The Southwest Corridor Plan Steering Committee met Monday Jan. 14 to discuss future transit connections and review approaches to building shared investment strategies that will support, strengthen and connect communities in the Southwest Corridor.
By next summer, the cities, counties and agencies working together on the plan will agree on a package of short- and longer-term investments that will help generate the best outcome for the corridor.
The committee agreed that they need to be strategic when developing an investment package that includes projects for roads, transit, pedestrian and bike facilities, and parks and nature. The focus will be to prioritize projects that support a corridor-wide vision.
Neil McFarlane, TriMet general manager, suggested that the committee approach the shared strategies "as a series of transactions where we as a region are investing in something that we see as valuable."
The committee also discussed potential high capacity transit (bus rapid transit or light rail) general alignments within the corridor in order to consider which modes and connections to move forward in the evaluation process.
Members highlighted the importance of improving local bus service and finding ways to connect the corridor multi-modally.
"Localized projects can be really profound, particularly when jurisdictions are struggling over large-scale projects," emphasized Jason Tell of Oregon Department of Transportation, Region 1 Manager. These include lower cost projects such as adding sidewalks and improving walking and biking connections. Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen agreed that, "there is lots of opportunity in the near term."
The committee will meet again on Feb. 11 to consider shared investment strategies that will advance to evaluation and public review.