Every day tens of thousands of people ride the TriMet bus lines 4 and 9 between Portland and Gresham to connect to Portland’s Central City, Downtown Gresham, Portland Community College’s Southeast Center and many places in between.
Recent regional transportation studies, including Metro’s Regional High Capacity Transit System Plan and the East Metro Connections Plan, identified specific transportation, community and economic development projects over the next 20 years. These studies both identified the Powell-Division corridor as an area with a significant need for improved transit.
Through the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project (Powell-Division), Metro and community partners will work together between now and 2015 to achieve the following objectives:
- Develop a transit solution that effectively serves the high transit demand in the near term. This includes identifying a preferred transit route and a preferred transit type, (for example, bus rapid transit, light rail or streetcar).
- Develop a strategy that identifies related land use and transportation investments to serve neighborhoods and stimulate community and economic development along the transit line.
- Engage the community in all phases.
Metro, Portland’s elected regional government, is leading this project with the participation of many local agency and community partners, including the cities of Portland and Gresham, Multnomah County, Oregon Department of Transportation and TriMet. Community organizations are involved through the project’s steering committee, surveys, community grants and other outreach that will take place throughout the course of this project.
While Metro will lead the overall project, the cities of Portland and Gresham will work directly with local communities to help develop a land use vision and action plan and discuss the transit route, stops and transit vehicle types. Portland and Gresham are also integral members of the overall project team.
In 2013, the cities of Portland and Gresham jointly applied for a grant funded by the regional Construction Excise Tax (CET) to participate in the Powell-Division Transit and Development project. The grant was awarded later that year and formalized with the ratification of an intergovernmental agreement between Metro, the City of Portland and the City of Gresham in 2014. The CET grant makes it possible for the City of Portland to gather local community input on where the project could help encourage development, which areas to protect, as well as the type of preferred transit (e.g., bus rapid transit, light rail or streetcar) and the route.
The public conversation, through spring 2015, will focus on transit alternatives — the vehicle type, its route and station locations — as well as strategies for community development at future station areas.
Winter 2014 – Establish a common understanding of the needs and opportunities for transit and development in the corridor.
Spring and summer 2014 — Look at the kinds of transit that are feasible and desirable in the corridor, hear ideas about where it should go, and identify places that would make safe and active station areas.
Fall 2014 — Take the elements that are most supported and feasible, and craft a recommendation on the type of transit, route and strategies for development at station areas.
Winter 2015 — Refine the recommendation and present it to local and regional elected councils for consideration and endorsement.
2015 to 2017 — Develop a detailed design of the new transit line and station areas, and complete environmental review and permitting.
2018 to 2020 — Build the transit line and station areas and start new service.
For more information about the City of Portland’s role, contact Marty Stockton, Marty.Stockton@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-2041, or April Bertelsen, April.Bertelsen@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-6177.