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Summary Meeting Notes: December 18, 2012 Networks PEG meeting

December 18, 2012 from 1 to 3:20 p.m.

PEG Members Attending: Bill Beamer, Aaron Brown, Ivy Dunlop, Eric Hesse, Denver Igarta, Keith Liden, Linda Nettekoven, Lidwien Rahman, Irene Schwoeffermann, Chris Smith, Peter Stark, Pia Welch, Eric Engstrom, Courtney Duke

PEG Members Absent:  Mike Faha, Gavin Prichard, Allan Schmidt, Jay Sugnet

Other Attendees: Mary Vogel, Roger Averbeck, Patricia Nabor, Franklin Jones

Facilitator:  Jim Owens 

Key Points and Outcomes:

In reflecting on the equity workshop conducted in November, it was noted that the discussion of equity is broader than race and needs to consider age, income and other demographics. 

A presentation on the role of freight in meeting the City’s economic development goals noted that traded sectors drive the regional economy, with freight movement projected to grow 2-4% annually.  Key challenges include responding to a projected shortfall in lands designated for industrial uses and avoiding conflicts among transportation modes, especially in the context of a Green Hierarchy.  The group generally felt that to best accommodate freight, and thus meet economic development goals, modal functions should be distributed among roads versus having roads attempt to serve all modes. Given the limitations to expansion of the freight system, managing the existing system is key to facilitation of freight movement. Before proceeding with policy language on doing no harm to freight movement, it will be essential to understand what this means 20-30 years in the future.  Improved inter-bureau coordination will be key to avoiding or minimizing conflicts among Plan policies specific to the various transportation modes. 

In response to an informational briefing on recent Bureau research and analyses on new apartments and parking, the group indicated a desire to remain engaged in this issue, with a report at the next meeting on the discussion of this issue at the upcoming Neighborhood Centers PEG meeting. Key concerns included reduced on-street parking capacity associated with increased densities and cumulative impacts to neighborhoods, the equity aspects of increased housing costs associated with on-site parking, and how to funnel the savings realized by developers into the neighborhoods affected. 

Introductions
Presenter: Jim Owens, Facilitator
Summary: PEG members, staff and members of the audience were asked to introduce themselves. 

Reflections on November Equity Workshop and Review of Schedule for Upcoming Meetings 
Presenter: Jim Owens
Summary: Observations about the November Equity workshop included that it was very educational, but that the discussion of equity is broader than race and needs to consider age, income and other demographics. 

Jim Owens reminded the group of the schedule for upcoming meetings:

  • January 15: 1:00-3:00 pm  – Transit
  • January 30:  3:00-5:30 pm – Review of draft Plan Update document

Freight’s Role in Meeting Economic Development Goals
Presenter: Steve Kountz, BPS
Description: Presentation on City’s economic development goals, the role of freight in meeting those goals, and how current land use designations accommodate freight and respond to economic development goals.   

Key points in the presentation included:

  • While there is steady growth in housing, employment growth has been flat.
  • Traded sectors drive the regional economy.
  • Freight growth is projected at 2-4% annually.
  • There is a widening gap in economic equity.
  • A 720-acre shortfall in industrial lands is projected for 2035.  There are limited options for expansion of existing industrial areas; intensification of uses may be a better option.  ThePortlandHarborand Columbia Corridor represent the best options for expanded industrial uses. 
  • Reinvestment in freight infrastructure is another key option to meet industrial needs.
  • Edge areas have had higher job growth than the Central City.

Questions and discussion included:

  • Office uses within industrial areas should be a consideration in planning for higher density industrial uses.
  • Most external freight routes are state highways.
  • There is no black and white answer about how to best integrate freight with auto, bicycle and pedestrian uses.  Modal functions should be distributed among roads versus having roads serve all purposes.

Related Materials:

  • PowerPoint presentation

Freight Network and Sustainable Freight Strategy (1:45 p.m.)

Presenter:  Bob Hillier, PBOT

Description: Presentation the City’s existing freight network, classifications, and Sustainable Freight Policy.

Key points in the presentation included:

  • Portlandis a global freight gateway - 4th largest freight hub on the West Coast.
  • Pipelines are also part of the transportation/freight network.
  • Over 70% of freight movement is by truck; trucks are expected to continue to carry the majority of freight.
  • The underlying strategy of the 2006 Freight Master Plan is to do no harm to freight movement.

Questions and discussion included:

  • Idling trucks is an issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Street design standards are integral to freight network classifications.
  • To facilitate freight movement, designated freight lanes should be considered where there are known congestion problems.
  • Given the limitations to expansion of the freight system, managing the existing system is key to facilitation of freight movement.  It is essential to understand who we are trying to serve and how.
  • Getting to/from jobs in industrial areas can be a challenge.
  • In reviewing the draft Plan, policy language is needed on doing no harm to freight movement.   Also needed is a matrix that provides a methodology for coordination among modes.
  • What does doing no harm mean in 20-30 years?
  • The draft Plan needs to address how the freight system fits within the Green Hierarchy?
  • Inter-bureau communication needs improving to identify potential conflicts/solutions early.

Related Materials:

  • Sustainable Freight Strategy Summary
  • Definition of Portland’s freight Street Classification System
  • Portland Freight Network Map

Public Comment 

Roger Averbeck:  There should be an emphasis on safety in trying to accommodate multiple modes.

Franklin Jones, B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery:  Provided data on amount of freight being moved via bicycle.  Requested that the group consider the role of alternative modes in freight movement.  

Briefing on New Apartments and Parking

Presenter:  Matt Wickstrom, BPS

Description:  Informational briefing on recent Bureau research and analyses on new apartments and parking, followed by a Question/Answer session.

Key points in the presentation included:

  • Portland has the second lowest apartment vacancy rates in the country.
  • There are 23 apartment projects planned without parking; the large number of projects has made this an issue of community concern.
  • BPS recently completed a parking and behavior study that, along with other bureau research and community concerns, will help inform Planning Commission deliberations on thresholds, accessibility, location of parking exceptions, neighborhood contact protocols, and transportation demand management (TDM) strategies.
  • Parking policies in the draft Plan do not address this issue.

The group indicated a desire to remain engaged in this issue, with a report at the next meeting on the discussion of this issue at the upcoming Neighborhood Centers PEG meeting.  Questions and discussion included:

  • As densities increase, there will be less on-street parking capacity.
  • Will parking management be a component of TDM strategies?
  • The Central Eastside and Northwest industrial districts are developing permit systems to minimize parking “poaching”.
  • Cumulative impacts to neighborhoods need to be considered.
  • The cost of providing on-site parking, e.g. underground, is an equity issue.
  • The storing of cars on the street is an enforcement issue.
  • The savings that developers gain from not providing on-site parking should be funneled to affected neighborhoods.

 Related Materials:

Adjourn 

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