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Help shape a greener tommorrow


Many communities in the region have already undertaken projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as required by the State of Oregon in the future.

They range from building transit systems in Portland to encouraging alternative transportation options in Hillsboro and studying increased density in Forest Grove and Hillsboro.

These and other projects were discussed last week in a series of stories published in many Pamplin Media Group newspapers.

The articles explained the Climate Smart Communities project being undertaken by Metro, the elected regional government, at the direction of the Oregon Legislature.

Metro is currently conducting an online Opt In survey to gauge public response to possible new policies to reduce driving even more. To register and take it, visit www.climatesmartsurvey.com.

The policies under discussion include encouraging more mixed-use developments and increasing the cost of driving and parking.

The elected Metro Council will consider the results of the survey when finalizing its proposal for the 2015 Oregon Legislature. In the meantime, here are a sampling of projects from around the region discussed in last week’s stories:

Portland: The biggest city in the region is well-known for its alternative transportation polices and projects. They include the Portland Streetcar loop that is nearing completion around the urban core. Work is underway to connect it to TriMet’s new Portland-to-Milwaukie MAX line near OMSI on the east side of the Willamette River and in the South Waterfront neighborhood on the west side.

The City Council also approved the Portland Plan last year that calls for the creation of neighborhood centers throughout town where residents can walk to work and shopping within 20 minutes. The plan also calls for them to be connected with streets that are designed to encourage walking and biking.

Clackamas County: Created in 1980, the 819-acre Clackamas Town Center redevelopment called for improving transportation connections along Southeast 82nd Avenue. Connections to Interstate 205 and Sunnyside Road made it one of the region’s fastest growing areas in the past three decades. Proposed projects included the construction of TriMet’s Green Line MAX line to the Clackamas Town Center mall. The plan has been modified over the years to reflect growth in Milwaukie and Happy Valley, the two cities surrounding the area, but it has always maintained efforts to add local housing and improve traffic flow.