Transportation as Plumbing, Considering the RTP Update

At Wednesday’s MPAC meeting, Metro Councilor Rod Park gave a briefing to MPAC on the update to the Regional Transportation Plan that is now being launched. For the first time, the region’s land use and transportation plans are being updated at the same time, a unique opportunity to really examine our regions priorities.

A few of Councilor Park’s main points:

Population will grow by 1 million people in the next 20 years

The buying power of available transportation funding is expected to decline by about 40% during the time period, based on current trends.

The need for transportation funding is expected to grow by 40% during that period.

Currently the plan would project that we have about $4 billion to spend on transportation during the next twenty years. The fiscally “unconstrained” plan calls for about $10 billion in projects.

Rod suggested that we may need to reframe how we think about how we do this (I’m paraphrasing slightly): if the transportation system is the region’s plumbing, do we build a house around the plumbing we can afford, or do we plumb the house that we want to build?

Another fundamental question is whether we spend the transportation dollars that are available on the 80% of the people who are here now or on the 20% who are coming.

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