The Oregon Department of Transportation needs your comments on the 2018-2021 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) — a list of capital projects the agency will move forward with over the next four years. There are 170 projects currently on the list and 70 of them are in Multnomah County.
ODOT estimates they’ll have about $32.5 million to spend in Region 1. Before the shovels start turning, you can still influence the details of these projects and ODOT makes commenting very easy.
What do I mean by influencing details of projects? Here’s an example: One of the projects will spend $3.3 million on “safety improvements” on the northbound and southbound I-205 exit ramps at SE Division Street. ODOT will make “lane adjustments”, widen the ramps, adjust signal timing, add new signage, and so on. Given that Division has relatively well-used bike lanes in this location that connect directly to the I-205 path, are there elements of this project that could improve bike safety? Do you think ODOT planners are thinking about how bike cross-traffic might be improved with this project? If you ride that section of Division, you can share your concerns and insights directly on this project at the ODOT STIP website.
Here’s another example: ODOT will spend $8.5 million to repave 2.5 miles of Highway 30 from NW Kittridge to just north of the St. Johns Bridge. This is a very important biking route. Do you have any feedback for ODOT about how this project might result in safer cycling conditions on Highway 30? If so, here’s where to leave your comment.
Other projects we’ve got our eyes on include: the Lombard Safety Extension that will include a road diet between N Fiske and N Wilbur (through Columbia Park); the first piece of the Sullivan’s Gulch path — an undercrossing of I-205; and of course the 70s Neighborhood Greenway.
Keep in mind that the STIP process never really ends, it just has decision points where certain types of ideas and comments are most useful. Right now is the time to give input on the current slate of projects. The official comment period ends February 28th. ODOT will take this feedback and develop the final approval for the STIP project list over the summer.
To speak directly with ODOT and get an education about the STIP and all the projects on this list, attend the open house tomorrow (Wednesday, 2/22) at ODOT Region 1 HQ in northwest Portland (123 NW Flanders).
Check out the ODOT Region 1 STIP website for the full list of projects and more information.