On the Issues: TRANSPORTATION
Transportation in and around Hillsboro and Washington County must also be a focus. Our demand for moving people in and out of Washington County has only risen over the last 20 years. It is an issue that resonates with anyone that has been stuck on the Sunset Highway trying to get to a vital appointment or anyone who has attempted to get across Tualatin Valley Highway to catch a bus that runs infrequently. Safety becomes more imperative as our city becomes more densely populated, plus we have to get more creative in building capacity. We have long been a net donor to TriMet for transit, and we are growing quickly. We must negotiate our
proper position to get as much advantage from the State and TriMet as we need to fulfill our potential. Their plans must be adjusted to help our growing urban population get to their destination, be it work, home or play.
TV Highway is dangerous, whether you are a driver, bus rider or pedestrian. Outdated lighting, signaling and its incapacity to facilitate more frequent bus or other mass transit are in the way of its being a more efficient thoroughfare. Hillsboro can have a say in this, if we make a wholehearted effort to show our need and work with ODOT to fulfill our needs.
I will support safety and capacity improvements on Hwy 8/ TV Hwy. The changes should be made with people and buses in mind, not just cars. Lighting suited to pedestrian and bicycle visibility, sidewalks, and bus turnouts would be priorities. I would support other municipalities to use the currently-owned easement to eventually bring MAX out to Cornelius and Forest Grove when it is practical.
North-South ease of transit is becoming more needed as North and South Hillsboro build out. Century Boulevard, with an overpass across Sunset can achieve some of that. I would assert that the structure should be executed with transit in its design for the future. We may not need it now, but overpasses are a difficult retrofit.
Hillsboro, as a part of Washington County, should work with other municipalities to work out how a whole regional plan works in a way that is less zero-sum than in the past. Otherwise, traffic will build up in some places without the requisite capacity. This causes need for retrofits and added cost.
Because people in Affordable Housing tend to live next to major traffic areas, I will support infrastructure for renewable, cleaner fuels and electric cars. Noise and small particulate emissions are a danger to health, especially in children. The long-term health consequences of pollution are a social predictor of low achievement and premature death. As the city grows, we need to mitigate the harm from our current traffic model.