July 10, 2020
News & Notes
Transportation Committee hears about tolling I-205 & I-5
   The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Tolling Program Manager Lucinda Broussard and WSP's Heather Wills joined the WEA Transportation Committee virtually this week to talk about tolling.
  Tolls are first being considered on I-205 is between Stafford Road and Highway 213.
   Broussard talked about the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee and the liaison work it does.
   She also said ODOT is looking at modeling that shows how people may divert or reroute onto side streets if tolls were in place on I-205.
   Broussard and Wills did say that diversion or rerouting already occurs, but the modeling is looking at the impact tolls could have.
   Wills provided information about the tolling process ODOT is currently in for I-205, which is the environmental assessment phase.
    Wills provided some visuals on where the tolling entry points would be on I-205.
   To see the slide presentation, click here .
   ODOT will also be starting a public comment period on August 3.
   To follow this project, click here .
Business community links together to ask Metro to pause transportation measure
    Westside Economic Alliance joined Portland Business Alliance, the chambers for Hillsboro and Beaverton, and other business groups in submitting a letter to Metro, asking its Council to delay putting a proposed transportation bond measure on the November ballot.
   The letter sites the pandemic and economic downturn as a reason to wait on the proposed measure and payroll tax.
   It said, " We are deeply concerned that Metro has not paused to consider if now is the right time, the right mechanism and the right package given the significant economic downturn and major shifts in commuting behaviors. We urge you to consider whether current changes of the magnitude we are experiencing in our economy require all of us to pause on a new business tax proposal."
   Metro President Lynn Peterson responded with a letter suggesting ways to be sensitive to the circumstances or times we're living in, yet move the measure forward at the same time.
   The suggestions include delaying imposing the taxes for Get Moving 2020 until 2022; infusing $1.5 billion in transportation investments in 2021 to help the economy recover by using Metro’s "strong credit rating" to issue revenue bonds and gaining more than $1 billion in federal matching funds; and by giving small business an exemption from the tax.
   To read the two letters, see the following links: the business coalition letter and/or Metro President Lynn Peterson's letter .
Economists give a break down of local PPP distribution
    The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis took a look at the federal data from the Payroll Protection Program ( PPP) , which was released this week.
   Economist Josh Lehner in his blog said, "Don’t dox or knock firms who received PPP. The pandemic was outside of any firm’s control. If you take issue with PPP, address it on the policy side, not the firm side. Don’t try to shame a company for trying to use available programs to stay afloat during a crisis and keep workers employed. Those are things we need!"
   Lehner shares how the leisure and hospitality sectors received a large share of PPP, which he said was good, since that industry was obviously the first to be affected by the Governor's "stay at home" orders.
   The data shows Washington County was lower on the spectrum for percentage of wages covered by PPP, but it's mainly due to being home to some larger companies that did not qualify for the PPP, according to Lehner.
   To see the breakdown of the data and read more, see Lehner's blog .
Odds & Ends
  • WEA staff would like to extend a "Happy birthday!" to its Executive Director Pam Treece!

  • Starting Monday, Cornelius Pass is closing between Skyline and Highway 30 for the rest of summer due to construction. Click here to learn more.

  • It's not on the Westside, but it could delay your travels, especially if you're taking light rail from the west to the east or vice versa. The Steel Bridge is closing for a month. Click here to learn more.

  • The City of Beaverton has closed off a section of SW 1st Street to allow dining establishments there to have more outside dining during the pandemic. It's called the First Street Dining Commons - located between SW Watson and SW Washington.

  • Clackamas County has grant money for nonprofits that assist some of the county's most vulnerable. It's the 12th year of the $250,000 program. To learn more, click here.

  • Comcast Business is hosting a virtual conference on July 23 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. The conference will look at the future of business. To learn more, click here.

  • In commercial real estate the Atrium West Office Plaza in Tigard just sold for $9.8 million. To read about this sale, click here.

  • PGE recognizes getting out of town for a little adventure this summer may be difficult and has these "camp in" ideas to share.

  • And finally, for all the parents juggling working from home and family life, we leave you with this precious BBC interview. Dr Clare Wenham, who is an assistant professor of Global Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, was being interviewed on TV as an expert in data, but it was her young daughter Scarlett who stole the show. Have a look at the video below & perhaps share where you would put the unicorn.
Events coming up
Wed. 7/15 CANCELED - the Land Use & Housing Committee

Th. 7/16 at 7:30 a.m. A virtual forum with Washington County's Marni Kuyl and Clean Water Services' Dr. Ken Williamson. For more information, click here .

Th. 7/16 at 12:00 p.m. Membership Committee meeting

Fri. 7/17 at 12:00 p.m. the Golf Committee will meet virtually. For more information, contact Teresa Dunham .

Wed. 8/12 at 7:30 a.m. the Transportation Committee will meet virtually. For more information, contact Pam Treece.

Wed. 8/19 at 12:00 p.m. the Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually. To learn more, contact KC Reinhart.

Fri. 8/28 Westside Golf Scramble - Registration is open! For more information, click here .

To see more of the WEA calendar, please visit the WEA website .