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.
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.