Metro’s $3.1 billion T2020 project list would tame deadly arterials, fully build Central City bikeway plan
By spring of next year Metro Council is expected to decide whether or not they should send a major transportation investment measure to the ballot. Dubbed T2020, efforts to shape where and how new revenues would be spent are heating up.
This week Metro is hosting community forums in all three counties. Washington and Clackamas county have already had theirs and the Multnomah County event will happen tomorrow (Thursday, 10/24). Also this week a new poll has come out (first reported by Willamette Week) that sheds light on how some people think the money should be invested.
It’s that time again when our regional elected government needs help deciding which transportation projects to fund with a pot of federal dollars known as regional flexible funds. This opportunity only comes around once every three years, so it’s a golden opportunity to nab some cash for important projects.
20 new wayfinding signs are coming to South Waterfront. This week the Portland City Council accepted a $13,460 grant from Metro that was awarded through their Regional Transportation Options program in 2016.
“Simple bike wayfinding signs displaying distance and time to key destinations will help current and would-be riders to understand bicycle accessibility to and from the South Waterfront,” reads a project description. “The signs will be strategically placed at intersections throughout the district , with the southernmost signs encouraging riders to venture to Willamette Park along the rail trail, and the northernmost sign displaying information to ride to Downtown and the Pearl District. Additional signs will direct travelers to the Hooley Bridge, Lair Hill access, and the Tilikum Crossing and access to the Central Eastside.”
Check out a map of where the signs will go below the jump…[Read more…]
We’re now three months since the official launch of Metro’s effort to raise funds for transportation infrastructure via a bond measure that could go to voters in 2020.
This is likely to be the most consequential transportation funding decision in our region’s history. With activism heating up and outlines of the measure being drawn, it’s time to put T2020 on your radar.[Read more…]
A powerful new data collection tool has local transportation agencies salivating.
Replica by Sidewalk Labs (owned by Alphabet, the company that owns Google) bills itself as a “next-generation urban planning tool.” Using location data gleaned from cell phones and other sources, Replica creates a “synthetic population” based on aggregate U.S. Census data. The promise of this tool is that it can give planners and engineers unprecedented insights into the traffic patterns and mobility behaviors of urban residents.
From regional trends to fine-grain analysis of travel to-and-from specific destinations, this data has vast potential. But it also requires trust from a wary public fearful of privacy breaches and government/corporate overreach.
At this morning’s Portland City Council meeting, the Portland Bureau of Transportation urged Mayor Ted Wheeler and his colleagues to approve an intergovernmental agreement (PDF) between PBOT, Metro and TriMet that would enable the agencies to enter into a 12-month pilot with Sidewalk Labs. Here’s more from the official city ordinance under consideration:[Read more…]
The best printed bike map in the Portland region will soon be a collector’s item.
Metro announced yesterday that they will no longer sell the printed version of the vaunted Bike There! map.
The map was first published in 1983 and has gone through nine major updates. The ninth (and last) edition came out in May 2015.
In an email to shops that stocked the map, Metro’s Marne Duke said the decision was made because of, “A combination of the decline in demand of printed maps and the increase in free map offerings from local cities and counties around the region.”
The news was met with disappointment by many of our friends on Twitter:
“Bummer. Finding this map at the grocery store was what got me to start biking in Portland.” — Nick Falbo.
“No! I am definitely of the era that loves a paper map.” — Mike Mason
“I don’t use apps or Google Maps or whatever. I like good old printed maps.” — Susan R
“While this plan isn’t the best we can do, it reflects the best we can do right now.”
— from Metro’s RTP Formal Comment Period Briefing Book
When it comes to major infrastructure projects, if it’s not in Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), it’s not going to be built. And as our region faces growing population pressure, a mobility revolution, and the impacts of climate change, it’s imperative that the projects listed in this plan reflect our highest values and priorities.
For the past three years Metro and their partners have been working to update the RTP and we’re now just five months away from formal adoption. But before that happens, councilors and policymakers need to hear what you think. An official public comment period is now open and runs through August 13th.
Written by Metro Parks and Nature Department Senior Planner Robert Spurlock. Robert is also a member of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council. This post first appeared on Metro’s Outside Voice blog.
A thriving metropolis at the confluence of two major rivers.
A world class bike path in the heart of the city, built over the water to bypass a tangled mess of highways and train tracks that had historically cut off the city from its river.