Sunday, April 21, 2013

Milwaukie Transportation System Plan

            The City of Milwaukie utilizes a Transportation System Plan (TSP) which identifies and prioritizes improvements within the various transportation types:  Pedestrian, Bicycle, Public Transit, Street Networks, Neighborhood Traffic Management, and Downtown Parking.  In 2007, the city did a complete overhaul of their TSP, but to remain consistent with Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan, the plan is due for an update. 
Although there are no major policy changes, there are smaller changes that need to be done.  One requirement is to extend the forecast from the current 2030 to the year 2035; other changes involve removing the completed projects from the lists and change some wording.
            Because the City Council wants the TSP to reflect the community’s priorities, the city Planning Department is collecting comments on the proposed changes.  There are three aspects upon which they are specifically focusing:  confirming project priorities, ranking the top projects, and identifying other needs.  Updates to the plan can be found at:
            Each of the modal systems is divided into separate chapters with each chapter addressing specific goals, needs and recommendations within each system.  The recommendations include a master plan highlighting the list of projects.  Each project is designated as a high, medium, or low priority and includes a brief description and a cost estimate of the project.  Projects are also classified by type: capital, service enhancement, policy, or operational.
            A public meeting will be held on June 3, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 at Milwaukie Christian Church and anyone interested in attending is invited to come add input and ideas.  The city has until December 31, 2013 to make required changes.
            When I reviewed the information I received at a recent Open House, I was impressed by the amount of projects the city has listed.  The packet of changes I received was minor compared to the 2” thick binder that held the entire 2007 TSP.  When I began to focus on the proposed changes, one of the first things that I noticed was the bulk of text to be added involved adding the complete street name, such as ‘Boulevard’ after ‘McLoughlin’ and ‘Street’ after ‘Monroe’.  There are only two new projects proposed, a trail in Kronberg Park and a bike & pedestrian bridge near the same area, which is currently part of the light rail project. 
            The city has completed twelve of the 126 capital projects that they had listed, one high priority, seven medium priority and three low priority.  The final project was not rated and was regarding light rail.  Considering the 10.5% completion rate over 5.5 years, I question whether this is the city’s “to-do” list, or if it is just a listing of transportation areas that can be addressed if the need arises in the future.  Although I like to believe it’s the former, and all these projects will be accomplished before 2035, I don’t think that’s the case considering only one high priority item has been completed since the last revision, and none of the documentation I have reviewed includes a projected timeline for project completions.  With the recent turnover of personnel in the Milwaukie Planning Department, I am interested in seeing if some of the priority ratings will be revised.

Reviewed by Chad Tucker

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! I agree that some additional high priority items should get crossed off "the list." Are there sanctions or consequences that come from Metro if cities do not meet their TSP goals? I hope intrinsic motivation plays a part in the process, but I'm guessing other sanctions and rules are also necessary.


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