Metro, the regionally elected government for Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, has shared its preliminary staff recommendation for a more than $3 billion transportation measure slated for the November 2020 ballot.
Earlier this year, Metro Council President Lynn Peterson appointed a task force to advise Metro staff in developing the measure.
The task force identified several values and goals for the measure, including improving safety, prioritizing investments to support communities of color and just improving overall ease in traveling throughout the region; the staff recommendation said it relied heavily on those ideas.
Money from the measure would go towards projects and planning in 13 transportation corridors in the three counties.
The bulk of the funding, $975 million, would go toward the proposed Southwest Corridor where TriMet is planning its next MAX light rail line.
“Southwest Corridor Light Rail will address congestion in the Interstate-5 corridor and expand the MAX system to growing communities in southwest Portland, Tigard and Tualatin,” the staff recommendation said.
The project also includes bicycle and pedestrian network improvements like protected bike lanes and better sidewalks on Barbur Boulevard.
Other large investments include $350 million to improve the Tualatin Valley Highway and $200 million to both McLoughlin Boulevard, which connects communities in Clackamas and Multnomah counties, and 185th Avenue between Hillsboro and Beaverton.
The staff recommendation also includes funding to other projects like $150 million to replace or seismically upgrade the Burnside bridge and $50 million to plan and design a downtown Portland MAX train tunnel from Goose Hollow to Lloyd Center.
It also allots $50 million toward the Albina Vision — a concept looking to reconfigure the street grid and create large open spaces in Portland’s Albina neighborhood.
Both the Metro Council and the transportation task force are proposing that 2% of each corridor’s funding go toward bringing individuals and organizations together to identify policy and funding needs to reduce the risk of community displacement and to support businesses and residents ahead of the projects.
The task force is slated to discuss these staff recommendations at its meeting next week. It is then expected to vote on the recommendations to the Metro Council next month.
Metro has not announced how it will pay for the transportation plan. The transportation task force plans to discuss funding options at its Dec. 15 and Jan. 18 meetings.