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Greater Portland, on the move: A Regional Snapshot

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Every day, millions of people move throughout greater Portland’s communities. This is a journey we share: Shoulder to shoulder on transit, lane by lane on streets and highways. Wheels turning, feet stepping, we go many miles — or just down the block.

Our ability to get around -– to cross bridges, travel highways and streets, catch a bus or MAX, walk or bike to our destinations -– is something we often take for granted.

But every mile we travel depends on the decisions and investments of past generations of Oregonians. Those investments have shaped the community we’ve become.

As we grow and greet a changing world, how can we ensure the region’s streets, roads, transit and bridges still work for everyone? What are the top challenges we face? What can we learn from elsewhere?

Metro’s latest Regional Snapshot takes a look at the transportation system we’ve built together, and the future we could create next. With stats, maps, videos, personal stories and more, it’s a detailed exploration of the connections that knit the region together and the people who use them. Take a look at http://oregonmetro.gov/snapshot.

Getting to class, safely: Finding Safe Routes in greater Portland

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

From September to June, mornings in greater Portland’s neighborhoods see a common pageant. Around hundreds of elementary, middle and high schools across the region, kids fill sidewalks and bike routes, or spill out of buses and parents’ cars, trying to get inside before the bell rings.

But that pageant isn’t the same at every school.

In some communities, many students walk or bike. But not every kid has a sidewalk or safe bike route to class. Still others don’t walk or bike because parents and educators are understandably concerned about their safety.

How kids get to school matters. Kids that can’t or don’t walk or bike are missing out on what could be a great opportunity for physical activity. Studies also show they can perform better in school. Meanwhile, car drop-offs can snarl traffic for blocks, adding to growing congestion and creating more hazards for everyone.

Safe Routes to School will soon take on a new regional shine in greater Portland. Last year, after a concerted campaign by advocates, educators, parents and students, the Metro Council and Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation directed Metro staff to begin work on a regional Safe Routes to School education and encouragement program. They reserved $1.5 million in federal transportation dollars over two years to set up the program.

The program will partner with communities and school districts around the region to help more kids get to school by foot, bike and bus safely. It will begin in earnest in 2019 when federal funding is expected. But Metro is already preparing.

Metro recently worked with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and Alta Planning & Design on a report assessing the state of Safe Routes in greater Portland today.

From education and encouragement, to engineering and enforcement, Safe Routes has many faces. Through videos, interviews and stories, get a glimpse of Safe Routes in action in Troutdale, Beaverton, Clackamas and Portland in Metro’s new series.

Learn more:
– 6 key findings from the Safe Routes report: http://oregonmetro.gov/saferoutesfindings
– A curriculum for safety in Beaverton, Troutdale: http://oregonmetro.gov/saferouteseducation

More stories are coming soon.

— Metro is a BikePortland subscriber. If your agency or organization would like to post in this section, become a subcriber today.

Tell Metro: Pick your transportation priorities in this quick survey

Friday, March 10th, 2017

People have told Metro their biggest transportation needs. We are planning for all of them – but we know we can’t afford everything we need right now. Tell leaders what is most urgently needed in the next 10 years.

What do we need most from our transportation system – now and in the future?

What can we afford and how do we pay for new projects while taking care of our existing roads, bridges, bikeways, sidewalks and transit services?

How should we measure progress toward our goals?

Through 2018, the Metro Council will continue working with local residents, businesses, governments and transportation providers to answer these questions.

Whether you walk, bike, roll, drive or use transit, take a two-question, five-minute survey to help shape the future of getting around the Portland area. This survey is open through Tuesday, March 28.

Your responses will be reported to the region’s policymakers this spring and inform work ahead to update the region’s near- and long-term investment priorities.

Take the survey here.

Looking ahead: 10 questions about the Southwest Corridor

Friday, June 10th, 2016

You’ve heard the news. Now get answers to your questions.

The Portland region’s next light rail line is in the works. And it’s going southwest, from downtown Portland to Tigard and Tualatin.

But there’s a lot more than light rail ahead for this growing part of the region. Roads, sidewalks, bikeways, bus lines and more are included in the plan.

Get a full overview of the Southwest Corridor Plan, from its roots to what happens next – and how you can be involved: oregonmetro.gov/news/looking-ahead-10-questions-about-southwest-corridor

Ex-Minneapolis mayor prods Portland region to rethink transportation

Friday, April 29th, 2016
Mayor R.T. Rybak challenged Portland-area leaders in an address at the Oregon Convention Center on April 22, 2016.(Photo: Metro)

Mayor R.T. Rybak challenged Portland-area leaders in an address at the Oregon Convention Center on April 22, 2016.
(Photo: Metro)

This article was originally submitted by Metro as a subscriber post.

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak praised and provoked Portland-area leaders at a forum last Friday, challenging them to work together to address growing transportation dilemmas facing Portland and metropolitan regions around the country.

Rybak, a three-term mayor from 2002 to 2014, spoke with humor, humility and bluntness at a regional leadership forum at the Oregon Convention Center, kicking off Metro’s 2018 update of its regional transportation plan.
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