An ambitious effort to assess community needs and find solutions to longstanding problems in the unincorporated Aloha-Reedville area has reached the halfway point.

To mark the progress of the Aloha-Reedville Study and Livable Community Plan, a workshop and celebration has been scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13, at Aloha High School, 18550 S.W. Kinnaman Road.

Both events are being organized with the help of the Washington County Land Use and Transportation Department, which is in charge of the planning efforts. Interpretation and Spanish-language materials will be available.

Goals include finding ways the county can work with the community to support job growth and enhance prosperity, maintain and increase affordable housing options, and improve automobile, public transit, freight, bicycle and pedestrian options.

The workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will include a review of the Existing Conditions Report that found approximately 50,000 people live in the two adjacent unincorporated areas between Hillsboro and Beaverton — more people than those who live in Tigard.

The report also found Aloha-Reedville is one of the fastest-growing areas in the region, with the population increasing 68 percent between 1990 and 2010.

The report also identified livability problems the community wants addressed, including constant heavy traffic on the Tualatin Valley Highway that cuts through the area. Unless something is done, conditions could worsen in coming years as Hillsboro proceeds with plans to redevelop the adjacent South Hillsboro area.

Despite the challenges, a community celebration of the work achieved so far will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. It is intended for the entire family and will include music, dance performances and food from local merchants.

Additional information on the planning effort will be presented at a Community Building Fair and Open House from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. today (Thursday) also at Aloha High School.

Washington County received a federal Sustainable Communities grant and launched a three-year study on how to improve livability in the area in 2011. Addition funding for the $3 million study came from a Metro Construction Excise Tax grant and matching county funds.

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