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PDX Update: Auto show expands Mobility Zone

An exhibit to help the disabled get around is growing at the 2014 Portland International Auto Show. The Mobility Zone will increase to 4,500 square feet from 3,000 square feet at last year’s show, allowing more room for mobility products and nonprofit organizations serving the disabled.

The Mobility Zone is hosted by Performance Mobility, a national company with a Portland office that sells vehicles with hand controls and room for wheelchairs, including BraunAbility Conversion Vans, VMI Conversion Vans, and SVM Trucks. The exhibit also will display motorized wheelchairs and other specially designed vehicles from such companies as Amramp, Ted’s Mobility, EWC Lift System and Action Trackchair. The area also will include representatives from the ALS Association, the National MS Society, INCIGHT, BACKBONES, the NW Wheelchair Tennis Association, Elders In Action, and Oregon Disability Sports.

“This will be a real hands-on exhibit for those with mobility issues and those who want to better understand their needs,” says Leslie Adams, Performance Mobility’s marketing director.

The 2014 Portland international Auto Show runs from Feb. 6 to 9 at the Oregon Convention Center. For more information, visit www.portlandautoshow.com.

Both sides in transit initiative get cash

Sides are lining up on the March 11 ballot measure that would require a public vote for any new high-capacity transit line to be built through Tigard.

Most of the money in support of Ballot Measure 34-210 has come from the Oregon Transformation Project, a political action committee that opposed light rail and supported conservative politicians in Clackamas County. Money opposing the measure has come from a variety of sources, including public officials, labor organizations and business associations.

Voters Pamplet arguments in favor of Ballot Measure 34-210 have been filed by co-chief petitioners Art Crino and Tim Esau; attorney Eric Winters; and Tigard residents Andy Bergman, Joe Jumalon and Gordon Fiddes. The OTF spent $1,600 on the pages.

Arguments in opposition have been filed by all members of the Tigard City Council; former Tigard mayors Tom Brian, John E. Cook, Craig Dirksen and Jack Schwab; the Tigard Chamber of Commerce; Westside Economic Alliance; the Oregon Environmental Council; Move Oregon; former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts; and numerous Tigard residents and business owners.

The supporters have not yet formed a campaign committee. Opponents have received $2,800. Donors include the Shiels Obletz Johnsen consulting firm that helps administer transit programs in Portland and the Local 48 Electricians PAC.

Powell-Division transit panel appointed

Metro has appointed the steering committee to oversee the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project. The first public forum with the committee will be scheduled within a month or so. The project is intended to result in the construction of a new high-capacity transit line between Portland and Gresham within a few years.

The committee is co-chaired by Metro Councilor Bob Stacy, who represents parts of Portland, and Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick, who represents Gresham. Other government representatives include Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick; Gresham Councilor Lori Stegmann; Oregon State Rep. Shemia Fagan; Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel; TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane; Oregon Department of Transportation Region 1 Manager Jason Tell; Mt. Hood Community College Board Chairwoman Diane Noriega; and Portland Community College Southeast President Jessica Howard.

Community representatives include: Fred Meyer Public Affairs Director Melinda Meyer; Johnson Creek Watershed Council Executive Director Matt Clark; Upstream Public Health Transportation Policy Director Heidi Guenin; Gresham Coalition of Neighborhood Associations Vice Chairman John Bildsoe; Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition member Bill Crawford; East Portland Neighborhood Office and East Portland Action Plan Representative Kem Marks; Division-Midway Alliance District Manager Lori Boisen; Catholic Charities Director of Housing & Community Development Trell Anderson; East County Economic Alliance President Matt Wand; Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon board member Raahi Reddy; OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon Youth Organizer Nicole Johnson; and Devin Carr, representing students and transit riders.

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