Help Coalition for a Livable Future Shift the Balance!

It has been said that building highways to reduce congestion is equivalent to buying a larger belt to cure obesity. Yet, as illogical as this sounds, many of the Portland region’s transportation projects and plans are still being guided by this perspective. The Coalition for a Livable Future believes that it is time to transform our approach to transportation and create a plan that will serve our communities for the 21st century.

The Coalition’s plan, called Shift the Balance, aims to give people more transportation choices – healthier choices – and better access to the places they want and need to go. Using the plan, CLF will engage citizens in shaping Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Update now underway, helping guide how the region invests at least $4.2 billion over the next 20 years.

Visit to read about Shift the Balance and get involved. Then, take our online survey. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and we’ll be sharing the results with Metro to inform the Regional Transportation Plan update.

Spread the word about Shift the Balance! Forward this message to your networks.

12 responses to “Help Coalition for a Livable Future Shift the Balance!”

  1. Jill,

    You are a slick propagandist. If the coalition that creates policy when the “liberal” element of our society is in control had a sense of fairness your ideas would be more palatable. A case in point: Labor unions are an essential part of that coalition, and benefit greatly from unbalanced public spending to implement ‘fair policies.’ Yet the union members I know, in the construction trades, are among the worst offenders in contributing to: traffic noise (with their latest fad, big diesel pickups), to pollution (with their poorly maintained vehicles), to congestion (with their insistence to drive everywhere). Moreover they expect to always have the “right” to pay for these privileges,and other excesses, even if it means violating tax laws and hording available employment.

    The ultimate vision of this cabal perhaps is like San Francisco (whome we always seem to closely imitate). I.e. a well paid professional class who have the discretion and politcal clout to develop publicly subsidized systems, and only tolerate “lower” classes (such as trades people) when they can form a valuable political alliance.
    Nevermind that this professional class is among the most dependent, of any, upon corporations and unfair corporate behavior. Sure, you can bike-commute to your downtown office job–or pay 25 cents for a three dollar Streetcar ride. The fact that nearly all of these careers are tied to the downtown business sector is evidence that they are just appendages of the American business culture. And if that culture depends upon promoting destructive trends and policies, elsewhere, then you, my friend, are stuck with a major conflict of interest.

    In a nutshell, this group, wants to get the benfits of urban living, push for policies that benefit themselves–and shift the burden elswhere.

    There are many alternative being proposed on this discussion board. The jury is till out on how we can best meet those needs–and keep the costs down. It may very well be that we can create a functional, well used mass transit system for far less cost than our “planners’ have been envisioning.

    I remember that a few months ago, in a discussion of the West Arterial plan, which would facilitate all modes, you tarred it with the West Bypass Freeway. Not the same.

  2. Ron –

    Yet the union members I know, in the construction trades

    Its hard to believe you don’t know any school teachers or other public employees. That you have never been to a supermarket with union clerks. You are describing the cliche people learn about union members from watching too much television. The fact is the building trades make up a very small percentage of union workers and an even smaller percentage of blue collar workers.

    The fact is that you don’t speak for the bulk of those workers at all. Many of them are transit dependent. Others are being forced to pay more for their transportation than their housing. Or they are being forced out of the communities they live in because of high housing prices.

    The world has passed a whole bunch of people by. They are still living in the 20th century where people argued about jobs versus the environmen. But manufacturing jobs are disappearing and the survival of blue collar jobs depends on the creation of new high tech versions that take advantage of Portland’s creative class. Portland has been thriving by recognizing that reality.

    that culture depends upon promoting destructive trends and policies, elsewhere, then you, my friend, are stuck with a major conflict of interest.

    The fact is that the Coalition for A Livable Future has been a leader on affordable housing, environmental protection, and equitable development, as well as transportation. There are clearly conflicts and tradeoffs between all the things we want for the places we live and work. CLF is one of the few organizations that has honestly acknowledged those conflicts and brought advocates of competing viewpoints together to create common solutions. That “we can have it all” may be unrealistic, but it is not a bad as goal for the future of the region.

    I remember that a few months ago, in a discussion of the West Arterial plan, which would facilitate all modes, you tarred it with the West Bypass Freeway. Not the same.

    They may not be the same in your mind, but there have been plenty of people here and elsewhere that have promoted the “Western Arterial” as a grade separated freeway that would ultimately be the northern segment of a Western Bypass. It would “facilitate all modes” the same way I-205 does. Freeway, bike path, light rail and lots of opportunities for sprawling new development.

    Its nice that some of the boosters of a new freeway don’t buy that larger vision. But once the freight traffic is off the St. John’s bridge, I doubt many of them are going to stay involved to prevent the boosters of the “Western Bypass” from achieving their ambitions of busting out the UGB in Washington County with a new freeway from Wilsonville to Vancouver.

    [personally directed portion of comment removed]

  3. It’s amazing how many jobs have been lost because of Union behavior. I’m amazed as I sit on Amtrak and a large percentage of the employees know EXACTLY why Amtrak has bled red since its inception, EXCESSIVELY high Union Costs and illogical staffing behavior in addition to Union (and FRA) restriction to utilize new technology.

    …Other examples include; GM, Ford, massive parts of our previous industries we dominated. The world market isn’t going away, with that in mind all Unions still do are just prevent people willing to compete for jobs to do exactly that.

    …Even the buildings here in Portland, to meet the “density mandate” many of the builders have gone scab just to meet the price marks.

    If you want affordable living, and Unions, there is an immediate and direct conflict of interest there. Along with that, if you want environmentally clean industry, you also need to prevent the Government from running the industries, but just to oversee and regulate when a company steps out of line with “logical” and intelligent law to prevent the blatant destruction of nature (which doesn’t happen near as much as it did because the Unions have managed to price us out of most of those dirty blue collar type jobs that produce environmentally unfriendly waste).

    …It is even more amazing how a mob type structured organization can still exist even when many of their own members know these things and dread them (such as Amtrak employees).

  4. Ok, I went to take the survey. I got about half way through it (I think) and was so completely offended by the propoganda like nature of the questions with the leading points and unwritten suggestions underlying them I had to quit taking the test. It was seriously disgusting.

    Why don’t we just go right ahead and force a National Socialist Party of America into power? We could call them Izans. It’ll sound all foreign and smart and kewl and we could just seed all living and transit decisions to them.

    Seriously, I’m actually offended.

  5. I’m not sure how this got pulled off on unions. Yes, there are some unions that are members of CLF, but the membership is very diverse, including organizations like BTA, neighborhood associations, Sierra Club, even developers like Gerding Edlen.

    And, OK, I’ll admit the survey may be a little lopsided :-) Jill, you might want to think about that.

  6. Yeah, I’m all about some surveys… but right off after about the 10th question I knew one thing, my opinions, knowledge, and experience where not going to be reflected properly in the information that was derived.

    …and I’m not sure how the Unions came into it either really… once slight comment and I was off running. Kinda like Emminent Domain… certain topics just trigger quick responses.

  7. Yes, there are some unions that are members of CLF,

    Which ones?

    , OK, I’ll admit the survey may be a little lopsided :-

    What would you expect from a “slick propgandist” and American Nazi?

  8. Frankly, I thought the survey represented a real range of questions that progressive organizations have been struggling with in terms of Region 2040, transportation and regional growth. I don’t think anyone who had followed the discussions over regional growth in the past few years would find them surprising. Most people want to see less dependence on the automobile, the question is how. They want to see affordable housing preserved, the question is how. They want to pay for new transportation infrastructure, the question is how.

    Its too bad that people who are sincerely struggling to come to realistic solutions to those problems get labeled Nazi propagandists here.

  9. OK,

    I’m for most of the things that Jill is for. I simply wish that having a decent career (particularly if one is willing to endure physical danger and inclement weather) would not also be fraught with unending personal antagonisms, politcal agendas and bizarre social pressures. You would not believe the things I have gone through–it makes the precarious nature of Oregon’s economy, just about the worst in the nation–seem like small stuff.

    Labor unions are a big component of ‘progressive’
    politics and our Carpenters Union has benefited greatly from the mass transit agenda in this area, which I have usually supported and even donated time to. But I have never ever gotten any work off those projects. Likewise with the SOWA project. Even now with an utterly booming economy our labor leaders seem to feel obligated to welcome in loads of self-invited foreigners–even if American citizens go jobless. Moreover, people who aren’t even qualified for some jobs receive accomodation–in the name of justice. So it makes me wonder–as it applies to myself–where this progressibe agenda is going. I live with a daily uncertainty of where my daily bread is going to come from. Doesn’t an average of ten employers per year sound extreme?

    So…I’m letting off some steam.

    Are there contradictions in the progressive agenda? Well, Native Americans, with the support of progressives, rely on the gambling industry. The roadways near casinos are regarded as among the most dangerous anywhere. Plus casinos engender other problems. Or, if the union movement benefits so much from taxation shouldn’t they uphold the rights of Americans first–who are among the most charitable “international citizens” you’ll find.

    If I really had a “life” I wouldn’t be blogging on a Saturday night….

  10. Ok, unions aside. Since that really isn’t the topic of this thread (I still don’t even know why I rambled on about it – it was just one note)

    I’m not even against the goals of the organization (Coalitiion for a Liveable Future). The problem lies in how the coalition wants to implement those goals. Generally it is through Government manipulation and in the end, Government use of force to change the way people live.

    I wanted to go and answer the questions of the survey accurately. I wanted to provide information on my opinion (since that IS what a survey is for). But the survey was literally (I understand how debate and statistics work – I’ve studied them enough) putting words in my mouth. With that in mind no one of a differing viewpoint on how the goals of the group are implemented (Government vs. individuals vs. organizational vs. Corporate vs. Trusts vs. Business, etc., etc.) can actually answer that survey without having words put into their answers, without the statistics being horribly manipulated to represent things that some, if not ALL of the survey takers actually meant or intended to want.

    An example would be asking a family if they’d like a house with 4 bedrooms. The family doesn’t have a house right now so of course they want one. Every family would want a decent place to live especially if it was an upgrade.

    But no one told the family that the house was going to be built with slave labor from Guatanomo Bay. I mean really – how is one supposed to answer that question, “Would you like a house with 4 bedrooms?” if they don’t know how the house will actually be given, built, and brought into existence for them?

    As for the note on Nazis. They where the “National Socialist Party of Germany”.

    They did take socialistic control of the German economy. When the Government wanted to control something they took it, just like what has happened to the transportation industry in America (from Roads to Rail to Planes it’s imbalanced by manipulation). The parallels are exact and cannot be avoided. I just used that because they where experts of propoganda, putting words into the very citizens mouths of Germany. Germany didn’t want what happened, they just wanted good lives.

    Sure it’s an extreme analogy, but it is an accurate one.

  11. Transportation is not like “one figure” battling with growth; it is not about belt tightening. Evolution and evolving, it is about how we grow, that we will grow, and growing wiser. A one-year-old child wearing a size one shoe. In some cultures they do bind the foot of the child, causing pain, bad health, and inability to be mobile and unable to fully function. Sounds like Portland, one horse town one road. Portland has over 100 times the amount of car as it did in the beginning of the 21-century.
    As the child evolves from baby shoes, to the next 5 or 6 stages of growth size will go up that is a normal process. It is growing proportionately that is the issue. Proportionately as the town and citizen grow up there needs change. The Federal government set up the freeway, road, and evacuation standards for the county that we have received failing grades from. In comparison to the rest of the nation we are the worst or next to the bottom of the list in every transportation or congestion chart. The I-5 Corridor in Portland area is an “F” at 6AM and “F” at 7PM, we may never have “A” roads but it is not in the best interest of business, environment or citizen to accept less than “C” compared to the rest of the nation. The movement of citizen must take place. For those who want to limit freedom of movement and say you can only go out to eat at a restaurant once a month and it can’t be more than fifty yard from your front door your doing more harm to society than good. It needs to be made a lot clearer that it is how people are propelled through space that is the problem and not that we move or how often. There are some people who can’t understand why Nixon went to Asian when there is Chinese food in most American cities and then there are those of us that are glad he did.
    Is right that the West Arterial comparison with the Western bypass was totally untruthful and meant to deceive people. Groups and citizens that willing lie to the public by putting out faults information or not correcting it do not service the good of the people and taint their efforts. The Bi-State Industrial Corridor is a simply alignment yet seems to be unclear to some.
    Ross William,
    I do not see you at the monthly Regional Transportation Council, JPACT, Portland Freight Committee, the Bi-State Committee, the CRC meetings, if you attended as I have monthly for years, you would find out they have more to do with than just St. Johns’ and your comment about what I will do when the bridge is built was rude. Beside after a new bridge is built it will be time to move on to another project. As for my ability to see the large picture and have vision you sir and I have never spoke in the area so you comments come for a total lack of knowledge and the desire to continue saying things you know are not based in the truth.
    You are correct that a new freeway will create growth round it. There is over 1000 acres in Rivergate area needing developed. Currently business is leaving the area because of the lack of infrastructure to the industrial area. With new traffic infrastructure in the area, it becomes denser with business. The more business that locate next to each the less traveling they do between each other and the more centralized the workforce. People will only live so far from work. The more jobs together keep the people about the same travel time away. The density in the industrial areas and creates density in the near by residential areas. When congestion is bad business moves out, away from business they rely on for goods and services, and their employees move out with them…. Causing sprawl. Growth is part of reality you can help it but you can’t stop it.

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