Improving the travel experience on TV Highway will benefit the many people who live, work, shop, play and pray along the route. Transportation and transit investment in areas of historical neglect bring benefits, such as improved access, greater mobility, and a safer system for all users. But unintended negative impacts, exacerbated by a volatile market, can also happen. Major transit and transportation system investments can enhance market value on land adjacent to, and around, the facility being invested in, leading to displacement risks for residents and businesses. Learning from transit and transportation projects over the last several decades, Metro has made it the agency’s practice to undertake an Equitable Development Strategy (EDS) in parallel with corridor transportation infrastructure studies.
An EDS equitable development strategy is a community-led document that identifies actions that non-profit, government and private sector partners can all undertake to stabilize and support community. To support the community, these projects work to ensure that residents can stay in place, small businesses have opportunities for stability and growth, and generational wealth can be built in communities that have too often been left behind.
Supporting and building up community along TV Highway
Unite Oregon led the creation of the TV Highway EDS by crafting the process, convening a TV Highway Equity Coalition (TEC), and bringing community members into the discussion through workshops and a leadership cohort to train new civic leaders. The TEC coalition is made up of people and organizations that live, work and play along TV Highway, including Adelante Mujeres, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Bienestar, Centro Cultural, the Muslim Educational Trust, the Community Housing Fund, the Street Trust, and individual civic leaders. The coalition has written an EDS equitable development strategy for the corridor, which they will work to implement in partnership with Metro, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), TriMet, Washington County, and the cities of Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, and Hillsboro. Metro supported the community-led creation of an EDS equitable development strategy in the TV Highway corridor with technical expertise and financial backing through a Federal Transit Administration HOPE (Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone) grant.
The EDS identifies 13 priority actions to help residents and businesses stay in place and thrive, even when market forces start to impact those most vulnerable to displacement:
- Fund ongoing Community Collaborative (continuation of TEC the equitable development strategy and Leadership Cohort) work to address implementation, funding strategies, accountability structures, and evaluation efforts
- Support creation of a corridor affordable housing strategy
- Fund community gathering spaces
- Plan and implement a Bus Rapid Transit project that integrates community recommendations
- Expand community engagement in the TV Highway corridor to increase participation in TriMet’s Access Transit programs
- Create “one stop shops” for wrap around services that integrate transportation, child care, food, work clothes, books, meals, exams, school costs, etc.
- Coordinate and align with Washington County’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and local health plans
- Integrate affordable housing units, local hiring, and other community benefits into all new housing and construction projects
- Work with TriMet, ODOT, Ccities and Ccounty to ensure the Healthy Communities Communications Campaign can improve transit navigation, foster accessible, safe, and welcoming spaces through signs, advance clean environment, education, health messages community recommendations through messaging campaign, and highlight small businesses and convening spaces
- Partner with the Washington County Economic Development Program to ensure shopping centers are culturally diverse, support small business, and invest in local communities’ culture and foods
- Build relationships and connections with local school districts
- Advocate for a parent organizing space, where parents have a space to convene and grow their skills as parent organizers
- Explore integration of public bathrooms into all existing and new TV Highway developments
For more detail on the process and outcomes, see Unite Oregon’s TEC website and the Equitable Development Strategy document.