For more than 18 months, Metro has worked with partners and the community to build an investment plan that makes getting around greater Portland safer, easier and more affordable for everyone.
Early in this process, the Metro Council directed that the plan must advance Metro’s racial equity goals, and include investments that create opportunity and serve community goals throughout the region. To achieve these directives, Metro conducted analysis to explore how communities of color could benefit from the projects included in the transportation funding package. The Investment Corridor Profiles provide baseline data about who lives along each corridor and the state of transportation safety, housing access and affordability, and factors related to displacement.
Data shows that people of color are more likely to live in places that aren’t adequately served by transit, and are more likely to be hit or killed by a car while walking, biking or driving. In addition, communities of color, as well as lower-income people, often live closer to major roads and highways where they are exposed to higher levels of toxic traffic pollution and experience a higher risk of asthma and other respiratory problems.
Key findings in the analysis
- Project investments are strongly weighted toward areas where people of color live.
- 60% of the total corridor investments are located in areas of the region where high concentrations of people of color live.
- Safety investments are strongly weighted toward areas where people of color live.
- Investments in access to transit are strongly weighted toward areas where people of color live.
This point-in-time analysis would be updated routinely to help ensure the plan achieves these potential benefits.
Metro also conducted community engagement to gather insight on community benefits and racial equity outcomes. This input, along with best practices from the parks and natural areas bond and the affordable housing bond, became the basis for Metro’s Get Moving 2020 Racial Equity Outcomes and Strategies, which articulates specific equity outcomes and strategies.
Community engagement and oversight would be key components of the implementation of this plan.