Livability Partners Urge Metro to Reject Flawed Survey
1000 Friends co-signed a letter to the Metro Council on January 17, urging Councilors to reconsider and disavow a flawed "Opt In" survey on transportation and infrastructure priorities. 18 organizations and individuals from across the business, livability and environmental sectors signed the letter, which was spearheaded by the Coalition for a Livable Future.
The letter responds to a December 19 survey that perpetuated several false dichotomies about the region's future options, for example pitting environmental protection against economic development, and "bike lanes" against sidewalks against roads. Several problematic questions also forced respondents to express support for the Columbia River Crossing project, as proposed, if they wanted to express support for light rail to Vancouver. While Opt In is a potentially valuable tool for inviting regional residents to participate in decisions that will affect them and their communities, this particular survey did not live up to the full potential of the tool.
1000 Friends and our partners believe that Oregon and the Portland region need not choose between a high-quality environment and a thriving economy. Businesses choose to locate here because of our wonderful environment, not in spite of it, a fact that Metro has recognized in its own documents. Similarly, our transportation goal should be to have a well-balanced system with many options and modes of transportation available for residents and businesses. 1000 Friends and its partners have urged Metro to disavow the survey and ensure that future Opt In surveys present regional residents with a genuine opportunity to help shape the region's priorities.
Despite the problems with this survey, Opt In still represents an important opportunity to help shape the region's priorities. It's vital to be involved and to make your voice heard. Sign up for Opt In here.