Steering committee meetings
Wednesday, April 6, 6 to 8 p.m.
Southwest Community Center
6820 SW 45th Ave., Portland
Agenda: Staff to present recommendations on high capacity transit mode decision, PCC Sylvania options. Public forum to discuss recommendations.
Monday, May 9, 9 to 11 a.m.
Tigard Town Hall
13125 SW Hall Boulevard, Tigard
Agenda: The steering committee is expected to make decisions regarding high capacity transit mode and further study of a light rail tunnel to PCC Sylvania.
The Southwest Corridor Plan steering committee has two big decisions on the table this spring.
The most closely-watched decision: Is light rail or bus rapid transit a better option to advance for the region's next big transit line, which will serve a vital but oft-congested part of the region from downtown Portland to Tigard and Tualatin?
There is a lot at stake in the choice. Either option, planners say, would help people get to work, class and major regional destinations more easily and reliably. But each carries its own advantages and costs.
The steering committee – whose members include elected officials from seven cities, one county and the Metro Council, plus top TriMet and Oregon Department of Transportation leaders – must weigh them all, along with public opinion and the needs of their communities.
The second big decision: How to serve Portland Community College-Sylvania, the largest and oldest campus in PCC's system.
The college has expressed strong interest in having direct service via a new light rail or bus rapid transit line to help get students and staff get to campus without having to drive, as most do today.
But the school's location atop Mount Sylvania, a steep and largely residential butte, means that serving it directly with light rail would require a tunnel. Bus rapid transit could access campus via surface streets, but carries its own impacts, too.
Later this spring, the committee will decide which options it wants to continue studying through a more detailed impact review – but of course the decision for PCC depends in part on whether they choose bus rapid transit or light rail as the preferred mode for the whole corridor.
In these pages, learn more about the communities affected by these decisions and see the information the steering committee is reviewing as it prepares.