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ODOT’s Barbur Blvd lane closure analysis finds 1 minute delay, big cut in speeding

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
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SW Barbur in August, when repaving work created a temporary simulation of a possible road diet. The state studied the results, and they make a redesign seem feasible.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Converting one northbound traffic lane on 1.9 miles of SW Barbur Boulevard to two protected bike lanes with sidewalks would apparently prevent unsafe weaving during off-peak hours without massive impacts to morning traffic.

That’s one conclusion from data released Friday that analyzed changes to people’s driving habits during construction work on Barbur this summer. A repaving project had temporarily closed one traffic lane in each direction.

(more…)

Car, freight, bike and transit advocates agree to back Oregon gas tax or fee hike in 2015

Monday, November 10th, 2014
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The Oregon Trucking Association, AAA and petroleum industry agreed last week not only to back a possible gas tax hike but to support indexing the tax for future automatic increases.
(Photo: C.M. Keiner)

Oregon’s 2015 legislative session is sure to include lots of plot twists for transportation policy. But at least among the key lobbyists, a grand bargain has been struck.

A group of advocates for biking, driving, urban density, public health, the gasoline industry, truck freight, rail fright, cities and public transit agencies — Oregon’s broadest-based organization of transportation interest groups — voted unanimously Thursday on the basic terms of a proposed transportation bill.

The deal brokered by members of the Oregon Transportation Forum would use a gas tax and/or auto fee hike to raise hundreds of millions of dollars over two years for infrastructure around the state.

(more…)

Portland legislators launch effort to put 82nd Ave under PBOT control

Friday, November 7th, 2014
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(Photo: Elly Blue)

It’s looking as if the 2015 legislative session could bring a change that Portland transportation advocates have dreamed of, without much hope, for years.

(more…)

ODOT releases ‘ORcycle’ smartphone app to collect biking data

Friday, November 7th, 2014
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The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a research lab at Portland State University just announced “Orcycle” a smartphone app billed as a way for bicycle riders to share “valuable information” with the agency.

Here’s more from an ODOT press release that just hit our inbox:

Gathering valuable data about how bicyclists use the transportation system has always been a challenge. Starting Nov. 10, a new Smartphone app created by the Transportation Technology and People (TTP) lab at Portland State University, in partnership with ODOT, will provide data that can help planners and others make decisions based on users’ feedback and facts never before gathered in one place. The goal of the app, called ORcycle, is to get cycling data from people who ride bicycles voluntarily contributing via their Smartphone, from anywhere in the state.

(more…)

ODOT names Talia Jacobson Active Transportation policy lead

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
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Talia Jacobson.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a new voice on its transportation team. The agency announced last week that Talia Jacobson would be the new “ODOT Active Transportation Policy Lead.”

Jacobson has been with ODOT as a transportation planner since 2008. In that time she’s worked on major projects like the Southwest Corridor Plan, the Congestion Pricing Pilot Program, the Columbia River Crossing, the Sellwood Bridge and others. Jacobson is a graduate of the urban and regional planning program at Portland State University and she also has a degree in psychology (Whitman College) and a professional background in mental health and social services. At ODOT, she’s used that background to lead internal trainings about diversity and cultural competency.

Asked about what she’ll be working on at the 5,000-employee agency that holds many powerful cards in local and regional transportation decisions, Jacobson said that, “The Bicycle and Pedestrian Mode Plan is at the top of my list right now.” (ODOT began an update to that plan back in April.)
(more…)

Attend a virtual open house for ODOT’s Bike/Walk Plan update

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
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Screenshot of virual meeting page.

As we reported last month, the Oregon Department of Transportation is holding “listening sessions” throughout the state to gather input for a major update to their Bicycle and Pedestrian Modal Plan.

Unfortunately there are only five meetings total, just one in the Portland area, and they’re all held during business hours. If you want to share input but can’t make it to one of the meetings, ODOT has launched a website that lets you do so completely online.

ODOT says the Virtual Listening Meeting is the next best thing to showing up in person. (more…)

ODOT announces ‘listening sessions’ for state Bike & Ped Mode Plan

Monday, August 4th, 2014

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has been working on their new Bicycle and Pedestrian Mode Plan for just over a year. Now they want to hear what Oregonians think.

ODOT has announced a series of five “listening sessions” around the state that are being billed as a way to “help inform policy development” of the plan.

Keep in mind that this effort isn’t merely an update to the existing statewide biking and walking plan. That plan was last updated in 1995 and it has almost zero political teeth. As a strictly “staff-level” plan, the outdated document is only a guide for ODOT employees that tells them general best practices when it comes to bicycle access issues. This new effort will create an entirely new plan, a “mode plan” that, once officially adopted, will be given the same institutional respect that their Highway Plan and Freight Plan currently enjoy.

Here’s more about the listening sessions via the official announcement: (more…)

ODOT shares details on big changes coming to Denver Ave near Kenton

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
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ODOT cross-section drawing of what’s coming to N Denver between Victory and Schmeer.

Back in October we shared an early look at the Oregon Department of Transportation’s plans to revamp several paths and roads just north of downtown Kenton. That project, what ODOT calls the OR 99W: N. Victory Boulevard to N. Argyle Street Improvement Project, is now fully designed and is set to begin construction this fall.
(more…)

New I-84 bridge over Sandy River comes with new bike connections

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
ODOT officials and assorted dignitaries walk across the path alongside the new I-84 bridge over the Sandy River.
(Photo: ODOT)

Things are looking up for bicycle access in Troutdale along I-84 and the Sandy River.
(more…)

ODOT embarks on “big data” project with purchase of Strava dataset

Thursday, May 1st, 2014
A valuable bicycle planning and policymaking tool?

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is the first state transportation agency in the United States to ink a deal with Strava, a leading website and smartphone app used by people to track their bike rides via GPS.

Last fall, the agency paid $20,000 for one-year license of a dataset that includes the activities of about 17,700 riders and 400,000 individual bicycle trips totaling 5 million BMT (bicycle miles traveled) logged on Strava in 2013. The Strava bike “traces” are mapped to OpenStreetMap.

If all goes according to plan, the data could revolutionize how ODOT makes decisions about their policies, plans, and projects. At the very least, forging boldly into the realm of “big data” and pushing the boundaries of bicycle planning marks an important step for an agency that’s facing a very different future and actively looking to shed its old-school, highway-first reputation. (more…)

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