning and have to go to three other counties to work — commutes that are not not easily done by bike or pedestrian or bus or transit or even by auto at this point — then we have some real equity needs within our region.”
Peterson was justifying the need for road expansions. But BikePortland commenters got to the essence of the region’s challenges with a discussion about proximity and travel distance.
Once again, a comment by Todd/Boulanger caught my attention. He makes the point that Metro solutions to the “work, housing, school” destination conundrum seem to emphasize road expansion, over creating better integrated communities.
Here’s what Todd/Boulanger wrote:
I love Lynn’s past work at Lake Oswego and WSDoT, but reading her highlighted quote, I have to wonder if she has now been fully captured by the vehicular status-quo at Metro.
The focus on mobility – to work sites – above all else as a solution to the work, housing, school locations imbalance — I thought that is why we set up MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) and other planning coordination agencies in the 1960s-1990s. But it seems only the road network is fully coordinated among jurisdictions.
For the long term we need to get back to the future of the EcoCity Standards set out by Richard Register in the 1980s (EcoCity Berkeley) where the metric is planning and designing for ‘Proximity over Mobility,’ not mobility at the cost to proximity.
Is it truly an “equity solution” if our working class families need to devote 1 adult FTE in the household to pay off the monthly car budget (1 car = $894 / 2 cars = $1788 / 3 cars = $2682 per AAA OR 2022), all paid for after taxes, to reach their jobs from cheaper housing? And these car costs rival house rental costs.
I always learn something from your comments, Todd/Boulanger, this time it was EcoCities and the specifics on the cost of a car.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread!