Transportation Justice

The 350PDX Transportation Justice team is a recent collaboration coalesced around the role of transportation in climate change. Transportation is the source of 40% of Oregon’s carbon emissions, the largest source in the state. Transportation is the source of 29% of GHGe in the US, the largest share of emissions in the country. Transportation also sits squarely at the intersection of climate action and social justice. Frontline communities are impacted early, often, and deeply by intensifying weather events, have fewer financial resources to adapt to increased competition for resources, and are already underserved by safe, effective, and affordable transit options.

Recognizing this intersection, the Transportation Justice team advocates for an urban environment in which the personal auto is obsolete. Rapid, frequent public transit connects affordable housing, jobs, and food sources. Compact development makes efficient use of land and supports walking and biking movement. We take the position that public money must fund public transit systems, safe bicycling infrastructure, and an absolute prioritization of the pedestrian.

Our efforts began with the No More Freeways movement to respond to the release of ODOT’s Environmental Assessment (EA) for the I-5 Rose Quarter Project. The project proposed by ODOT is a $450 million, 1.8 lane-mile expansion of Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter between the Fremont Bridge (I-405) and the Banfield Freeway (I-84). This proposal would be funded through money set aside in HB 2017, the statewide transportation package that passed through Oregon’s legislature in June of 2017. A broad coalition of activist and community groups, as well as Metro, came together to submit public testimony calling out fallacies, errors, and falsehoods in the EA document, as well as the clear fact that this project runs counter to equity, public health, and climate goals, and will fail to provide the advertised congestion relief. 350PDX’s Transportation Justice team authored 350PDX’s letter of comment.

The team is now turning its attention to the Metro 2020 Transportation Measure. A task force has been convened to determine the package of transportation projects to be brought to ballot for an estimated $20 billion in funding. The Transportation Justice team anticipates testifying at the upcoming Metro 2020 task force meetings to advocate for a system of projects that funds transit first, funds transit first in communities of color, low-income communities, and transit-dependent communities and builds:

  • Integrated regional networks of bus and rail transit, in exclusive lanes, linking neighborhood centers, commercial centers, and job centers.
  • Integrated regional networks of protected bikeways connected to centers and neighborhoods

We anticipate advocating for congestion pricing–mindful of inequities–as the sole auto-centric project type to be funded.

Want to get involved?? Fill in the volunteer form and make sure to check the Transportation Justice box!