Author Archive | jfuglister

Advocate Job Opportunity

The Coalition for a Livable Future is hiring a part-time, temporary transportation policy advocate to lead its Shift the Balance Campaign. The Transportation Policy Advocate will be an integral part of the CLF’s policy analysis and advocacy team- including public policy analysis, coalition building, developing consensus among regional partners, and decision-maker lobbying. Specifically, the transportation policy advocate will focus on carrying out the Coalition’s Shift the Balance Campaign, which is focused on influencing two key regional transportation decisions: Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan Update and the Columbia River Crossing Project. For the full job description and instructions for how to apply, go to:

Nominate Your Heros

The Coalition for a Livable Future is seeking nominations for its 2007 Robert L. Liberty Regional Leadership Award. The Regional Leadership Award recognizes and rewards leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the livability of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region during the past year. Community members are invited to nominate an individual who has demonstrated initiative and creative leadership for community health and vitality, social justice and/or environmental protection in our region during the past year. The award will be presented at this year’s Regional Livability Summit on April 19, 2007.

The deadline for nominations is March 19, 2007.

The Award is named after Robert L. Liberty in recognition of his outstanding service to the citizens of the Portland metropolitan region, and to the protection of community livability. In past years the Regional Leadership Award has been presented to Diana Lobo, Damascus area citizen leader; Jim Labbe, Urban Conservationist for the Audubon Society; and Jeri Sundvall, Executive Director of Environmental Justice Action Group. All have been tireless advocates for protecting and improving the region’s quality of life, and ensuring that all our region’s residents have the opportunity to live in healthy and sustainable communities.

To submit a nomination for the award, please send an email to that includes your name and contact information, your nominee’s name and contact information, and 500 words or less describing why this nominee should receive the Regional Leadership Award. To download complete nomination information, visit:

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.

Thinking Big Thoughts

The Future of our Transportation – Big Ideas and Outcomes

We’ve been hearing from Metro that the Regional Transportation Plan Update just getting underway is going to be different. (See Council President Bragdon’s remarks (PDF, 31K) and Councilor Burkholder’s comments (PDF, 31K) from the April 20th stakeholder forum.) They say the new RTP is going to focus on outcomes. That it’s going to take into account the reality of shrinking federal and state dollars, as well as the wild fluctuations in oil prices that are projected for the future. It’s going to move us away from the laundry list approach to transportation planning and provide us with something different.

We think Metro’s vision of doing the RTP differently is a good thing … but what does it really mean? How do we break free of business as usual and start thinking about transportation in a completely new way?

One of the most inspiring success stories, I’ve heard about is Bogota’s transportation transformation. Their big idea was to “put people before cars”. What a novel idea! By restricting cars and aggressively investing in bikeways, pedestrian improvements and transit, they transformed the city. One of the outcomes they achieved in a mere six years was a shift from negligible bike use (less than a percent) to 5% of the trips in the city being made by bike. Their weekly car-free days got people of all incomes and walks of life out of their cars and onto buses and sidewalks. These are two incredible outcomes!

The transportation system we created in the 20th century is unsustainable. What are the big ideas that we should consider to transform our system so that it can be more resilient and sustainable? What should the outcomes of the new system be?

The Westside Bypass Rears its Ugly Head Again

At the last meeting of the Columbia River Crossing Taskforce participants got a first glimpse of the all of the potential transportation improvements that are being considered for I-5 across the Columbia River. Much to my alarm the list includes a couple of ideas that smack of what was considered a done deal in 1988 – the Westside Bypass – a freeway that would have decimated neighborhoods and farms in Washington County, and helped fuel uncontrolled sprawl development. Thanks to lots of hard work by folks who wanted to see something else happen in Washington County and the forward-thinking alternative vision provided by LUTRAQ, it died.

Unfortunately, some things never really die…even really, really bad ideas. If a new freeway across the Columbia River, that travels over Sauvie Island and impacts sensitive areas lands in the Tualatin Mountains and Vancouver lowlands makes your skin crawl, come to the taskforce meeting at the Department of Transportation, Southwest Region Office in Vancouver on Wednesday, March 22nd at 4 pm and testify during the public comment period.