Portland’s Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Portland Transportation Director Chris Warner mourn the passing of Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, whose nearly 50-year career made the Portland area a more sustainable region through land use and transportation planning.
Stacey was part of a generation of advocates and community leaders who united private and public sector organizations to implement the urban growth boundary with public transit and biking innovations. As an advocate, he went to court and worked on campaigns to defend Oregon's land use planning rules.
Commissioner Hardesty knew Stacey for more than 20 years, as both pushed for change as advocates and, eventually, as elected officials.
“Bob Stacey has been an institution since the day I arrived in Oregon,” said Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “We first met when I was a State Representative, and he was the Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. I got to know him even better when we served together on the board of the Coalition for a Livable Future. I don’t know anyone who could better connect the dots between growth, development, and how those laws impact people’s ability to thrive in their communities. We also bonded over a shared passion for growing Portland with sustainable transportation options. Bob was widely known as a fierce public advocate, but what set him apart was his ability to also be effective inside the system as a city planner, a lawyer, and an elected official. Bob’s legacy will always remain with us, and I am honored to have considered him a friend and mentor.”
In April 2021, PBOT Director Chris Warner renamed Portland's newest bicycle and pedestrian bridge after Councilor Stacey. The bridge, built by TriMet, is owned by PBOT and provides a safe crossing over freight railroad tracks east of SE Milwaukie Avenue, just north of SE Powell Boulevard.
“Bob was a relentless champion of land use in Oregon and will be greatly missed but his legacy will live on," Warner said.
A Portland native, Stacey was a partner at Ball Janik LLP and served as a senior policy advisor to Gov. Barbara Roberts, a chief of staff to Congressman Blumenauer, and executive director for policy and planning at TriMet. He has also served as Portland’s planning director and as the executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon, the nonprofit founded in 1974 by Henry Richmond and Governor Tom McCall to support their vision of Senate Bill 100 and our state’s iconic land use planning system.
Stacey worked directly with staff, community partners, and local leaders to plan the region’s latest high-capacity transit lines, such as the forthcoming Division Transit Project.
Stacey went to Parkrose High School in East Portland. And he graduated from Reed College in Southeast Portland, where he wrote a senior thesis about the Bonneville Power Administration.