Oregon Metro Public Comments on Transportation Funding Now Open
Oregon Metro has released a 10-minute survey for public comment into transportation funding, housing and equity in the Portland Metro region.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s Pacific Northwest regional policy manager and other regional partners have been working closely with Metro to ensure the region’s goals and focus are translated into funding for appropriate projects that will achieve those goals. We have attended numerous workshops discussing the Regional Flexible Funding policy-setting process — now it’s your turn to share your opinions on how federal funds for transportation projects in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties should be allocated later this year.
The survey also asks about trends and issues people think leaders should focus on as Metro begins a major update of the Regional Transportation Plan, and requests feedback on questions concerning accessibility and affordability for underrepresented communities. The chart above show that historically, walking and bicycling transportation investments are significantly lower and slower than investments for highways, bridges, freight, and transit; accessibility and affordability in housing is closely related to transportation options available.
This survey will close on Tuesday, February 16. Take the survey: http://bit.ly/tellmetro
Metro and leaders across the region will use survey responses to help set policies to guide future transportation projects across the region. As you consider the survey questions around transportation funding, it’s important to remember that:
- Metro’s Regional Flexible Funds are some of the most flexible funding available in Oregon — in that they are able to be used on a variety of projects, and are not tied to the highway system like most funds.
- Metro’s Regional Flexible Funds represent less than 3% of all transportation funding spent in the three-county area.
- At historic funding levels, RTP financially constrained active transportation system will be complete in approximately 200 years.
Loss of dedicated funding for walking and bicycling projects in Metro’s Regional Flexible Funds?
Unfortunately, a potential threat that would reduce or remove dedicated funding for sidewalks and bike lanes in the Portland Metro region has emerged. As our partners at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance have pointed out, in a recent meeting of Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) a large group of decision makers sent a signal about the future of transportation funding, and it does not look good. It is our opinion that more, not less, of the Metro region’s flexible funding should be allocated to walking, bicycling, and access to schools and transit.
We simply can’t wait 200 years for a walking and bicycling system that works for all.