Sign on to resolution for better regional transportation plan

By Rob Zako
February 7, 2022

BEST invites community organizations and individuals to sign on to our Resolution for a Better Central Lane Regional Transportation Plan by Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

“If the people lead, the leaders will follow.” —Mahatma Gandhi

Notwithstanding concerns raised by BEST and other community leaders, the Metropolitan Policy Committee (MPC) on January 6, 2022, adopted the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) as presented in order to satisfy federal requirements.

But MPC also directed staff to work to revise the plan by the end of 2022 and to come back every month to make progress towards that objective.

In response, BEST and its partners invite community organizations and individuals to sign on to the following resolution.

Testifying to MPC on February 3, 2022, BEST executive director Rob Zako alerted officials and staff that BEST and its partners would be coming back on March 3, 2022, to present the signed resolution.

The RTP is the framework for major transportation investments over the next 20 years in the Eugene-Springfield-Coburg region, also known as the Central Lane Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) area.

MPC serves as the policy body for the Central Lane MPO. MPC consists of ten officials representing six jurisdictions: the cities of Eugene, Springfield, and Coburg; Lane County; Lane Transit District; and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Federal law requires the Central Lane MPO to adopt an updated plan every four years in order to continue receiving federal funding for transportation.

Central Lane MPO Area. Source: Lane Council of Governments

Resolution for a Better Central Lane Regional Transportation Plan

February 7, 2022

WHEREAS, people and businesses depend on the transportation system to get around;

WHEREAS, transportation impacts the economy, the health and safety of people, social equity, the environment, and our quality of life;

WHEREAS, the Central Lane Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is the framework for the transportation future of the Eugene-Springfield-Coburg region;

WHEREAS, the RTP should include goals to provide for the needs of the region today and in the future;

WHEREAS, the RTP should prioritize investments that better advance regional goals, as funding for transportation is limited, recognizing that funding might not become available to implement all that is planned;

WHEREAS, federal law requires that the RTP be updated every four years via a process that is continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive to the degree appropriate;

WHEREAS, the RTP should respond in meaningful ways to public input, as the transportation system is constructed, maintained, and operated with substantial public funding;

WHEREAS, as representatives of the public, officials on the Central Lane Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) policy body—the Metropolitan Policy Committee (MPC)—should actively engage in reviewing and approving the RTP;

WHEREAS, although it isn’t possible to please all the people all the time, public officials should explain the choices they make on the public’s behalf; and

WHEREAS, on January 6, 2022, MPC approved an updated RTP to satisfy federal requirements, but did so without sufficient time to respond meaningfully to public input or to review investment priorities.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the undersigned as follows:

  1. PROVISIONAL PLAN — As the RTP adopted by MPC on January 6, 2022, does not meet the principles outlined above, we consider it to be provisional, not to be relied upon to justify adding investments to the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP).
  1. REVISED PLAN — We call on the Central Lane MPO to commit to revising the RTP by the end of 2022.
  1. ENGAGEMENT — We the undersigned commit to working together, as resources permit, with other members of our region, including government officials and staff, to engage the public in better linking the RTP’s goals to investment priorities and to provide meaningful input to the Central Lane MPO to inform the revised RTP.
  1. 3C PROCESS — We call on the Central Lane MPO to follow a process to revise the RTP that is continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive, as required by federal law:
  • Continuing means never being satisfied with old plans but continually responding to new information, new technology, and changing needs.
  • Cooperative means that different jurisdictions, while each representing their own interests, should also work together to find better ways to advance regional interests, especially when it comes to federal and state funding not earmarked to a particular jurisdiction.
  • Comprehensive means not being limited to a transportation silo but also examining what drives transportation demand (economy, land use, etc.) and the impacts of the transportation system (economy, health, safety, equity, environment, quality of life, etc.).
  1. ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY — We call on the Central Lane MPO to explain its decisions to the public:
  • Projects: The RTP should explain how officials decided to include some projects in the plan and not others, and to include some on the financially constrained list and others on the illustrative list.
  • Splits: The RTP should explain how officials decided how much to invest in each mode, project type, program type, or jurisdiction.
  • Summary: The RTP should summarize all projects and other investments by mode, project type, program type, and jurisdiction.

PDF version of resolution.

Read more stories about the RTP.

Learn more about BEST’s work on the RTP.