A data project billed as the “next generation urban planning tool” that involved over two years of negotiations between Metro, TriMet, the City of Portland, and Google-owner Alphabet has crashed-and-burned.
On Saturday, Red Tail Media reported that a contract between Metro and Sidewalk Labs to develop the Replica tool for regional use been officially terminated. “A city tech project in Portland with the Sidewalk Labs spin-off leads to accusations, data disputes and ‘damaged trust'” reads the headline, which was then picked up by the BBC on Tuesday. [Read more…]
Active Transportation Return on Investment map.[Read more…]
In what’s being hailed as an unprecedented moment for regional transportation reform, Metro Council voted unanimously on Thursday to adopt the Get Moving 2020 plan and send it to voters in November.
Centered around 17 “investment corridors,” the plan could pump nearly $8 billion into regional transportation infrastructure and programs over the next 20 years. If approved, the measure would start generating revenue in 2022 with a 0.75% payroll tax paid by employers of businesses with over 25 employees. (UPDATE: A last-minute amendment exempts all state and local government agencies.) Metro’s latest pitch has framed the proposal as a massive jobs package that will put over 37,500 people to work with high-paying construction and consulting jobs.
Metro spent over 18 months negotiating the details of this package. While it’s not perfect and has received very mixed reviews from transportation reform activists, the overall feeling seems to be that the myriad benefits of the “good” projects and programs far outweigh the few “bad” projects that made the cut.