Closely Connected Northwest Cities Need To Plan Together

<p>This editorial calls on the governments of Portland, Oregon, and its intimately-connected neighbor, Vancouver, Washington, to expand the reach of the metropolitan planning agency whose jurisdiction ends at the border between the two cities.</p>
September 5, 2007, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"In 1978, Oregon voters created Metro, still the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization in the United States. Its responsibilities include growth management, transportation planning and greenspace administration. We can't envisage three more critical, and more connected, responsibilities. Yet Metro's jurisdiction ends at the Columbia River. The result: Clark County, which still seems more adept at producing suburbs than salaries, continues to serve as the relief valve for the Oregon metropolis. That's why some 60,000 of its citizens commute to the Portland area each day, accounting for almost half the traffic crossing the Interstate Bridge."

"This can't continue. The time has come for officials on both sides of the river to begin talking about Washington voters directly electing representatives to the Metro Council. Legislatures in Salem and Olympia need to craft a plan that could win quick approval from congressional delegations."

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Published on Tuesday, September 4, 2007 in The Oregonian
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