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Goal 2: Moving People and Goods

moving people
Section of Portland Bureau of Transportation's (PBOT) Strategic Plan "Moving to Our Future" (2019-2024). Goal 2 - Moving People and Goods. Originally published 2019. Revised 2023.
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What's New

Clearly defined performance outcomes and measures

When adopted in 2019, the Strategic Plan included example outcomes and measures for each goal area. In 2021, as part of a midway progress report, staff refined these outcomes and analyzed data for key performance measures related to each goal.

Table showing the 2 moving people and goods outcomes and associated performance measures

Reprioritized outcomes and initiatives

Looking at data trends for these outcomes and measures, we see that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and carbon emissions are on the rise, exacerbating the climate crisis and mobility disparities. Trips are taking longer and travel-time reliability is getting worse. Furthermore, Portlanders who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, as well as community members living on low income, continue to bear the brunt of an inefficient, overly car-dependent transportation system. As overall VMT continues to rise, it becomes more and more difficult to move people and goods throughout our city. We must accelerate progress toward our VMT reduction and mode-shifting targets to improve mobility, equity, and climate outcomes.

At the same time, our city is recovering from a multi-year pandemic and growing concerns around livability. PBOT is a partner in the citywide effort to support our community in this recovery and to improve livability through the activation of our right-of-way.

Objectives and initiatives in our plan have been revised to reflect these trends, work completed to date, and resource and capacity realities in 2023.

Overview of Goal 2 - Moving People and Goods

Portland has very ambitious goals for transitioning people away from driving alone and into alternative modes of transportation such as bicycling, public transit, and walking. Successfully making this transition allows us to lower carbon emissions and make Portland the city we want it to be. To meet these goals, we must begin implementing major changes to the way we build, price, and allocate our roads in the city. And we must do this together, with an evidence-based approach, so that we deliver clear benefits to all Portlanders.

This begins with an understanding that the status quo is not an option. Not only will inaction lead to more congestion, it will also serve to reinforce and worsen inequities in our transportation system. Communities of color and low-income communities already contribute a disproportionate share of their income to transportation, while seeing less benefits than white and wealthier Portlanders. Unmanaged, new and emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles and ride-hailing services could exacerbate these inequities. Lack of access to transportation options already exacts a heavy cost on people’s lives by limiting economic opportunity, reducing time with family and friends, and harming individual and community health.

Additionally, the negative effects of growth and congestion are not distributed equitably as measured by both race and income. Gentrification has disrupted existing neighborhoods, displacing communities of color and low-income residents to the car-dependent periphery. Thus, those who can least afford it are increasingly required to travel farther, at greater cost, with fewer options, and with more delay. 

Objective 1: Deliver and activate transportation projects that improve mobility and livability in our communities

Strategic Initiatives

  • Deliver quick-build projects that most address safety and equity goals, and evaluate and report on impact of projects.
  • Evaluate and improve existing Rose Lane network and expand network as funding is available.
  • Identify funding to connect a protected bike and pedestrian facility to the Blumenauer Bridge. 
  • Strengthen the value of the central city and neighborhood centers via plaza development and activation.

Objective 2: Advance the most effective transportation demand management strategies identified in the Way to Go Plan

Strategic Initiatives

  • Evaluate effectiveness of Transporation Wallet programs and identify ongoing funding.
  • Advocate for demand management through pricing on Oregon Department of Transportation freeways to mitigate existing inequities, improve safety on local roads, and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Prepare for the implementation of near-term recommendations from the Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility (POEM) task force
  • Implement new permitted parking programs and multimodal strategies that reduce vehicle ownership in growing parts of the city.

Objective 3: Build a better 82nd Avenue 

Strategic Initiatives

  • Deliver Phase 1 Building a Better 82nd Ave projects
  • Complete the 82nd Avenue Civic Corridor Plan
  • Complete 82nd Avenue transit project development.

Objective 4: Implement and codify updated standards that support efficient movement of people and goods over cars

Strategic Initiatives

  • Implement new transportation impact procedures for development review that utilize performance measure(s) that better align with TSP and land-use objectives and evaluates impacts and mitigations related to the city’s preferred modes, rather than using standards for automobile level-of-service.
  • Continue advocating for a replacement level-of-service metric that measures the efficient movement of people and goods at regional and state policymaking tables, and prepare updates to City Mobility Policy to reflect city goals and comply with updated regional and state policy once adopted.

Objective 5: Accelerate the conversion from fossil fuel to electric mobility

Strategic Initiatives

  • Expand access to electric vehicle charging in the right-of-way
  • Seek grant funding to expand access to e-bikes, particularly for people with limited transportation options
  • Increase transportation options, such as bike-share and e-scooters that are able to move more people sustainably in our limited public right-of-way
  • Reduce emissions from internal fleet

Download the full plan