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TRN-7.15 - Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project Preferred Alternative

SOUTHWEST CORRIDOR LIGHT RAIL PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE

Non-Binding City Policy

NCP-TRN-7.15


PURPOSE

WHEREAS, the Southwest Corridor is a transportation corridor generally along Interstate 5 (I-5) and Pacific Highway (OR 99W)/SW Barbur Boulevard between downtown Portland and Sherwood, and includes portions of the cities of Portland, Tigard, Tualatin, King City, Durham, and Sherwood in Washington County; and

WHEREAS, the Southwest Corridor has 11 percent of the region’s population and 26 percent of the region’s employment, along with 23,800 people who commute between Portland and Tigard/Tualatin for work, while the corridor is projected to grow by 70,000 people and 65,000 jobs by 2035; and

WHEREAS, because transit demand is projected to grow by over 70 percent and high levels of congestion in the corridor today result in unreliable transit service, Metro, Tri- County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) and its regional partners, including the City of Portland, initiated a comprehensive land use and transportation planning study to create a plan that will identify and prioritize public investments in the Southwest Corridor; and

WHEREAS, part of the planning process included a Shared Investment Strategy in October of 2013 which identified a need for enhanced local transit service, further study of high capacity transit (HCT) from Portland to Tualatin via Tigard, over 60 roadway and active transportation projects that support the transit and the land use vision; and

WHEREAS, the Focused Refinement phase of the planning process, completed in June of 2014, refined the Shared Investment Strategy projects and strategies prior to defining the locally preferred alternative Preferred Alternative (PA) for the HCT project and commencing creation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to study the environmental impacts of the PA and the Southwest Corridor Plan; and

WHEREAS, recognizing the importance of implementing the Southwest Corridor Shared Investment Strategy, the Focused Refinement, definition of a PA and creation of the DEIS the City Council agreed to pay Metro $500,000 through an Intergovernmental Agreement authorized through Ordinance 187005 on February 4, 2015; and

WHEREAS, for the purpose of continuing to support work on the creation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and defining a Preferred Alternative the City Council agreed to pay Metro $550,000 through an amendment to the original Intergovernmental Agreement authorized through Ordinance 187701 on June 23, 2016, and as part of adopting Ordinance 187701 a Southwest Corridor Plan progress report, work plan and list tangible products was provided; and

WHEREAS, to guide this planning the Southwest Corridor Plan Steering Committee was formed in October 2011, consisting of representatives of cities and counties in the corridor, including the City of Portland, as well as Metro, TriMet and ODOT, and

WHEREAS, the Steering Committee is charged with making recommendations to the Metro Council and other jurisdictions for the Southwest Corridor Plan and adopted a charter agreeing to use a collaborative and publicly inclusive approach to developing the Plan; and

WHEREAS, in June 2016, the Steering Committee endorsed a Southwest Corridor High Capacity Transit Proposed Range of Alternatives for Environmental Review that describes the high capacity transit mode, preferred terminus, and transit alignments, as well as associated roadway, bicycle and pedestrian projects to be considered under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements; and

WHEREAS, also in June 2016, the Steering Committee adopted an updated project Purpose & Need statement as required by NEPA which included the need to support the Barbur Concept Plan, advance active transportation projects and projects that help achieve the sustainability goals, ensure benefits and impacts promote community equity, improve multimodal access to existing jobs, housing and educational opportunities, and foster opportunities for commercial development and a range of housing types adjacent to transit; and

WHEREAS, the Southwest Corridor Community Advisory Committee (CAC), established in February 2017, representing businesses, community groups, and institutions in Portland, Tigard, Tualatin and Washington County, provided a consensus recommendation on July 30, 2018 for a light rail alignment and support for continuing to pursue the Ross Island Bridgehead reconfiguration as a separate project; and

WHEREAS, the Southwest Corridor Equitable Development Strategy was initiated by Metro in April 2017 to ensure that housing, jobs, and learning opportunities are available to a diverse range of people and incomes as investments occur in the corridor, and this has been augmented by the Equitable Housing Strategy that was conducted by the City of Portland and the City of Tigard and completed in September 2018; and

WHEREAS, the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared in accordance with NEPA was published for public review and comment in June 2018, and approximately 1,015 comments were submitted during the public comment period via web comments, emails, and letters, or at one of 33 hearings, open houses, information sessions, and other meetings held; and

WHEREAS, City of Portland bureaus, the City’s modal advisory committees for pedestrian, bicycle and freight, the Planning and Sustainability Commission, the Portland Design Commission and the Historic Landmarks Commission participated in the review of the DEIS during June and July of 2018; and

WHEREAS, the Steering Committee met numerous times, heard public input and testimony, received recommendations from the CAC and DEIS comments, and on August 13, 2018 made recommendations for a Preferred Alternative (PA) for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Transit Project including the alignment and station locations, a preliminary work plan for further plan development and study of the Ross Island Bridgehead reconfiguration as a separate project in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the LRT project; and

WHEREAS, on October 4, 2018 Council adopted the SW Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy, developed in partnership with the City of Tigard, which identified housing needs in the corridor and established several goals: to commit early financial resources to address the near-term housing crisis and long term needs in the corridor; to prevent residential and cultural displacement; and to increase housing choices; and

WHEREAS, in preparing recommendations for a light rail transit alignment that would be located on SW Barbur Boulevard, portions of which are a State transportation facility (OR 99W), a Jurisdictional Transfer process has been initiated and by separate future Council action authorizing execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) would facilitate the transfer of portions of SW Barbur Blvd/OR 99W from the State to the City of Portland in those segments where LRT uses the roadway; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has adopted the Barbur Concept Plan in April 2013 through Resolution No. 37014 and the South Portland Circulation Study in August 2001 through Resolution No. 34041 which envision a reconfiguration of the Ross Island Bridgehead ramps and a re-design of SW Naito Parkway with a more urban streetscape which would reconnect the neighborhood, establish a grid street pattern and create development opportunities for this area; and

WHEREAS, with the LRT alignment located on SW Barbur Blvd instead of on SW Naito Parkway it has been agreed upon by the City of Portland, ODOT, TriMet and Metro, along with the support of other Southwest Corridor project partners and with the endorsement of the SW Corridor Steering Committee, that a Ross Island Bridgehead reconfiguration project will be undertaken in parallel with project development for the LRT project and included in the LRT project Final Environmental Impact Statement, and an amendment to the Jurisdictional Transfer agreement for SW Barbur Blvd/OR 99W would be executed to allow the project to be implemented; and

WHEREAS, the Preferred Alternative is found to be consistent with the Barbur Concept Plan, the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the Climate Action Plan provided that further environmental review and project development is undertaken to address issues identified herein this Resolution by the City Council.


POLICY

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Portland accepts the Steering Committee’s Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project Preferred Alternative report and recommendations as provided in Exhibit A; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the City of Portland adopts the Steering Committee’s Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project Preferred Alternative as displayed in Exhibit B; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Council requests that TriMet prepare a Conceptual Design Report in coordination with the Bureau of Transportation to address priority actions and issues in Exhibit C related to further environmental review and project development of the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project, and project phases will generally be implemented as displayed in Exhibit D; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the City of Portland support for the Preferred Alternative is based on the inclusion and completion of priority actions and issues to be addressed as outlined in Exhibit C and implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Ross Island Bridgehead Work Plan, or substantially to form, as outlined in Exhibit E; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Council directs the Bureau of Transportation to lead the City’s participation in TriMet’s development and execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement for City staff services related to completion of the FEIS, along with design and construction phases of the LRT project. This agreement will be brought to the Council for execution prior to June 30, 2019; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Council directs the Bureau of Transportation to prepare Transportation System Plan amendments necessary to support the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project for consideration by Council after the Final Environmental Impact Statement is completed; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Council directs the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Housing Bureau to report back on progress toward implementing the goals of the SW Corridor Equitable Housing strategy in tandem with any future Council action committing funds to the Project; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Council directs the Bureau of Transportation to work with Metro, TriMet and project partners in the development of a Financial Strategy for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project, to work with the City Budget Office and other city bureaus and Prosper Portland to develop a financial strategy for the City of Portland's contribution and to report back to Council on the recommended financial contribution of the City to the Project prior to finalizing any commitment by the City with the intent to make the City’s commitment of local match in early 2020; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED this Resolution is non-binding City policy.

Link to Exhibits A, B, C, D and E (PDF Document, 11.3 MB)


HISTORY

Resolution No. 37393, adopted by City Council November 1, 2018.