Push back on Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan 

XRPDX is working with Portland’s Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and others on protesting Metro’s proposed Regional Transportation Plan.  The Regional Transportation Plan, or RTP, is a comprehensive document describing all of the planned improvements on public roads for the next 15 years.

This plan should be a transformational investment in a climate-resilient city. We would accept a move towards sustainable transportation. Perversely, the plan is a retrenchment of car-centric roadways at exactly the wrong time, with new transit investment being slashed to a third of the last plan’s levels, a doubling of funds for roadway expansion, and active transportation for pedestrians and bicyclists getting 1/5 the funding of road maintenance and about 1/7th compared to road expansion.

Three major highway expansion projects will get the greenlight, despite their dramatic environmental and health impacts. Even worse, only half of Metro’s planned roadway projects offer a safety benefit to any user. We have seen roadway fatalities double in the last decade, and this plan openly admits its past safety needs projections were wrong and that current spending is not enough.

Metro could postpone roadway maintenance for non-safety related projects and reduce roadway expansion and direct those funds towards active transportation and transit benefits.  They ignored calls for free transit which is happening in other cities across the nation in their plan.  They are utilizing flawed fleet mix, VMT, and emissions forecasting by relying on state modeling instead of observed data. 

The world can’t wait, and neither can we. This plan received fierce criticism from the public this summer, and Metro ignored their calls to amend the plan; now it goes before Metro Council on November 30th for a vote. If they vote no, Metro has to rewrite their plan. We’re calling on concerned Portlanders to write their councilor and tell them that this plan doesn’t represent our city’s needs.  

We are beginning plans for a direct action before the end of November vote and encourage you to reach out to us if you are interested in actively participating.  In addition, leaflets will be available starting this weekend for any who want them. They will inform the general public about the problems of the RTP and include a QR code that links them to a site where they can write their councillors. Anyone seeking to pick up these leaflets for any desired use, or who would like a digital copy to print themselves, should contact ecosocialistpdx@protonmail.com

Feel free to reach out to ecosocialistpdx@protonmail.com if you have any questions! 

About Diana Meisenhelter

Diana Meisenhelter has been involved on the Action Team of XRPDX since January 2019.  She served on the Extinction Rebellion US National Restructure Working Group proposal for a year and a half.  Active in antiracist, social justice, labor, and environmental organizing since the early 1970s, Diana has over 50 years of experience in movements for justice.


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