About the CRC Connections Project

Clackamas Regional Center (CRC) Connections is the first half of a two-part project to increase transportation options, safety and accessibility in the CRC area, while supporting increased economic and job growth.

The Clackamas Regional Center, the area between the cities of Milwaukie and Happy Valley in northwest, unincorporated Clackamas County, is a major hub for commercial development, business and jobs in Clackamas County and the region. In addition to the many people who live and work there, visitors flock to the area to shop at Clackamas Town Center, take care of their health needs at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center, take classes at the Clackamas Community College-Harmony Campus and a myriad of other reasons.

With increased traffic, moving around the area is becoming more difficult from both efficiency and safety standpoints. Economic development in the area is also a challenge because current transportation performance standards can limit residential, commercial, and retail growth, which can in turn reduce the number of long-term and construction-related jobs created in coming years.

The CRC Connections Project seeks to alleviate these challenges and make it easier and safer for residents, employees and visitors to use a variety of travel options to get around — biking, walking, driving, bus or light rail. At the same time, the project will promote more economic and job growth so that the Regional Center continues to develop as a vibrant community.

The CRC Connections Project has two major components:

  1. New land use designation – The first step is to consider designating the Clackamas Regional Center as a “multimodal mixed-use area” (MMA). This relatively new kind of land use designation indicates the intent to place more importance on multiple travel options (or modes) and compact, mixed-use development. MMA designation represents a shift from thinking solely about how development affects vehicle traffic (cars and trucks) to considering how to integrate all modes and travel options (including walking, bicycling and transit) into the planning process. An MMA designation could set the stage for the Clackamas Regional Center to develop into a compact, walkable, mixed-use development that is easy and safe to travel through.
  2. Update transportation performance standards – The second component is to update the county's transportation standards (called “transportation performance standards”) that developers must meet in order to be allowed to build in the Clackamas Regional Center. The current transportation performance standards focus mostly on the amount of vehicle traffic and congestion a new development might generate. These standards need to be updated to encourage new development and to consider alternative modes of travel —biking, walking, bus and light rail -- as well as driving. Equally as important, this component of the project will also consider transportation safety standards to improve the safety and comfort of travel in the area.

In the second phase of the project, the County will work with stakeholders to consider alternative approaches to estimating and collecting Transportation System Development Charge (TSDC) fees within the CRC area. TSDC fees are collected by the County when a permit is issued for a new development. They are used to pay for improvements to the road system to increase capacity to make room for additional traffic estimated to be created by the new development.

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