On June 29, Metro will release the draft 2018 Regional Transportation Plan, the blueprint for future investments in the region's transportation system. The plan addresses travel options, street design, the movement of freight and management of the transportation network.
The plan is updated every four years, as required by federal law. The updates help planners respond to the needs of a changing region.
The newest RTP includes research about the impact emerging technology has on the transit network, and a new comprehensive transit strategy that brings together disconnected transit plans. The plan includes a new roadmap for creating safer streets and moving freight efficiently.
Here’s a rundown of policy updates included in the RTP:
Find out more about the strategy at oregonmetro.gov/rtp
Technology is already changing the way people get around in greater Portland. Ride-hailing services, such as Uber and Lyft, provided over 10 million rides in Portland in 2017. Biketown, the City of Portland’s bike-share service, logged more than 300,000 trips in its first year of operation.
The emerging technology strategy is new to the RTP. It examines the effects of current technologies and developing ones, such as the first generation of driverless cars that will likely share the roads within the next five years.
The strategy lays out a long-term vision of how technology can support Metro’s goals to make the region a more equitable, vibrant place. New policies call for the region’s public agencies to:
–help make emerging technologies accessible to all,
–use technology to support equitable, shared, and active travel choices, and
–advance the public interest through innovation.
Find out more about the strategy at oregonmetro.gov/transit
The RTP features a new regional transit strategy. The transit strategy creates a comprehensive vision of the entire transit network. It analyzes the system by bringing multiple transit plans together. Planners worked with other transit agencies, such as C-TRAN, Salem-Keizer Transit, Canby Area Transit, Sandy Area Metro and Ride Connection.
The transit vision includes the 2010 Regional High Capacity Transit System Plan, which guides investments in light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit and rapid streetcar lines.
That work produced the Enhanced Transit Concept, which aims to identify and address the most congested and unreliable segments of the frequent service network. Solutions include smaller-scale street fixes, such as bus lanes and roadways that give preference to buses at intersections and stop locations. The overall vision is to make a more robust transit system that is more frequent, convenient, accessible and affordable for everyone.
Find out more about the strategy at oregonmetro.gov/safety
A cornerstone of this year’s RTP update is safety. The updated regional transportation safety strategy includes the ambitious safety goal of Vision Zero. Metro’s safety target is zero traffic-related deaths and life-changing injuries in greater Portland by 2035. This double downs on the last goal to reduce traffic-related deaths by fifty percent. This strategy recognizes that no single death or injury is acceptable.
The new safety strategy calls for reduced speed limits, which takes into account everyone who uses the transit network - people who walk, bike and drive. Current data show only one out of 10 people walking survives when hit by a person driving 40 miles per hour. That survival rate changes to 90 percent when people drive at 20 miles per hour.
The updated transportation safety strategy includes analysis of crash data that identifies regional high injury corridors. Sixty percent of fatal and life-changing injuries take place on six percent of the roadways in greater Portland. These roadways are often fast, wide highways like 82nd Avenue. Metro and partners can target these areas to reduce traffic-related deaths and life-changing injuries.
Find out more about the strategy at oregonmetro.gov/freight
Greater Portland is the freight transportation gateway for the state of Oregon. A plethora of products are exported from or travel to this region, like the crops shipped from Willamette Valley farms or microchips manufactured in Hillsboro.
Forecasts predict twice as much freight traveling through the area by 2040. An estimated 74 percent of freight will be carried on trucks. Important commodity pathways have been identified on the updated freight network map.
The 2018 RTP also updates the regional freight strategy. Important new freight policies call for better management of the roads that provide connections between ports, rail yards, shipping facilities and the highway system. The goal of this work is to reduce delays in traffic and keep the flow of business on the move.
Get more information on these strategies and other parts of the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan. This work guides the investments in the transportation system for the next 25 years.