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Urge Metro to Prioritize the Environment in the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan

Metro is seeking comments through August 13 on its draft of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which will guide investment in the region’s transportation through the year 2040. We need your help to ensure that these funds are invested wisely.

Few things have a greater impact on the health of our environment and our communities than our transportation system. Metro is seeking comments through August 13, 2018 on its draft of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which will guide investment in the region’s transportation through the year 2040. A lot is at stake—the plan is responsible for more than $15.4 billion in capital investments over the next 22 years. 

We need your help to ensure that these funds are invested wisely. Please take a minute to send the Metro Council a letter urging them to do better for the environment in the Regional Transportation Plan. You can use our form letter or customize to express your concern. Please send comments by August 13. Click here to view our full set of extensive comments.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS TO METRO

The draft has many positive aspects, including a much stronger focus on equity and climate change than prior plans. However, there are significant deficiencies and problems with the plan, which include the following:

  • Inclusion of more than $13 million in transportation infrastructure on West Hayden Island Natural Area to support the development of a new marine terminal which will destroy this amazing habitat. This has faced strong public opposition for more than two decades and the City of Portland has recognized it is not economically needed.
  • Inclusion of more than $375 million to expand I-5 near the Rose Quarter. This project is the ultimate boondoggle and runs contrary to Metro’s stated goal of promoting equity and addressing climate change. It will do nothing to improve congestion and it will cost more than a third of a billion dollars and perpetuate an era of mega-freeway projects at the expense of other projects to improve the health, safety and accessibility of our communities.
  • Failure to meaningfully integrate green infrastructure into the transportation grid. Our transportation system is one of the most significant sources of pollution and environmental degradation. The plan should include measurable goals, objectives and strategies to ensure that green infrastructure such as trees and bioswales are integrated into our street plans
  • Inadequate addressing of the potential impacts on natural areas. Metro estimates that transportation infrastructure in this plan could negatively impact up to 9% of the high value habitat areas in the region and up to 13% of the high value habitat in marginalized and underserved communities. Metro’s plan should include meaningful goals, strategies, and objectives to ensure that habitat impacts are avoided wherever possible and fully mitigated when avoidance is not possible.
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