Monday, October 29, 2007

Before the Metro Council

I had 5 minutes to make my remarks before the Metro Council. They interviewed 8 people on October 25th. These were my prepared remarks which I delivered pretty much as written. UPPER case denotes verbal emphasis.

Good Evening... I'm John Miller.

I would like to commend you on the OPEN NATURE of this process! Thank You.

I live at the Northern end of Boones Ferry Road in Southwest Portland.

My day job is System Architect in Information Technology at Metro. I love my Job, but, I would GIVE IT UP if appointed. The Metro attorney here can address this if needed.

When I came to Portland in 1972, I got interested in the Neighborhood Associations (..CPO's), and a Colorful Map of the DOWNTOWN Comprehensive Plan. My eventual involvement in The Collins View Association (next to Lewis & Clark College) LED TO Southwest coalition board which led to chairing the Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Committee which led to serving on the Metro RUGGoS committee (Held up the Metro certificate).

In 1990 I started a family, and stole time only to make or write public comments.

[The Metro Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) draft was on the meeting agenda earlier, so I used it here as a springboard.]

I would like to use the transit component of the RTP as the basis of my remarks today...

[HELD UP] Here are my written comments about the RTP in 1999. In 1992 (fifteen years ago) I also commented on Region 2040. [Held up GRAPH OF NODES] There are circles and arrows on that one. In 2007, I will submit similar comments on the draft RTP Transit plan, introducing a PATTERN LANGUAGE that matches the patterns in 2040 plan.

For example, this RTP has "Radial Community Bus Service". That's Good! But I really think we need to implement these new concepts, indeed even the TOTAL SYSTEM, from the ground UP. TRIMET says that building the TOTAL SYSTEM means providing shelters and information like the TRACKER -- and the PLANNER, and providing adequate SERVICE. But our transit system of the FUTURE should be INTUITIVE to use, connecting adjacent towns and communities so that a person can GET AROUND without having to consult a Trip Planner all the time.

We've got a long way to go... (Held up #39 poster) Here is a project that I recently co-ordinated to connect Lewis & Clark College with Hillsdale, previously STRONGLY DISCONNECTED communities. The new route works well, but this needs to be done all over the region.

I recently heard a rumor -- There's a BLUE SKY project at TRIMET... a total redesign of the system map. What does the public know of that? When I came to Oregon.. the OPEN meetings law had just passed, which was a radical departure from back room deals and such. [Hold up WIRED magazine] This guy, Linus Torvalds, (who lives in District #2, by the way) is on a lot of magazine covers. Here they characterize him as LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. (The world of Open Source Software Development).

This new form of COLLABORATION is being applied in MANY areas. Metro's MetroScope model should be OPENED. The R.E.I.N. website is a kind of OPEN DATA project. We have Open SPACES... even Open FOOD. How about if we APPLY some sort of Open METHOD to the design of a TOTAL TRANSIT SYSTEM, on the assumption that the people in their own communities know how best to serve and connect their own places?

[Timer runs out] In closing,

Why do I want to be a Councilor? I would have more of an opportunity to be involved in all kinds of Metro projects, and that would be a step UP for me. We are facing some hard problems.

Thank You.