What’s most important to you when it comes to bikes and transit?

TriMet’s gearing up to create their first-ever Bike Plan, and they want your input. The Bike Plan will be their roadmap for improving bike access to transit stops, expanding parking options, and accommodating bikes onboard buses and trains.

Join them for an open house in October:

Monday, October 5, 5-6:30 p.m.
Community Cycling Center
1700 NE Alberta St.
Portland
Plan your trip at TriMet.org

Tuesday, October 6, 5-6:30 p.m.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center
2250 SE Water Ave.
Portland
Plan your trip at TriMet.org

Wednesday, October 7, 5-6:30 p.m.
The Oregon Clinic, 1st Floor
1111 NE 99th Ave
Portland
Plan your trip at TriMet.org

Thursday, October 8, 5-6:30 p.m.
Orenco Bike & Ride
(west side of NW 231st at MAX tracks)
Hillsboro
Plan your trip at TriMet.org

Light refreshments will be served.

Support expansion of Safe Routes to School in Portland budget: Public Hearing 5/20

City of Portland will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, May 20th at 6:00pm at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave., to consider items for the 2015-16 Budget. The City of Portland is considering the Mayor’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY15-16), including $41 million in additional revenue one-time considerations. Numerous requests in the budget will support Safe Routes to School expansion as well as pedestrian safety improvements and access to transit for all Portlanders. Your support of these important budget items in the City of Portland’s budget needs to be heard. Please write the Mayor and City Council about the budget (sample email below), and plan to attend the Public Hearing on 5/20 if you’re able. kids crossing street Funding requests in the FY15-16 budget will support pedestrian safety and access to transit, including:

  • Expansion of the City’s nationally-acclaimed Safe Routes to School program, into middle and high schools and better serving the needs of lower-income schools;
  • Safety improvements on 122nd Ave in East Portland, and other known high crash corridors;
  • Funding for Youth Bus Pass for Portland Public High School students;
  • Improvements for completion of bicycle and pedestrian networks and neighborhood greenways; and
  • Support of Vision Zero outreach and education work in Portland.

Continue reading

How We Get There Matters

HWGTM_Q1_participants

A huge thank you to the more than 70 attendees participated in the Intertwine’s Active Transportation Forum on January 27 at PSU’s Native American Cultural Center, where many great conversations were had. Folks from planning, advocacy organizations, health, environment, trails, finance, and more came together to help solidify the answer to the question, If active transportation projects are of regional significance, how can we better define them to succeed?

An ever-increasing body of research confirms the direct connection between transportation options and job growth, economic vitality, and human and environmental health. Frequently, however, transportation funding conversations dismiss walking and bicycling as local concerns that have little regional impact, meaning we do not make headway when it comes to building projects.

HWGTM_Q1_panel

We heard from a panel of eight great presenters who each “made the case” from a unique perspective, of how we can and should re-think walking, bicycling, and transit trips:

  • Jenny Cadigan, Executive Director, WTA – Reducing drive alone commute trips
  • Lynn Weigand, Project Coordinator, East Multnomah County Bicycle Tourism Initiative, Gresham Chamber of Commerce – Projects that add up to Bicycle Tourism
  • Eric Hesse, Strategic Planning Coordinator, TriMet – Access to transit: the last mile of a regional trip
  • Shelley Oylear, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, Washington County – Suburban greenways retrofitting the suburbs: regional impact of a network
  • Jessica Horning – Transit and Active Transportation Liaison, ODOT Region 1 – 82nd Ave/Jade District corridor: When a main street is regional
  • Jenna Stanke Marmon, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager, Jackson County Roads & ParksConnect Oregon and the statewide economic benefits of active transportation projects
  • Amanda Garcia-Snell, Health Promotion Supervisor, Washington County – Reducing health care costs, increasing safety
  • Mary Kyle McCurdy, Policy Director and Staff Attorney, 1,000 Friends Oregon – Why active transportation was included in a state transportation funding proposal

Special thanks to Craig Beebe from Metro for serving as “documentarian” and to Luann Algoso from APANO for filming the forum.

What’s next?

“I’ve already been using some of the concepts we talked about in various conversations.”

Over the next few months, the comments and ideas gathered during the January 2015 How We Get There Matters Forum will be analyzed and refined into a report back that will be made public here.

“Multiple threads from the day’s discussion continued on outside the room and on down the street.”

We know there is a great need to continue these conversations, and to add to them, which was confirmed by the energy in the room as well as the difficulty keeping the conversation to one topic at a time. We are already at work planning the next forum, and welcome your input. Please email Kari if you are interested in getting involved.

“We should be done asking this question. We need to be more productive.”

One participant’s statement hung in the air that really got at the heart of why The IntertwineMetro, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and Portland State University’s Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation brought this forum together. We very much look forward to keeping this conversation going, and being more productive. Thank you for attending, and we look forward to continuing this work with you.

Dropbox link to the presentation here (large pdf).

How did we get here?

For a bit of recent history, we look back. In September 2013, a Regional Walkability Summit was held in Beaverton. The Walkability Summit convened local experts, decision makers and other stakeholders from communities around the state – including many who attended this first How We Get There Matters forum. That group came together to discuss how we could make real change to increase active daily lifestyles and physical activity and improve walkability through environmental change strategies, especially in underserved communities.

Since then, we have seen a renewed interest and commitment to improving walkability. A few examples of what has happened in the past year:

  • The City of Tigard has declared its desire to become the “most walkable community in the Northwest”;
  • The City of Milwaukie has taken steps toward improving its walkable and bikeable connections by focusing on two things: the improvements coming to town via the new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail line; and filling in gaps in the walking and bicycling network in the area directly around Milwaukie schools;
  • Metro regional government passed first-of-their-kind Regional Active Transportation Plan and tailpipe-emission-reducing Climate Smart Strategies;
  • Bicycle and pedestrian projects were eligible for the first time ever for state “ConnectOregon” funding, which totaled more than $42 million in 2014; and
  • The Intertwine Alliance held a summit in Spring 2014 with a focus that included Active Transportation.

While we have, individually and collectively, done a remarkable number of things to improve walkability, bikeability, and active transportation access – the fact remains that, here in the Metro region, we have much more to do:

  • The 2010 mode share for walking and bicycling trips was 12%;
  • Our regional goal is to triple the mode share for walking and bicycling to 36% by 2040;
  • Currently, approximately $10 million is spent annually on stand-alone pedestrian, bicycle, and trail projects, which represents just 3% of the $433 million federal and state capital funds spent annually on transportation in the region; and
  • Only 55% of all roadways in the regional pedestrian network have sidewalks on both sides of the road.

Metro-area leaders: prioritize active transportation & transit — for our children, our health, our climate

The Oregon Legislature requires the Portland metropolitan region to reduce per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and small trucks by 2035, and the deadline for coming up with the plan is December 31, 2014 — less than two months away. Some local decision-makers are now bickering over the details of the plan and threatening its future, despite the fact that Metro, Portland’s regional government covering the tri-county area of urbanized Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties, has been working with regional partners on the strategy for how to get there for the past four years.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Pacific Northwest region, has been engaged with Metro and regional leaders on the importance of Climate Smart planning — the proposed plan is a solidly researched strategy that includes realistic tools to move the region forward toward a Climate Smart future. We support the work that Metro has done and the strategy as proposed; it crosses over from state mandated and future quality of life GHG reductions to include positive impacts on transportation, land use, equity, health, economy, and the environment. How the Metro region chooses to plan for and implement strategies addressing GHG reduction will profoundly shape our region for decades, truly for centuries — and if we do it right, will have immense positive beneficial impacts on the everyday lives of children, residents, and businesses.

(c) Jonathan Maus, BikePortland

As many will realize, a Climate Smart Strategy, by its nature, must be prescriptive to a certain degree in order to reach its goal. The flexibility allowed within the proposed plan is both useful and essential in our diverse region, but to ensure we reach our goals, these strategies also require strong leadership and thinking that will lead the way for our region to become Climate Smart.

Unfortunately, some regional leaders are attempting to derail the plan and the many benefits it would provide to our region for health, air quality, climate, and quality of life for people of all ages and abilities. Perhaps most unsettling have been some remarks that indicate a desire to continue business as usual through what amounts to highway expansion — a strategy that has been neither proposed nor proven to reduce GHG emissions. Continue reading

Metro seeks input on Climate Smart Strategy

UPDATE 10/28/2014: To read the full comments submitted by Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Pacific Northwest Region, click here.

Have you heard about Metro’s Climate Smart Strategy? What is Climate Smart?

Metro has been crunching the numbers and they’ve found something interesting: if we build the kinds of places where you and your family can walk, bike, take transit and avoid traffic, we can also dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions. Another thing: if we build a transportation system where freight trucks, kids walking or biking to school, commuters and transit can move efficiently and people have more choices for getting around, we can also dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Metro wants to know your priorities for a Climate Smart region. How can we make a clean, healthy transportation system that gets kids to school, commuters to work and everyone home safely? Can we help freight and transit get where they need to go without getting stuck in so much traffic? Can we build a strong economy and improve equity across the region? And can we meet state-mandated targets for lower greenhouse gas emissions at the same time?

Your voice is important

How we get there matters, and it’s going to take fully investing in our communities’ adopted plans, and our regional government needs to know what is important to you. Metro is taking public input on the Draft Climate Smart Scenarios between September 15 – October 30.
Tell them what you think: makeagreatplace.org.

The Climate Smart Communities Scenarios Project draft Climate Smart Strategy is available for public review and comment from Sept. 15 to Oct. 30, 2014.

Continue reading

Provide input on new transit for Powell Blvd & Division St

In a series of open houses, the Metro team and Powell-Division project partners invite residents, transit riders, employers and others to share preferences for the new transit route and vehicle type. These opportunities to provide input, scheduled for late July and early August, will have information boards about the different transit alternatives, and project staff will be available to answer questions and discuss route options and vehicle types.

Draw on maps, use stickies to highlight important areas, vote with dots, and talk with staff about what matters to you for transit in the Powell-Division area.

Open House schedule:

Tuesday, July 22 from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement, 2536 SE 122nd Ave., Portland

Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gresham Library, 385 NW Miller Ave., Gresham

The following open house dates include brief presentations at the beginning:

Wednesday, July 30 from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave., Portland

Monday, Aug. 4 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Oregon Buddhist Temple, 3720 SE 34th Ave., Portland

Drop in any time at the following open houses:

Tuesday, July 22 from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement, 2536 SE 122nd Ave., Portland

Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gresham Library, 385 NW Miller Ave., Gresham

The following open house dates include brief presentations at the beginning:

Wednesday, July 30 from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave., Portland

Monday, Aug. 4 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Oregon Buddhist Temple, 3720 SE 34th Ave., Portland

Metro posts comments on Active & Regional Transportation Plans

More than 250 people suggested changes to the region’s transportation plan in a recent comment period, with feedback offered on everything from specific sidewalks to broad issues of transportation funding and management.

More than two-thirds of the comments were in support of alternative transportation, everything from an increase in light rail to support for pedestrian bridges and trails.

An excerpt:

“We already have a system that serves private vehicle drivers very well,” said Kari Schlosshauer from Portland, in a comment on the plan. “And yes it needs maintenance, but our active transportation system comes nowhere near to being well-connected and complete for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users.”

Read more here.