Families for a Livable Climate - Metro Council Transportation Letter
The letter and signatures have been printed and are being delivered. You can e-mail metro councilors directly or attend the meeting in person.
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From: Nora Lehmann
I've attached the text of the statement below, and I'd be very happy if you'd
be willing to attach your name (and the names of your kids or grandkids) to
it. I think it would make a strong impact to have a number of families signing
on to the letter.
The Task Force is meeting at 5:30pm this Wednesday, Nov. 20th, so I can accept
signatures till about 3:30pm on Wednesday, so that I have time to print out
hard copies to bring to the meeting.
"I want you to panic . . . I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is." -- Greta Thunberg, January 24, 2019
We are a group of families, writing to the Council on behalf of our children, most of whom are too young to write on their own behalf, but whose city and state your decisions will shape for decades to come.
We are tired of watching our leaders claim to care about climate and equity, but then take only small and incremental steps towards addressing these urgent issues; or, worse, make choices that are counterproductive. With 40% of Oregon's GHG emissions coming from transportation -- and rising! -- we no longer have time for half measures.
We appreciate that the Council is working hard to balance many competing interests, including those of folks who cannot imagine a life outside of car culture, but the glaring truth is that we cannot address the climate crisis without taking on automobiles.
Our country's transportation system -- private car ownership -- is unsafe, unjust, and unsustainable. Cars kill 40,000 people annually, are most cities' largest GHG producer, are a massive burden on the poor, and the expense of perpetually maintaining and expanding their infrastructure and storage keep mass transit underfunded and second class. In addition, the research on induced demand is clear: creating more roads, and widening existing roads only encourages people to drive more. Adding capacity for more cars only adds more congestion.
Any transportation money must be spent on transforming our entire region (not just central Portland) into a place where car ownership is unnecessary for most people, and we can get around efficiently, safely, and pleasantly through a variety of other modes of travel. We believe that all families in the region deserve access to resilient, safe, equitable, accessible, non-polluting car- free transit, including:
- integrated regional networks of electric bus and rail transit, in dedicated lanes, linking neighborhood centers, commercial centers, and job centers
- integrated regional networks of protected bikeways connecting to neighborhood centers, commercial centers, and job centers
- safe and connected pedestrian access to stations, beginning with the most transit dependent areas of the region.
It is time to make sure that every dollar spent, and every project planned includes an analysis of its GHG effects and equity effects. We ask that Metro generate a proposal that can prove it will substantially reduce transportation related carbon emissions within five years of bond passage.
Many of the projects proposed are a step in the right direction, but are not themselves enough. We cannot waste more time on small-scale planning and maybe-somedays. We need to believe our leaders can act with the courage and vision to match the urgency of the moment.
Our -- your -- children and grandchildren deserve a livable climate on our beautiful planet.
Be on the right side of history.
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