Transportation For Oregon’s Future Principles
Transportation investments should support healthy living, social equity, environmental stewardship, and a strong economy.
- Safe, healthy communities: Transportation investments and community design that support people’s ability to safely walk, bicycle or take transit lead to higher rates of physical activity and better health outcomes.
- Enhanced social equity: Transportation policies should support the ability of underserved communities to better access basic needs including jobs, health services, education and healthy food options. Where transportation policies or investments negatively impact a specific community, there should be comprehensive plans to mitigate those negative impacts.
- Increased Transparency and Accountability: Transportation investments should be made in ways that are transparent to community members, and there should be adequate opportunity to comment on and influence investment decisions. Communities that might be impacted by a transportation decision should always have a seat at the table in key decisions.
- Land conservation and environmental stewardship: Transportation policies should support the preservation of farm and forest lands, curb air pollution, protect waterways, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Strong economy: An increase in transportation funding will put Oregonians to work improving the transportation system in the short-term. Over the long-term, healthy, affordable transportation options will reduce transportation and healthcare costs to make our economy more productive, and enhance access to jobs, especially for underserved communities.
Transportation investments should be fiscally sound.
- Fix it first: With limited funding, we must first ensure that existing infrastructure is maintained. The longer maintenance is deferred, the more expensive it becomes to repair.
- More transportation options: Providing transportation options and otherwise managing demand for road space can be far less expensive than adding more road capacity.
- Return on investment: Rational, criteria-based prioritization of transportation infrastructure investments to maximize multiple benefits will win Oregonians the best returns.
Funding mechanisms should be sustainable, equitable and meet transportation needs.
- A focus on 21st century needs: We spent the latter half of the 20th century prioritizing the movement of cars; we must now turn our attention to the large and growing demand for frequent and reliable transit service, safe sidewalks and bikeways, and other transportation options, like modern on-demand ridesharing programs.
- Increased and sustained funding for transit operations: To meet rising demand, Oregon’s public transit agencies need stable funding to increase transit service. Once service starts and people come to rely on it, canceling service due to lack of funding harms the people served.
- Equitable and useful funding mechanisms: User fees can not only pay for the transportation system, but—by accurately capturing costs—they also result in travel behavior that helps the overall transportation system perform better. In addition, when fixed transportation costs (like registration fees) are “unbundled,” people have more control over transportation costs and can save money if they drive less. However, because transportation funding mechanisms have the potential to be regressive, any disparate, inequitable impacts must be mitigated.