Draft Active Transportation Plan released: comment online

metro

Metro released the draft Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the greater Portland metropolitan region in March 2014. The ATP is a visionary, integrated, long-range active transportation plan that will support our growing economy, provide more and better integrated transportation choices, create regional networks for safe and active travel for people of all ages, and reduce transportation-related pollution in Metro region. Since 2012, a regional and diverse work group of staff from jurisdictions and agencies, advocates and other stakeholders, including the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, has provided input and refinement to the ATP. The ATP will update and strengthen pedestrian and bicycle policies in the 2014 update of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and help support local jurisdictions to complete the walking and biking projects identified by their communities. Read more background here and here.

We encourage you to take a look at this plan and provide input by May 5, 2014, to rtp@oregonmetro.gov.  It is exciting to see Metro develop this comprehensive active transportation plan, the first of its kind in the nation. The vision, policies, and regional networks contained within the ATP paint a positive future for active transportation in the region — provided the region funds and builds it.

JPACT, the committee that makes recommendations to the Metro Council on transportation needs in this region, and Metro Council are scheduled to adopt the ATP in July 2014.

Join Metro to discuss the ATP at Community Discussion Forums in April — all forums run from 5:30-7:30pm.

  • April 3, Madison High School library 2735 NE 82nd Ave, Portland
  • April 9, Oak Lodge Sanitary District Building 14611 SE River Road, Milwaukie
  • April 17, Beaverton Library, Cathy Stanton Conference Room 12375 SW 5th St, Beaverton

Consider the following key points that are critical to the future of any successful comprehensive transportation plan for our region:

Key points we encourage Metro and JPACT members to keep in mind as they consider this plan for adoption:

  • Today, more than 18% of all trips in the tri-county region are made by walking and bicycling, including 19% of commute trips and 15% of trips to school made actively, per 2011 Oregon Household Activity Survey. (The ATP calls for a tripling of current active mode targets identified to be reached by 2035, to 36% of trips being made actively.)
  • Can children safely walk or bike to school? Does our transportation system ensure they have the opportunity to incorporate activity into their daily route to school?
  • Do our transportation choices improve the quality of life (health, air quality, safety, community) for all of our kids and families, and are we creating safe, active and healthy communities – urban and suburban?
  • Do those who can’t afford not to choose to ride transit, or persons with limited abilities, have reasonable and reliable connections, sidewalks, and transportation networks in order to access transit stops?
  • Is our population able to age in place, with safe access to reliable transportation and the ability to stay active by getting around actively?

Perhaps most important of all to consider — especially if we are to reach the active transportation mode share targets, safety targets, and greenhouse gas reduction targets for our region, which is something that can be done with a vastly increased investment and emphasis on building and completing the regional active transportation networks — is this: Will Metro follow up on adoption of this Active Transportation Plan by actively pursuing funding opportunities, prioritizing active transportation projects in regional funding decisions, and helping support jurisdictions around the region to do the same for their own active transportation projects?

We strongly encourage you to review the ATP and provide input on this important work through online comment or by attending a forum in April. The public comment period ends on 5/5/14.

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