T2020: Programs Supporting Safety, Access & Affordability Move Forward

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

In the greater Portland region, Metro is in the middle of a process to shape a regional transportation funding measure that could go before voters in November 2020. Called 'T2020', the process includes an appointed Task Force to advise the Metro Council in the development of the measure - Task Force meetings have been held since February 2019, and they are tasked with making recommendations on corridors (roadways) to invest in, projects on those corridors, regionwide programs, and financing mechanisms for the measure. Metro Council is the ultimate decisionmaker on what is included in the measure and whether it will be referred to the ballot in November 2020.  

Over the summer, the Task Force considered regionwide programs for inclusion in the measure, and we are delighted to report that among the programs recommended for inclusion were Safe Routes to School, Active Transportation Regional Investments, Safety Hot Spots, Better Bus (Enhanced Transit), and Transit Fare Affordability.

Today, Metro Council supported moving forward with a three-part overarching theme of safety, equity, and climate action for the programs that advance into a potential measure. Taken together, the following programs will be further developed and considered again in the spring of 2020 by Metro Council: 

  • Safe Routes to School (programs and infrastructure)
  • Safety Hot Spots
  • Active Transportation Regional Connections
  • Better Bus
  • Transit Vehicle Electrification
  • Fare Affordability for Students
  • Protecting and Preserving Multifamily Housing
  • Main Streets Revitalization
  • Corridor Planning
MC Programs
 
We are pleased to see safety, equity, and climate rise to the top when selecting these programs. As founding members of the Getting There Together Coalition, we support many of these programs and oppose none; however, we have raised concerns about the need to listen to community voices calling for a significant investment in transit service, to make it faster, frequent, and affordable as an option. Countless community members and organizations have spoken up in the T2020 process and called for investment in transit and safe access to transit as a prerequisite to investing in transit vehicle electrification; we agree with this prioiritzation. While we strongly support vehicle electrification and the climate benefits that will come from moving away from diesel, there is greater climate benefit in the near term by providing more frequent and reliable transit to shift people out of private vehicles. We support a prioritization of safety and access programs over electrification -- investment in electrification is a large cost for a still-unreliable technology; more importantly, cleaner buses will not benefit communities that don't already have fast and frequent transit routes to take them where they need to go. 
 
We will continue to watch this process closely and advocate for the needs of the community to be prioritized in this measure. Want to hear about T2020 more often? Sign up for email updates from the Getting There Together Coalition, or join our action team to get more involved. 
 
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Safe Routes Partnership is a proud founding member of the Getting There Together Coalition. Making our streets safe and accessible for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds​ is core to our work to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, to improve the health and wellbeing of kids of all races, income levels, and abilities, and to foster the creation of healthy communities for everyone. We advocate for a just regional transportation measure for the greater Portland region that meets our safety, equity, and climate goals by investing in transportation projects our communities want and need: safer, connected, ADA, walking, and bicycling access, and an affordable, frequent, and reliable transit system that takes us where we need to go. 

Read our T2020 testimony in May 2019 

Read Getting There Together's welcome letter to the new Metro Council in January 2019 

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