Early Scoping Notice
Early Scoping for the Southwest Corridor Plan in Metropolitan Portland, OR.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Metro (Oregon) regional government issue this early scoping notice to advise other agencies and the public that they intend to explore alternatives for improving transit service between downtown Portland and Sherwood, in Multnomah and Washington counties. The early scoping is occurring within the context of the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations for complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Several alternatives will be examined to explore their potential for implementation of a major transit capital investment under the New Starts funding program including light rail, bus rapid transit, rapid streetcar, high occupancy vehicle lanes, high occupancy toll lanes and a transportation system management (TSM) alternative. Public workshops have been planned and are described below. The FTA Alternatives Analysis (AA) process, as described in 49 U.S.C. 5309 (a) (1), will assess a wide range of public transportation alternatives designed to address the transportation problems within the corridor. This process will involve a more robust and detailed level of alternatives and will ultimately lead to the selection of a locally preferred alternative. The initial phase of AA will provide adequate information to determine which alternative(s) to pursue for further analysis for implementation and what level of environmental analysis would be necessary for project implementation. In the second phase, the project may solicit [or obtain] additional public, agency, and tribal input to identify the nature and scope of the environmental issues that should be addressed during NEPA review, following appropriate public notice (anticipated in 2013). This NEPA scoping process will vary depending on whether the project requires an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. Metro and FTA will notify the public of NEPA scoping after that decision has been made. Information about upcoming public meetings and about the project's purpose is set forth below.