See how the public has been involved with the previous studies related to the Portland Streetcar Loop project, most significantly the recent Eastside transit alternatives analysis.
On January 29, 2007, the public was invited to comment on the statement that defines the purpose and need for the Portland Streetcar loop project and asked to suggest issues that need to be addressed in the environmental assessment. Public suggestions, along with those from federal, state, regional and local agencies will shape the environmental factors that are studied and reported. A draft report will be shared for public comment in several months.
Public involvement is a key element in public decision-making. The Portland Streetcar Loop project has had several decision points where choices about transit in the Eastside have been made after substantial opportunities for public involvement were afforded. Perhaps the first public involvement was offered with the 1972 City of Portland Downtown Plan, which called for an emphasis on public transportation. In 1988, the Portland Central City Plan called for "…an inner city transit loop (possibly on Grand Ave)." Each of these decisions was preceded by public hearings where the public had the opportunity to voice their thoughts.
More recently, the City of Portland and private local interests funded and constructed a streetcar on the west side of the Central City with service beginning in 2001. Seeing the very favorable results, the City of Portland assessed the possibilities of extending streetcar service to the eastside of the Central City. A summary of the public involvement for the 2003 City of Portland Eastside Streetcar Alignment Study is included on pages seven and eight, below. Eight public meetings were held, including two workshops in February and April 2003, with invitations sent to over 1,400 individuals and organizations and attendance of 60 and 50 people respectively. Briefly, this public involvement effort concluded with overwhelming support for streetcar service on the Portland central eastside from both the neighborhood and business communities.
Most recently and upon the decision to seek federal funding assistance, an Eastside Transit Alternatives Analysis was conducted in late 2005 and early 2006 consistent with federal regulations and guidelines. A summary of the public involvement efforts for the Eastside Transit Alternatives Analysis is included in the Executive Summary of the Eastside Transit Locally Preferred Alternative Report. An even more extensive public involvement process was completed including multiple fact sheets, presentations to interested groups, newsletters, web page and e-newsletters, a 2,200-postcard mailer, a media advisory, a newspaper ad, a public open house and a public hearing. Copies of individual public responses, ads, etc. are included in the Eastside Transit Locally Preferred Alternative Report, Appendix B.
In addition, public bodies including the Portland City Council, Multnomah County Commission, TriMet Board and Metro Council all held publicly noticed meetings where a resolution concerning the Eastside Transit Locally Preferred Alternative was considered. Copies of these resolutions, considered after the opportunity for public testimony, are included in Appendix A of the Eastside Transit Locally Preferred Alternative Report.
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