Metro Survey Shows Support for Transportation Choices, Cool Communities

Jim Redden
Portland Monthly
Thu, 05/02/2013 (All day)

A recent Opt In survey reveals that Portland region residents are concerned about climate change and safe transportation options in their communities, reports the Portland Tribune's Jim Redden:

Metro sponsored the online survey as part of its Climate Smart Communities Scenarios Project. The regional elected government started the project in response to a directive from the 2007 Oregon Legislature to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles in the metropolitan area.

The Metro Council is not scheduled to complete the project until late 2014, shortly before presenting its recommendations to the 2015 Oregon Legislature. Options will be discussed with advisory committees and the public between now and then. They are expected to include a range of approaches, such as encouraging more people to live closer to where they work, play and shop.

A large majority of the survey's respondents--about 70 percent--support doing more to combat climate change through smarter land use and transportation decisions, which is the crux of 1000 Friends' Cool Communities initiative and Metro's Climate Smart Communities project. But only 32 percent were familiar with Metro's ongoing project.

Still, while driving remains the most common way to get around for the region's residents, large majorities are interested in having other choices. And they recognize that having real choices is not just about bike lanes and sidewalks, it's also about smart planning and zoning:

Three in four respondents said they would like more transportation choices, however. The greatest demand came from Multnomah County respondents at 79 percent, followed by Washington County at 71 percent and Clackamas County at 66 percent.

...

Three in four agreed they would bike or walk more often if their destinations were closer to where they lived. More than half — 57 percent — said they would bike or walk more if there were more bicycle paths and sidewalks in their neighborhoods, and they knew it would be safe. There were no significant differences among the responses by county.

According to the survey, more frequent transit service would have the largest impact on reducing the amount people drive. Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed with that statement, with the greatest support in Multnomah County at 74 percent. That compares to 64 percent in Washington County and 55 percent in Clackamas County.

Finalloy, the survey asked respondents about their ideas for funding improvements in transportation choice, finding that solid majorities in Multnomah and Washington County are willing to pay more for gas, parking, and other transportation costs if it translates to better transit, safer biking and walking, and improved maintenance of roads. 

Read the full article here.

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