August 10, 2005
We're making a few editorial changes on the site.
First, we've changed the tagline to "A conversation about access and mobility in the Portland/Vancouver region". The change is intended to recognize that access is just as important as mobility (as discussed in a number of threads) and to include our friends across the river, since the intent is for this to be a regional site.
Second, we'll be changing our publication schedule a bit. In watching visitor patterns for the first month, we've noticed that there's not a lot of activity on the weekends. So, at least for the doldrums of August, we'll focus on publishing new content on weekdays, moving the 'My Commute' feature to Fridays. Of course, if there's breaking news, we'll bring it to you whenever it happens. We'll reevaluate this policy in the fall.
August 11, 2005 12:28 PM
Shelley O Says:
I am glad to see that you have extended the conversation to include the Portland/Vancouver area. It is important that we address what I call the Outside Metro Factor.
I would like to start discussing the impact on Portland and Metro roadways of jurisdictions outside of the purview of Metro. A 2002 commuter survey conducted for the Columbia River Economic Development Council (of SW Washington) found that 25% of Clark County residents work in Oregon. With the population of Clark County nearing 400,000, you can see how this translates into commuter trips to/through our cities. Clark County is not the only area contributing a significant amount of commuters there are Scappoose, St. Helens, Woodburn, etc. In general the governments and constituents don’t share our land use/transportation goals and values. This has been evident in the lack of support for transit (such as a recently failed C-Tran measure and disappearance of HOV lanes) and land use controls. The case of Clark County it is even more disconcerting in the fact that County Commissioners are aiming to add more land, primarily residential, to their land use plan, i.e. sprawl. Some smaller jurisdictions lack the resources (financial or staff) for transportation planning resulting in traditional transportation choices that end up supporting/promoting SOV. As a result they contribute to congestion, air and noise pollution, freight delays in my Metro neighborhood. These commuters often return home to communities without congestion, air and noise pollution, and freight traffic.
So what are we doing to address this? I have heard before the vague statement that “we are in dialogue with these jurisdictions”. How or can we influence other jurisdictions to make concrete steps to address their transportation impacts? Is creating more capacity or addressing congestion in Portland-metro area, in as much as it helps us, supports sprawl outside of the Metro area? I find myself taking more of a protectionist stand. Since we don’t share land use and transportation goals and values with these other jurisdictions, we need to protect ours. This “protection” might take the form of congestion/commuter pricing. I am still formulating my ideas but wonder if others have pondered or researched this situation. Has there been anything concrete that has come out of these “dialogues” to reduce commuter impacts?
August 11, 2005 7:47 PM
Chris Smith Says:
It seems like one message to use with the outlying cities (at least south of the Columbia) is that if we don't make the transportation system work, the metro region is at risk of sprawling out to absorb them!
Perhaps one of our Metro Councilors would like to respond about dialog with neighboring UGB-keepers?