New 2020 METRO Taxes
In November 2020, METRO
may be sending nearly
dollars in new taxes to the ballot.
METRO says it’s a transportation package, but most of the projects will make congestion WORSE.
We all know the Portland metro region has a congestion crisis.
Since 2009, commuting times to work have increased 12% in the Portland region according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
A recent survey conducted by FM3 Research on behalf of METRO found 73% of likely voters in Portland area say traffic congestion is a “very” or an “extremely” serious problem.
ODOT’s 2018 Traffic Performance Report clearly states the cause, “Little expansion of the region’s infrastructure has occurred over the past 30 years resulting in rapid expansion of congestion as capacity has now been reached on all the region’s freeway corridors …” Over these three decades, METRO has gone out of its way to stop or slow the expansion of the region’s highways.
METRO’s $4 billion boondoggle will make congestion worse.
METRO’s obsession with light rail.
- METRO claims the SW Corridor light rail project will “address congestion.” In fact, the SW Corridor project will make congestion worse. The draft environmental impact statement concludes the project will increase congestion at 46 intersections during the PM peak travel period and 30 intersections during the AM peak. The project is anticipated to increase congestion at 6 I-5 ramps during the PM peak and 5 ramps at the AM peak.
METRO’s plan has only five projects to “ease” or “reduce” congestion accounts for about 1% of total funding.
- These congestion relief projects are narrowly targeted at specific intersections. METRO has no plans for congestion relief projects west of the Willamette River. Because the projects focus on individual intersections, these projects—even if successful—will do almost nothing to noticeably reduce regionwide congestion. The region’s westside will see no congestion relief from METRO’s transportation package.
The Sunrise/Hwy 212 project will result in a “slower corridor.”
- A small portion of the project may reduce congestion. However, Clackamas County indicates the portion of the project to be funded with the $4 billion tax package will result in a “slower corridor.” In other words, project to be funded by METRO’s transportation package will worsen congestion on Hwy 212 between 122nd Ave. and 152nd Ave. The bypass project—a project that would go a long way toward reducing congestion—is not included in METRO’s transportation package and has been pushed off to an uncertain date as a “future need.”