Friday, Oct. 15, 2021
News & Notes
Transportation Committee hears about the next round of MSTIP planning
   WEA members met with Washington County's Land Use & Transportation Director Stephen Roberts, along with Senior Policy Analyst Chris Deffebach and Principal Transportation Planner Erin Wardell, this week during a virtual Transportation Committee meeting.
   The three talked about the next planning phase of the Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP), also known as the MSTIP '23-'28 Funding Allocation Work Plan.
   Washington County is the only county in the state to have this unique property tax mechanism, which has been successful in providing funding for transportation projects for the past 35 years.
   For the first time, the County will have help from a consulting firm to advise on equity and outreach efforts for MSTIP, and Wardell said the public engagement will start sooner in the planning process than it has in the past.
   The County has proposed outcomes for the program that include:
  • Equity,
  • Safety,
  • Economic vitality,
  • Livability,
  • and Natural environment.
   Wardell said the consulting firm will help advise the County on the definitions or frame work for some of these, including the equity piece.
   This fall the County will be asking the public what is important to them when it comes to the transportation system, and they will have more targeted outreach to residents who are historically underrepresented.
   To learn more, see the slide deck from the presentation.
On your right - Wilsonville's SMART buses to start on shoulder pilot program
   It's been talked about as an option for years, and now Wilsonville's SMART (South Metro Area Regional Transit) will roll with it - "Bus on shoulder."
   A pilot program in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will allow SMART buses to use the highway shoulder on the two mile stretch of I-5 between the I-205 interchange and Elligsen Road in Wilsonville when traffic speeds drop below 35 mph.
   The goal is to create a more reliable transit commute, plus less idling in traffic means less emissions.
   This pilot program will run for one year and will serve as a possible prototype for east-west cross-regional transit service, which is being studied by ODOT for the area along I-205 between the employment centers of Tualatin/Wilsonville and the Clackamas Town Center.
   To read more, visit SMART's website.
Umpqua and Columbia banks to become one
   This week Umpqua Bank's Board of Directors announced plans to merge with Columbia Bank.
   In a statement, Umpqua Bank said, "Our combination will blend two of our region’s strongest banks and provide customers of both companies with a broader array of services and locations."
   By combining the two banks, and its combined $50 billion in assets, it will become the second largest regional bank headquartered on the West Coast and the 27th largest in the U.S.
   It's being reported that the company will keep the Umpqua Bank branding and move its headquarters to Lake Oswego with a corporate office in Tacoma.
   However, the banks will continue to operate separately until the transaction closes, which is expected in 2022.
   To read more, visit Umpqua Bank's website.
Odds & Ends
  • State Senator Betsy Johnson has announced her plans to run for Governor as an independent. To read more, turn to Pamplin Media.

  • Metro is looking for feedback on the Regional Transportation Plan that would allow planning and preliminary engineering for tolling on I-205. To take the survey, click here.

  • Washington County is encouraging residents to sign up for a new emergency alert system. To learn more, click here.

  • Congratulations to Portland Community College on joining forces with Townsend University to lead a national cybersecurity task force to align curriculum with industry needs. To read more, click here.

  • The City of Hillsboro was just honored as one of the top 10 places to live in 2021, according to Livability. It ranked #7, behind Quincy, MA (south of Boston). The #1 spot? Madison, WI. To see how other cities ranked, click here.

  • Clean Water Services has released its annual report, sharing how it has adapted and brought innovation to its efforts. Click here to take a peek.

  • WEA member, Norris & Stevens announced it has brokered a $1.14 million lease of a Beaverton office building. To learn more, visit its website.

  • If you're looking for a little fall fun, Wilsonville is hosting its "Fall Festival" at the Stein Boozier Barn tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Events coming up
Wed. 10/20 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually with Eric Peterson of Newland to learn more about Reed's Crossing in South Hillsboro. All members are welcome to attend. To register, contact KC Reinhart.

Mon. 10/25 at 8:00 a.m. - A Virtual Forum with Congressman Kurt Schrader. To register

Wed. 10/27 at 7:30 a.m. - The WEA Board of Directors will meet virtually.

Wed. 11/10 at 7:30 a.m. - The Transportation Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend.