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How should ODOT spend safety funds? Tell them!

Posted by on January 8th, 2010 at 11:38 am

Bike traffic in Portland-9.jpg
ODOT wants input on transportation safety.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has announced two meetings where they will solicit public input on their Transportation Safety Action Plan.

Last updated in 2004, that safety plan is an important part of the Oregon Transportation Plan and it guides ODOT’s safety budget. Anyone with ideas and feedback about how ODOT can improve their safety programs is encouraged to attend. The City of Portland’s top traffic safety staffer, Mark Lear says these meetings are the best place to tell ODOT what you feel is important. Lear adds that PBOT “wants a strategy based on improving safety for all modes” and that he’s most concerned about speed and alcohol related crashes.

According to ODOT stats, Oregon averages about 468 fatal traffic crashes each year. Speed and rural roads are by far the largest cause of those fatalities.

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In 2008, 416 people died on Oregon roads. Of those, 300 were on rural roads. Between 2003 and 2008, an average of 51 percent of Oregon’s fatal crashes are speed related. Alcohol related fatalities made up 38.1 percent during the same time period.

Walt McCallister is ODOT’s traffic safety staffer in charge of the public meetings. He told us today that while these meetings are focused mostly on system-wide issues, they also want to hear your neighborhood concerns. “What we’re looking at are system-wide improvements, but if people have neighborhood specific suggestions to share, we can look them and find out, what are the underlying issues and how do we bubble that up to the system-wide approach?”

The meetings in our region (Region 1) are on January 12th at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland and on January 21st in Oregon City. Full details on both meetings, and information on how you can provide input without attending can be found on ODOT’s website.

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Comments
  • Jackattak January 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I will be out of town January 12th but plan to let them know via electronic means in a moment.

    In going to the ODOT link provided at the end of the article, I couldn’t resist but to smile at the pic of the little girl on the pink bike! SO PERFECT and it shows that ODOT is getting more bike-centric.

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  • Jackattak January 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I just sent them a 5-paragraph email asking for better pedestrian safety infrastructure, better crosswalk law education, and more driver accountability for cycling- and pedestrian-related automobile accidents.

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  • q`Ztal January 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    This might be a good place the get the Zusman bike lane issue rolling.
    Perhaps ODOT has some opinion on bike lanes and our use of them. (hint: they want us to use them)
    An obvious upshot of the unchallenged Zusman ruling on bike lanes encourages me to never ride in the bike lane on the basis that Zusman is saying that the bike lane essentially does not exist and therefore I must take the full lane at every discontinuity of paint.
    ODOT will not want cyclists clogging up their auto thoroughfares and might have something to say about Zusman’s ruling if they realize that we will be clogging more streets and there may be lawsuits, against the state/ODOT, regarding injuries or deaths caused by following laws of operating a bicycle in a bike lane.

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  • q`Ztal January 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Confirmed with Legacy Emanual Hospital’s security desk that there area bike racks right out side the Lorenzen Conference Center which is the 12-sided building right there:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Lorenzen+Conference+Center&sll=45.543175,-122.669695&sspn=0.000984,0.001698&ie=UTF8&hq=Lorenzen+Conference+Center&hnear=&ll=45.543197,-122.669622&spn=0.000984,0.001698&t=h&z=19

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  • karl D January 9, 2010 at 7:55 am

    The agenda was very vague, but I assume this will deal only with safety issues on State maintained streets like
    MLK
    Lombard & Columbia Blvd
    Powell
    I-5, 84, 26, 405, & 205 (on & off ramps and overpasses)
    Sandy Blvd
    RT 30 & NW St. Helens

    Or am i missing something?

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  • Anonymous January 9, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    How about diversion of truck traffic off N Fessenden, onto the truck route established by ODOT? Fessenden is more convenient to cut-through traffic through St Johns, as it ‘saves’ about 7 minutes of time to N Porland Rd and Marine Drive. Unfortuneatly,using St Louis/Fessenden decimates pedestrian safety along the corridor as high volume freight traffic serves as an obstacle to safe use of what is actually a City street. Limiting St Louis/Fessenden to local traffic only, with accompanying enforcement would do much to improve safety and livibility in St Johns. Improvements to the truck route to facilitate all sizes of trucks, shifting oversize loads off Lombard east of the SJ Bridge would also reap huge benefits.

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  • scotth January 10, 2010 at 11:36 am

    What is defined as a rural road?

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  • DR January 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I’ll say it again, how about cleaning up the shoulders of roads of all the crud, glass, gravel, animal parts, etc.? I don’t know how many times I’ve had to go out onto the road used by cars to not puncture my tires or avert a safety hazard. Take care of what we have. If we build more, it’ll just be more not being taken care of.

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  • Susan Kubota January 12, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Jonathan,
    Thank you for keeping us informed. Because of your article I will beable to attend the meeting and tell ODOT they need to focus on safety education by revamping DMV licensing renewal and other safety knowlegde promotion and ask about allowing city/county vs state wide speed limit laws controls.

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  • K'Tesh January 12, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I’d love to see the bridges of Washington County be redone to accommodate bikes and peds… Such as the one over the Tualatin River on 99W, And just about every bridge in Beaverton.

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