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Feds approve $895,000 for Southwest Corridor planning

PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - The federal government has approved a grant to help plan redevelopment along the Southwest Corrdior where Tigard voters could determine the fate of the proposed MAX line at the November general election.The Federal Transit Administration has awarded Metro an $895,000 grant to help create an equitable economic development and housing strategy for the Southwest Corridor, where the elected regional government is studying building the next MAX light rail to connect Portland and Tualatin through Tigard.

The project, which includes possible residential and commercial redevelopment opportunities, faces a potential do-or-die vote in Tigard at the Nov. 8 general election. A yes vote on Measure 34-255 allows the city to support the line. Its passage is widely consider necessary to secure the 50 percent financing commitment from the FTA to help build the it.

The $895,000 grant was announced Wednesday by FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers at the Rail~Volution Conference in San Francisco as part of the agency's Transit-Oriented Development Planning Pilot Program. The conference, which many regional leaders are attending, has attracted transit planners and advocates from around the country.

According to Metro, the Southwest Corridor is expected to add as many as 75,000 residents and 60,000 jobs by 2040. The grant will help Metro work with community partners to identify housing, workforce and economic development needs in the growing area and to develop strategies that improve access to economic and educational opportunities — with special attention to low-income residents and communities of color.

"Better access in the Southwest Corridor means two things: Safer, more reliable options for getting around, and more opportunities for good jobs, education and high-quality housing residents can afford," said Metro Councilor and project steering committee co-chair Bob Stacey." This grant will help us work with local communities, TriMet, community-based organizations and other partners to advance opportunity in the Southwest Corridor."

Potential redevelopment sites within the corridor are being identified by Portland in its Barbur Concept Plan and by Tigard in its Tigard Triangle Plan.

"As the Southwest Corridor and our region continue growing, we need to think of transit investments, economic development and housing strategies as pieces of the same puzzle," said Metro Councilor and former Tigard mayor Craig Dirksen. "This is an exciting opportunity to integrate all three. The lessons we learn will apply well throughout the region."

To read a Metro story on the announcement, visit www.oregonmetro.gov/news/metro-receives-895k-grant-expand-jobs-and-housing-opportunity-southwest-corridor/