As we shared last month, the Oregon Department of Transportation has finished the first draft of a major update to our Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
Depending on how it ends up, this plan could be big deal because it will lay the foundation on which ODOT will base its bicycle-related project, planning, and policy decisions for many years to come. It could also give all Oregonians valuable leverage to hold leaders accountable.
But in case you haven’t noticed, ODOT can’t be trusted to make this plan as good as it needs to be. That’s where you come in. To their credit, ODOT is reaching out to the public and asking for advice and input on how to make the plan better.
Along with a public comment period that opened last month and runs through February 18th, they’ve just announced a public open house (4-6:30 pm on 12/14 at 8114 SE Division) and they’ve put out a new video. We just came across the video this morning. It’s short and sweet and comes complete with a squeaky-voiced narrator who sounds like the nicest person on the planet.
[Warning: digression/rant ahead]
Unfortunately the video also comes with images of people on bikes who look like they are competing in the Tour de France. It’s frustrating to see ODOT choose bent-over racers to represent cycling in Oregon. Those images do not reflect what most of our bicycling public actually looks like. If this is what ODOT thinks bicycle riders look like, is it any surprise they think unprotected bike lanes on
streets urban highways where people drive 45-50 mph is acceptable?
If we want to encourage more Oregonians to give biking a try (which we most certainly do), it makes no sense to present them with an image they cannot relate to at all.
Does ODOT use a NASCAR when they show cars in their animated videos? Would they show a person walking with running shoes, a tank top, and running shorts? Nope. Because that’d be crazy right?
Notice the nice, friendly, boring car in one of their videos below…
Sorry for the digression…Back to the Bike/Ped Plan.
Now is the time to visit the plan’s website read through it and give ODOT your input. You can email comments to ORBikePedPlan@odot.state.or.us. The open house is from 4-6:30 pm on December 14th at Jade/APANO Multicultural Space (8114 SE Division). The comment period closes February 18th.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – email@example.com