Support and comment on Metro’s Regional Active Transportation Plan

Metro regional government, representing Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties and the 25 cities in the Portland region, is currently asking for comments on the Regional Active Transportation Plan (ATP).  This plan creates the vision for regional pedestrian and bicycle networks that will improve public health, create more livable and age-friendly communities, increase energy independence and access to public transit, and create walkable and bikeable neighborhoods that are connected and safe for users of all ages and abilities.

If you are interested in commenting, send your comments to rtp@oregonmetro.gov. The public comment period ends May 5, 2014.

Metro Council is scheduled to take action on the ATP resolution this summer.

While we are supportive of the ATP, we are concerned about the commitment of the region to fund and build the Active Transportation system that we need: at the current rate of funding, it will take 150 years to complete regional walking and bicycling networks. Read our comment letter and voice your support for the ATP by submitting comments to Metro by 5/5/14.

ATPletter

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

  • The ATP does not change local transportation plans, but rather it makes a clear statement about the region’s priorities, knits together existing plans from cities and counties, and offers a clear path for support of projects eligible for funding around the region.
  • Having a plan for active transportation networks and investment is a vital component of regional multi-modal transportation planning, and key elements of the ATP will be incorporated into Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The RTP is the blueprint that guides investments in the region’s transportation system to reduce congestion, build new sidewalks and bicycle facilities, improve transit service and access to transit and maintain freight access — and the ATP offers clear guidance to help make all of this possible.
  • While the ATP addresses the need to complete gaps and improve safety in the active transportation networks, it does not go far enough to ensure implementation of the projects that will bring the active transportation networks – and their many economic, health, and environmental benefits for the region.
  • At the current rate of funding, it will take 150 years to complete regional walking and bicycling networks. If that rate were tripled, most adults would still not have the opportunity to benefit from a comprehensive and complete active transportation network in their lifetime.
  • The safety of the region’s active transportation system is relative to its comprehensiveness and completeness — among other things such as vehicle speed; this is especially important for bicyclists and pedestrians, where the impacts of crashes are generally greater than for other users of the system. Although traffic fatalities are decreasing over time, tragically they still result in around 100 fatalities each year in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metropolitan statistical area (MSA), and in 2013, traffic crashes killed 35 people in the city of Portland alone. The total cost of traffic fatalities and injuries for the MSA is upwards of $2 billion per year (analysis by Greater Portland Pulse).

Comment on Metro’s ATP by sending your comments to rtp@oregonmetro.gov. Start with the points above and add your personal reason why the ATP is important vision for the region. The public comment period ends May 5, 2014.

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