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Stopping a Highway: Sensible Transportation Options For People (Stop) PWPB


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This presentation shows how a small band of neighborhood activists killed a destructive highway project planned to run through the heart of Portland, OR, neighborhoods in the 1970's.

Published in: Education
  • Actually, it was in the early 1990s and the freeway would have induced rampant sprawl through rural areas.
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Stopping a Highway: Sensible Transportation Options For People (Stop) PWPB

  1. 1. Killing Portland Oregon’s Proposed Western Bypass Freeway, 1989-1995<br />Molly O’Reilly<br />America Walks<br />
  2. 2. A Tiny Group – A Big Victory<br />
  3. 3. Tiny Group – Big Victory<br />How does a very small group of citizens defeat the Oregon Department of Transportation?<br />We had good luck! <br />We worked hard and smart!<br />
  4. 4. A Strategy with Many Fronts<br />We listened and learned<br />What concerns people?<br />What did bureaucracies want, and say?<br />Strengths and vulnerabilities of the Bypass proposal?<br />Language: transpo-speak vs. citizen-speak<br />Where and how can we affect the outcome?<br />
  5. 5. We Were Everywhere<br />Reinterpreted ODOT’s numbers<br />The study didn’t really say the Bypass would accomplish very much, long term<br />Joined every committee<br />Citizens Advisory Committee, METRO, etc. <br />Reframed the issue<br />Broadened question to include our answers<br />
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  8. 8. We took our story to community meetings<br />Visual Preference Surveys<br />Congestion would expand to the metro perimeter<br />Solutions? <br />New light rail lines, TODs<br />“If Freeways were the<br />answer, Los Angeles <br />would be paradise”<br />
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  10. 10. Congestion and Vehicle Use: LUTRAQvs. The Western Bypass.<br />
  11. 11. Moving the Process <br />Demanded one EIS for a 3-stage project<br />Served on the ODOT Citizens Advisory Committee<br />Served on METRO’s Transportation Policy Alternatives Committee (TPAC)<br />Became neighborhood association officers<br />Monitored City, County meetings<br />
  12. 12. Being Effective<br />Show up prepared<br />Read all materials <br />Identify areas where your issue can be inserted/deleted<br />Be nimble; opportunities pop up!<br />Reframe and put your reframing forward<br />Build partnerships, the broader and unlikelier the better<br />Use volunteer strengths and interests<br />
  13. 13. Well?<br />We split the alliance.<br />We gave powerful Bypass opponents options to work for, and political cover to oppose the project.<br />We did the grunt-work to take the Bypass out of the METRO Transportation Plan.<br />We declared victory; no bypass built. <br />
  14. 14. Contact Information<br />Molly O’Reilly<br />America Walks<br /><br />208-255-7336<br />