EPAP Information


Below is a letter sent to the Oregon Department of Transportation Regarding the proposed Bus Rapid Transit project along Inner Powell and Outer Division.  Copies were also sent to the Mayor and City Council as well as other government agencies.

June 24, 2015
Oregon Department of Transportation Region 1 Manager, Windsheimer
123 NW Flanders 

Portland, OR 97209 
RE: East Portland Action Plan and East Portland Land Use and Transportation Statement on the Powell-Division Transit and Development project
Dear Rian Windsheimer:
The East Portland Land Use and Transportation Committee (EPLUTC) and the East Portland Action Plan (EPAP), representing the 150,000 Portland residents between 82nd/I-205 and Gresham/174th, express their appreciation for Portland City Council Resolution supporting the proposed Powell Division Transit and Development Project.

EPLUTC and EPAP are writing to advise you on our position on related issues regarding Powell-Division Transit and Development project. 
The East Portland outer Division segment of the project incorporates one of the largest business districts in the City of Portland.  It also affects some of the most diverse and poorest sections of the City.  To protect the community from negative impacts on residents and businesses, we strongly urge that the final project be designed and implemented to include the following:


  1. Project Design and Implementation Decision Committee: Any decision making body that has final say on design and implementation of the project should include residents from the various communities affected by the project.  This Design and Implementation Decision Committee should be comprised of residents and businesses along the alignment.  The decision making body must be representative of various groups, including people of color, immigrants, and refugees.  The instituted Steering Committee’s work and decisions shall be predicated upon the input from the decision making body and shall guide public agencies’ implementation of the direction from the Steering Committee.  The residents/businesses should have equal representation as elected and non-elected officials on the decision making body.
  1. No Reduction in Local Service:  We strongly oppose any reduction in local services for the existing bus lines #4, #9, #17, and #72.  We consider a reduction of service to include the elimination of existing bus stops and/or the lengthening of time between buses for local stops. Reduction of current transit service would be a hardship on the immigrants, poor, disabled, elderly, and youth who rely on this service to travel within their East Portland community.   Stations for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) should be placed at major intersections where connections to other transit exists or potentially will exist (e.g. SE 148th where possible service may be implemented in the future);  BRT stations should be far enough apart as to prevent the BRT from being used to eliminate local service. By minimizing the number of stations to transit links, cost savings will allow for better station designs.
  1. Station Design: Stations and other design factors should be utilized to maximize benefits (e.g. economic development) at major intersections by locating a good mix of businesses and offices between the station platform and user car parking.  Station and other design factors should integrate with other forms of active transportation, including walking, biking and secure bike parking.  Stations should also provide passengers with enclosure protection from adverse weather and seating that meets the needs of seniors/elders and children
  1. Construction Mitigation for Local Small Businesses:  A robust program must be developed to ensure that small businesses shall be protected from negative impacts during construction.  Loans and/or grants should be established to assist businesses with relocation, ongoing operating expenses, storefront redesigns, and marketing.  The implementing agency should work with the City of Portland Neighborhood Prosperity Initiatives (NPIs), and the neighborhood business associations for outreach to small businesses.  The decision making body should review these programs and be a forum for businesses that have complaints.
  1. Safety Enhancement:  The design and development of the BRT must be utilized to increase safety improvements for bikes and pedestrians along the alignment.  Project funding must be prioritized to increase safe crosswalk frequency, widen sidewalks to City of Portland standards, and improve biking infrastructure.  We encourage partnering agencies to use this project to leverage other funding to maximize the development of these safety features.
  1. Community Stabilization:  All appropriate jurisdictions must develop policies and coordinate those policies to ensure that vulnerable populations are not involuntarily displaced from their community due to added market pressures from the BRT project.  Within .25 miles of a BRT station, property values have been shown to increase significantly, this happens to a lesser extent further from the stations.  The Cleveland HealthLine saw values rise between 30% to 100%.  Such increases will have negative effects on rents for both residents and businesses, with the impact of forcing many to involuntarily move. There are many proactive steps that can be taken to mitigate these forces.  Where local action is blocked by state law, the local jurisdictions should actively advocate for changes to allow the local jurisdictions authority to prevent unwanted displacement.
  1. Community Benefits:  This transit/development project represents a significant investment in East Portland and Gresham. In the spirit of having this regionally significant project benefit the local community, we propose instituting a Community Benefits Agreement that sets aspirational goals for training and employment of local residents, minorities and women and utilization of local, disadvantaged, minority, and women-owned businesses.

The LUTC and EPAP recognize the benefit of reducing single occupancy vehicle trips for commuters and others by providing an efficient, fast, reliable, and comfortable transit option for residents of Gresham and Portland who are traveling long distances.  We also recognize the benefits of BRT in quickly linking East Portland residents to transit connections that get them to employment, education, and other destinations. 
However, we do not and will not support a BRT system that is designed with the intended or unintended consequences that reduce our residents’ access to local bus stops as they currently exist, as many residents rely upon the current bus service for transportation to local businesses, schools, and jobs. Such consequences will create an undue burden on our vulnerable populations.
In addition, a project of this magnitude must enhance active transportation options. 
Kem Marks
East Portland Action Plan Representative on Powell-Division Transit and Development
Linda Bauer
East Portland Land Use and Transportation Committee Chair
Arlene Kimura                                                                                              Jeremy O’Leary
Co-Chairs on behalf of the East Portland Action Plan



Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 


This email was sent to *|EMAIL|*
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences