Mayor’s Corner: Walkable. Healthy. Inclusive

Mayor's Corner, Jason Snider

In 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge swept the globe, Frozen became the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, and the City of Tigard started a journey to become a healthier, more connected, inclusive community.

I am proud of the work that we have done together as a city, bound by our vision and with an eye toward the future. Five years into our journey, I want to share a few numbers that highlight the positive impacts all around Tigard.

2,827 students have engaged with our “Safe Routes to School” program by walking to school, getting helmets fitted and participating in safety programs. In support of the program, we worked with parents, school staff, and the school district to develop school-specific action plans that identify barriers to walking and biking, and that prioritize strategies to reduce the barriers.

81 community members have opted into Volunteer Tigard! This initiative creates volunteer opportunities for community members to put their talents and energies into improving the community’s quality of life. So far, five projects have been completed, ranging from installing Born Learning trail signs to assisting an elderly resident with yard work. The impact of Volunteer Tigard! is best summed up by a family member of the elderly resident:

“The transformation of the yard is unbelievable. Every volunteer worked hard and was kind. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! The Police Chief made my daughter’s day by helping with the effort. Today is a day that she will not forget!”

61 curb ramps were replaced to provide accessible routes so people with disabilities can safely transition from a roadway to a curbed sidewalk. We are also developing an implementation plan to make the City of Tigard’s building facilities, parks, trails, and public right-of-way accessible to all.

12 Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (inexpensive and high-impact) projects have been completed. These range from the 135th Avenue sidewalk gap completion to the ‘A Walk Thru Time’ mural. And there’s good news: You can help by providing your input on our next project by sending project ideas to kentw@tigard-or.gov.

5 cities and 3 school districts, including Tigard, partnered on The Multi-Equity Summit. The Summit, attended by over 350 people (100 from Tigard, including City Council President Goodhouse and myself), is the beginning of a community conversation about the barriers that prevent some people from fully benefiting from and participating in the rich quality of life that our communities have to offer. To truly become a community for all, we must work tirelessly to eliminate these barriers.

While celebrating our successes is important, it’s equally important to re-engage you in charting our path forward for the next five years. We need your help to know whether we’re on track, what we’re missing and even what you think we should perhaps stop doing. You can share your opinions via a brief survey at www.engage.tigard-or.gov.

You can also share your thoughts in person at my next Fireside Chat on Thursday, Nov. 7, 6:30 p.m. at Hops on Tap, 15660 SW Pacific Hwy (between Petco and Safeway). In addition, I can be reached directly at jason@tigard-or.gov.

~ Jason Snider, Mayor