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Rally at Metro for better land use and transit policy
January 17 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
2017 was a mixed bag of a year as far as Metro goes. Metro passed it’s $653 million affordable housing bond which is great, but it also needlessly expanded the Urban Growth Boundary (again), and it’s 2018 Regional Transportation Plan has more money being directed towards freeway projects than light rail.
Metro has massive potential to guide the region in a more sustainable direction, but it’s leadership has consistently failed to step up to the challenge. They have been content with a status quo of ever expanding sprawl and car-centric development. This may change though, because Metro has a new council president and two new council members. While these new leaders aren’t particularly radical, I believe that with enough pushing from us, they’ll be willing to step up to the challenge.
So, at Metro’s January 17th meeting let’s demand better of Metro. We should show up to testiy, and speak broadly of the need for bold action with relation to land use and transportation, as well as talk about specific policies that they should pursue. Below are some examples that Metro can pursue. Some would require approval from the state legislature, some they could do unilaterally, but they are all feasible if only Metro were bold enough to pursue them.
1. Mandatory upzones around frequent transit
a. or alternatively, Metro can ask the state legislature for total
zoning control within a certain radius of MAX & BRT stations.
This is similar to what the power that Miami-Dade county in
2. Abolishing parking minimums region wide
3. Remove the Damascus area from the UGB, and set aside as rural reserve
4. Re-designate all urban reserve land as rural reserve. (this would effectively halt all further expansions of the UGB)
5. Require Municipalities to allow dense transit oriented development in all Metro defined “Regional Centers.” (Referring to this Metro Plan https://www.oregonmetro.gov/sites/default/files/2016/10/18/2040GrowthConcept.pdf)
6. All future MAX system expansions should be mostly grade separated and be designed to make a future retrofit to accommodate 4 car trains easy and non-disruptive.
7. Make it Metro policy to oppose all freeway widening and expansion projects.
Metro’s meeting is on the 17th at 2:00 PM at the Metro Regional Center in the Loyd district. Sign up to testify at the door when you get there, you’ll be given 3 minutes to talk to the council.