Friday, June 11, 2021
News & Notes
Transportation Committee receives Clackamas County update
   Clackamas County's Mike Bezner, Jamie Stasny, and Trent Wilson spoke with the WEA Transportation Committee this week.
   The trio provided an update on the County's transportation efforts, including its Transportation Development Plan (TDP), Bike/Walk Plan, legislative priorities, tolling, and more.
   Stasny explained how the TDP guides transportation investment funds for transit services.
   She showed the committee a map of Clackamas County areas lacking transit service, which are referred to as "service deserts."
   Wilson spoke about the dynamics of the county in terms of topography and the challenges it creates in servicing parts of the region.
   He also talked about the County's legislative priorities, saying it often involves I-205 and/or the Sunrise Corridor.
   I-205 is not a Clackamas County project (it's an ODOT project), but according to Wilson, it affects the commuting in the county, freight movement, economic development, and other facets of life.
   He pointed out that there isn't really an alternative route that bypasses the interstate, and it's an evacuation route in the event of a natural disaster.
   Wilson said he and his colleagues are advocating for state and federal funding for Phase 1 of the I-205 project, which is between West Linn's 10th Street and Highway 213.
   The project is said to be prime for funding given it's 90% designed and construction ready.
   Wilson also touched on the Sunrise Corridor area around I-205 and Happy Valley where two old state highways (Highway 212 and Highway 224) service the area.
   He said the system is outdated and not able to handle the current or future demands on it.
   It was put to the test last year during wildfire evacuations - this area also serves as an evacuation route going east or west.
   The County is asking the legislature for $4 million in funding for the Sunrise Gateway Corridor, and it has $1.5 million in local matching funds for it.
   When it comes to congestion pricing, Wilson shared his concerns about the proposed tolling of I-205 and how Clackamas County residents would be the first to experience it ahead of the rest of the region.
   To learn more, turn to the presentation slide deck.
Oregon economists take a look at the supply chain
   In his blog, Josh Lehner from the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis takes a look at the economy and the effect of supply constraints.
   Unlike other recessions, Lehner said this one will pick up more quickly as pandemic restrictions lessen and people become more comfortable going out to eat and spending their money.
   In the near term, economic growth looks strong - it could be the strongest in decades.
   On the supply side though, factors are less predictable.
   "Much of these constraints are expected to be temporary. Increased production and more efficient logistics will boost supply while higher prices and slower income growth as the federal aid runs out will cool demand somewhat. Better balance can be expected, although the path forward this year will likely be bumpier than expected," said Lehner.
   The economist said there is a need for increased production, but that it will require more investment in manufacturing.
   He also talked about the tight labor market and how in the long term it will continue to be an issue as baby boomers retire and demographics shift.
   Read more by checking Lehner's blog.
Why your past commute was actually good for the psyche
   Leadership experts James R. Bailey and Andy Cohen have published a recent article in the Harvard Business Review about the work commute, and its good effects on mental health.
   The authors refer to commuting as a natural and predictable ritual.
   "Simply put, a ritual is a process we repeat at more or less fixed times to add some stability and certainty into an otherwise unstable and uncertain world — alleviating feelings of grief, anxiety, and increasing confidence," the authors state.
   Many have talked about the blurring between home and work life as a number of workers stumble out of bed in the morning and stroll over to their computers to begin their workday in their pajamas.
   Locally, Mark Mohammadpour of Chasing the Sun Health Coaching has encouraged his followers to create a fake commute - a walk, a ride, or something that can become a habit to help one ramp up for their workday or to exit from it.
   Bailey and Cohen's article agrees, stating the work commute creates structure and provides people the mental space to prepare for the workday.
   It also allows people to decompress as they do the reverse commute home.
   Plus, it gives people a common bond or talking point.
   To read more, turn to Bailey and Cohen's article in the Harvard Business Review.
Odds & Ends
  • WEA is continuing the search for its next executive director. Please visit the WEA website to learn more about the position and how to apply.

  • If you are traveling around Washington County this summer, a quick glance at Washington County's road website could make your trip a bit smoother. It contains the latest road closures and traffic advisories.

  • Do you have an old bike or two sitting in the garage that has been outgrown or is going unused? Consider donating it. Providence Health & Services is hosting a donation event for Free Bike 4 Kidz program. To locate a donation site, visit the FB4K website.

  • Washington County's plethora of libraries are starting their summer reading programs for youth and adults. Check it out here.

  • Bloomberg Businessweek has made an interesting comparison between young men between the ages of 25-35 living with their parents and the workforce. It shows young males living at home has increased, while the same demographic has decreased in the labor force. Is it a failure to launch, video games, or what? Read more here.

  • Congratulations to all of those graduating from our Westside high schools and colleges this week. Also a big kudos to the educators (and parents too) who persevered through this school year and helped these students make it to graduation day. Well done!
Events coming up
Wed. 6/16 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually with Beaverton School District's Steven Sparks. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact KC Reinhart.

Wed. 6/23 at 7:30 a.m. - the WEA Board of Directors will meet virtually.

Th. 6/24 at 7:30 a.m. - a Virtual Forum with the Westside Mayors. For registration information, visit the WEA website.

Fri. 6/25 at 12:00 p.m. - the Golf/Fundraising Committee will meet virtually. The committee is working on the "Bursting the bubble" theme for the annual Westside Golf Scramble, which is scheduled for Thursday, August 26 at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club. Please contact Teresa Dunham for more information.

Sun. 7/4 & Mon. 7/5 - Happy Independence Day! WEA's laptops will be closed in celebration.

Th. 7/8 at 7:30 a.m. - the Government Relations Committee will meet and talk all things legislature. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact KC Reinhart.

Wed. 7/14 at 7:30 a.m. - The Transportation Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Pam Treece.