Schedule rundown for today’s big transportation tour stop

Joint Committee on Transportation at their meeting in Salem last week.

In a few minutes I’ll leave the Shed and roll over to Portland Community College to begin a seven-hour assignment. It’s the first stop on the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation Transportation Safety and Sustainability Tour (JCTTSST, just kidding).

As I’ve been sharing recently, this is a big deal because this is the first stop on a statewide tour where lawmakers will learn about local issues and listen (notice I didn’t say “hear”) to what Oregonians think about transportation. It’s also rare for lawmakers and JCT members to hold a public hearing.

Before I head over there, I wanted to share the schedule and a bit more info about what will happen.

The first event is an invite-only infrastructure tour that begins at 12:00. We’ll stop at four spots: Multnomah County’s Bridge Shop on SE Water Ave, the intersection of SW Broadway and Jackson, the DMV in downtown Portland, and N Lombard Ave. Various agency leaders will speak at each stop to discuss specific issues.

After that there’s a roundtable discussion from 2:30 to 4:30 back at PCC Cascade. I just received the list of people who will be around the table:

  • Mayor Ted Wheeler, City of Portland
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps, City of Portiand – Bureau of Transportation
  • Millicent Williams, PBOT Director
  • President Lynn Peterson, Metro Council
  • Councilor Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Metro/JPACT Chair
  • Commissioner Lori Stegmann, Multnomah County
  • J.C. Vannatta, TriMet
  • Dave Roberson, Port of Portland
  • Pia Welch, FedEx
  • Sumi Malik, IC Environmental Justice
  • Zack Culver, Laborers 737
  • Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, City of Vancouver
  • Greg Johnson, Interstate Bridge Program Administrator
  • Jana Jarvis/Evan Oneto, Oregon Trucking Associations
  • Marie Dodds, AAA Oregon/Idaho
  • Dan McFarling/Doug Allen, AORTA
  • Courtney Graham/Alberto Gallegos, SEIU 503
  • Robert Camarillo, Building Trades
  • Don Loving, Amalgamated Transit Union
  • Jenny Dressler/Megan Desalvo, Oregon Chamber of Commerce
  • Sharla Moffett, Oregon Business and Industry
  • Kirsten Adams/Dee Burch, Associated General Contractors
  • Charlene McGee, Multnomah County Health Department
  • Tina Adams, Casso Consulting
  • Jennifer Dill/John McArthur, Portland State University – TREC
  • Jeanette Shaw, Forth
  • Cassie Wilson/indi Namkoong, 1000 Friends of Oregon
  • Jacqui Treiger, Oregon Environmental Council
  • Brett Morgan, Climate Solutions
  • Victor Duong, Housing Architect
  • Thomas Le Ngo, APANO The Street Trust
  • Ariadna Falcon Gonzalez, Getting There Together
  • Rebecca Sanders, Pedestrian Safety Expert
  • Zachary Lauritzen, Oregon Walks
  • Melvin Norman, Western States Carpenters
  • Kelly Brooks, Office of the Governor

At 4:00 there will be a rally outside the venue hosted by Sunrise PDX. And then from 5:00 to 7:00 will be the public hearing where folks can sign up and testify.

OK, gotta get packed and run over there. Stay tuned for coverage over on my @Jonathan_Maus X account.


NOTE: The list of names above originally had Thomas Le Ngo as a representative of APANO, but that was an error by organizers. He was actually at the roundtable as a rep for The Street Trust (where he’s board chair). I regret any confusion.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Cory Pinckard
Cory Pinckard
8 days ago

Oregon owes a lot of its strengths to rail infrastructure, much of which unfortunately no longer even exists (including the Oregon Electric and Red Electric Interurban Passenger Railways, an elaborate and extensive streetcar grid they interfaced with as well as an integrated bunch of trolley lines.) The turncoat auto industry lobbied to have our taxpayer dollars funded passenger interurban and municipal routes torn out and paved over or else neglected into failure after privatization in acts of premeditated sabotage and treachery; this is before they further betrayed the nation by moving manufacturing out of country decimating the American workforce to only be rewarded for this sedition by being subsidized by our taxes along with being bailed out multiple times only for the executives to pocket the money we were taxed for their personal profits of plunder and pilfering pillage. The further we move away from the logical layout provided by streetcar grids and electric commuter interurban railroads the uglier and less livable the city and its suburbs become. An intelligent coastal city would take advantage of this limited time of people crowding in to install city assets that will benefit us for generations such as a rail route beneath the Willamette meaning the Steel Bridge won’t break the light rail circuit interrupting all MAX lines every time it lifts, and railway going between Vancouver and Portland when the new bridge is finally finished. I-5 should be buried on the inner east side stretch to make the area tolerable and reclaim space for the Black community to rebuild their community they had stolen from them. The WES should expand to extend down to Salem reuniting the Portland metropolitan area with our capital. It makes perfect sense to build the full Southwest Corridor (Purple) Line with railway stations on Marquam Hill and at Portland Community College Sylvania Campus, for example, and zero sense not to.

Electric cars also destroy the environment through resource mining, manufacturing processes and ultimately going to the landfill in mass droves. The pollution they cause is simply unnecessary as is the amount of urban space squandered on parking and other paved over autocentric wastes. MORE VEHICLES ON THE ROAD MEANS MORE AVOIDABLE DEATHS WILL CONTINUE TO CONSTANTLY OCCUR!They also perpetuate redlining, urban sprawl, the food deserts that come from that invariably, along with cities that are not navigable as a pedestrian or bicyclist and are, in fact, inhospitable to humanity along with being lethally horrendous towards animals.They add to traffic congestion. Commodification of societal needs and normalization of trying to substitute rampant consumerism where we need standardized, regulated and uniform public utilities doesn’t work.

Putting the financial burden of transportation inefficiently and directly on the individual citizen is simply not wise or fair and hasn’t been the norm for even 80 years. We need to invest in commuter rail that’s properly implemented as it typically is overseas. A commuter rail system is an engineering marvel while buses are just buses. The most reliable predictor of a neighborhood being impoverished is if it has no commuter rail connection. The American people are apathetic through decades of disenfranchisement and a lot of that marginalization (eg Robert Moses’s racist urban renewal) is through divestment of public infrastructure, utilities and programs to help the American people. We can’t undo the social inequities inflicted upon and retained by redlining until we transcend the highway robbery carcentric built habitat that physically structurally reinforces them. We’re past the point of car dominated transportation being anything better than a tragic hindrance or an outright travesty. Public works materially improving life for the taxpaying citizenry will bolster civic pride. 

Transcontinental High Speed Rail should integrate seamlessly with commuter rail networks so it can evenly function as one cohesive system and this will convert flyover country (CONUS flights should be virtually eliminated) back into a thriving heartland by functioning as an artery of commute and commerce which will reduce clustering on the coasts. Similarly, wholly integrated circuits of commuter rail blended with interurban routes, light rail lines, street car grids, subways, and even trolleys along with electric ferries functioning together as a comprehensive, coherent series of interwoven systems would prevent people from having to live on top of each other in city centers in order to have quick access to urban cores and downtown areas so this would stimulate our local economies and prevent gentrification from demolishing  cherished heirlooms of our historicity, destroying our classic neighborhoods, shredding the fabric of our communities and toppling our civic landmarks and architectural heirlooms along with other social capital such as venerable culture generating venues. We lost so many marvelous structures for nothing more than mere surface lots as our city was hollowed out on the heels of white flight to the lily white, poorly planned suburbs. Whole swaths of communities were obliterated in a racist/classist attack on the people of Portland and we lost entire neighborhoods along with cultural centers such as the Jazz District, our Italian and Jewish neighborhoods as well as other minorities who weren’t even assisted with any sort of fair, decent assistance to relocate. The absolute annihilation of our city still adversely hinders us collectively to this hamstrung day, and the groups targeted, intensely even if so many folks don’t know enough to connect the dots of cause and effect.

Numerous studies show that built environments of homogenously bleak and bland duplitecture dreck that profiteering developers push on us for their privatized gains to our public loss for the riches of themselves and corporate slumlords not only cause homelessness from being financially inaccessible to most Americans, but also cause depression from creating such a devastatingly sterile, cold, unloving urban habitat that’s too congested and overcrowded to work properly as a correctly engineered built environment. Our roadways are overcrowded and no amount of widening them and adding lanes will do anything to help it because it just leads to induced demand that inevitably grinds to a halt at snags and bottlenecks down the road. Shouldn’t American cities be thriving centers of culture and character rather than austere and chintzy morasses of mediocrity? 

I believe that we can design the cities of our nation to reflect a future that embraces humanity and that we also must for America to have any sort of a bright future ahead of it. Right now we are mired in the destruction of our cities from the inward attacking neocolonial oppressors who weaponize their clout of wealth against the nation for their own off-shore un-American gains of privileged, parasitic, private profits. This greed fueled anti-social exploitation is present day feudalism driving us into another gilded age. Tons of new petrochemical building  “luxury living” housing units remain empty serving only as financial assets in investment portfolios of hedge fund, “private equity” and permanent capital firm cretins sheltering dubiously acquired wealth instead of as direly needed shelter for humans. We deserve a landscape we can be proud of and country should come first before corporate looting and exploitation. Legacies are important and live on forever. 

With space opened up in our cities we could rebuild beloved structures now gone missing from economic and environmental disaster utilizing new technologies such as hempcrete and 3-D printing. We could create vertical agriculture, green pocket areas, etc. on spots currently now just serving as paved over squares and nothing more. 20% of Portland is parking lots and paved over area not even suitable for that inefficient usage. We can extend democracy into offering the taxpayer residents democratic say in what their city consists of, how it looks and how it operates promoting civic engagement and participation.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
7 days ago
Reply to  Cory Pinckard

Electric cars also destroy the environment through resource mining, manufacturing processes and ultimately going to the landfill in mass droves.

But…of….course…rail lines and transcontinental [sic] highspeed rail everywhere does not involve any resource mining, manufacturing, energy generation or waste.

FWIW, I strongly support decommodification of everything (I hate the middle class and upper classes equally) and the end of autonormativity but I’m not willing to sacrifice the global south while waiting for the fully automated electric train luxury communism you envision to somehow manifest itself. If filthy rich, imperialist, and immoral ‘murrica can reduce emissions by adopting EVs and renewables sometime in the next 30 years, I accept this has HARM REDUCTION.

Cory Pinckard
Cory Pinckard
7 days ago

The environmental impact between EVs and commuter rail isn’t even close. Which is more bourgeoisie, life friendly cities harmoniously in the framework of green, clean infrastructure that are designed for people and society and are walkable, safe for bicyclists and maximize transit efficiency (capacity, space usage, environmental footprint, time etc.) as other countries are increasingly building their ways to or to maintain the redlining reinforcing paved over hell-scape we currently have where thousands of people die needlessly from auto collisions and hit and runs along as thousands more from pollution which comes from asphalt and tires as well. Which involves more waste going into the dump? This country wastes trillions on corporate welfare, subsidizing oil oligarchs, the military industrial complex… We can afford to have a decent transit system, it’s crazy for us not to.

Watts
Watts
7 days ago
Reply to  Cory Pinckard

The environmental impact between EVs and commuter rail isn’t even close.

Doesn’t that entirely depend on the particulars, such as rail utilization, energy source, etc? Currently, intercontinental rail in the US emits way more CO2 per passenger than flying. And though I don’t have the data to substantiate it, I am very sure that WES emits more pollution per passenger mile than an EV does.

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/04/climate/trains-planes-carbon-footprint-pollution.html

Cory Pinckard
Cory Pinckard
6 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Conflating freight rail and passenger rail service is disingenuous, though, that’s certainly another realm this nation needs to improve upon.The WES moves more people with its far superior carrying capacity than an EV. EVs also damage roads more than ICE vehicles because they’re so heavy from the batteries which take a whole fire department plus to put out when they catch on fire leaving the rest of the area without a fire department if a building burns at the same time. Manufacturing EVs and their toxic batteries is far more damaging to the planet than having green commuter rail infrastructure. For you to sit there and try to sell the daft notion that we should continue to worsen congestion with EVs, continue to sign off on thousands of human beings die easily avoidable deaths, continue to support the scam that forces each of us to pay way too much just to get around, continue to make commuting horribly difficult and prohibitive for the injured and handicapped, to continue to waste tons of city space on parking, to continue to waste all of those resources on all of those unnecessary cars, to continue to reinforce redlining, to continue to make cities hazardous places just to exist in, to continue to pollute the environment manufacturing all of those unnecessary cars, to continue to worsen urban sprawl and car cluttered areas with food deserts, to continue to have suburbs, exurbs and rural areas cut off from anywhere, to continue to pass up easy, quick and cost efficient transportation to stimulate our local economy, to continue with the lie of adding lanes as though the concept of induced demand has long been studied, researched and established to be true, to continue to be a country lacking behind so many others in quality of life, to continue for the city and state to hemorrhage money on carcentric expenses, and once again, TO CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE FOR THE NEEDLESS DEMISE OF THOUSANDS OF HUMAN BEINGS, is absolutely asinine and utterly unconscionable.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
6 days ago
Reply to  Cory Pinckard

The environmental impact between EVs and commuter rail isn’t even close.

Look…I absolutely agree that an electrified train network that is heavily used would be a far better way to decarbonize AND promote more equal human flourishing.

But…if the choice is between doing almost nothing (e.g. rate of build out and adoption of electrified passenger rail) and wholesale electrification of the bloody automobile, I will always choose the bloody EV.

Why?

Because as a socialist with strong Rawlsian characteristics I care immensely more about people in the global south than I do about ‘murrican transportation nerds or even Portlanders in general.

Cory Pinckard
Cory Pinckard
1 day ago

Your glib lib pseudo-solution is how capitalists prevent citizens from getting benefit from their job earned taxpayer dollars so they can rob us instead AND your still doing the global south a colossal disservice because EVs aren’t green no matter what for a plethora of reasons, many of which I’ve already pointed out.

Watts
Watts
1 day ago
Reply to  Cory Pinckard

“Greener” is, of course, a very imprecise term. What is clear is that EVs emit significantly less CO2 than gasoline or diesel powered vehicles, regardless of the ultimate energy source. I have never seen a single serious analysis of the EV lifecycle costs that says we should not be converting as quickly as possible.

I'll Show UP
I'll Show UP
7 days ago

I see cars, trucks, transit, and pedestrians. Who was there to put in a voice for bicycle riders? Am I missing something?

Thomas Ngo
Thomas Ngo
7 days ago
Reply to  I'll Show UP

The Street Trust. The list erroneously had me down for APANO. I am currently Board Chair of The Street Trust and was former Board Co-Chair of APANO over a decade ago.

I’m glad we were able to promote safety and e-bikes, and we were definitely not alone!

Fred
Fred
7 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Ngo

Really? We have to rely on The Street Trust to be the voice of bicycle riders?

Is that really the best we can do? I’d prefer Bike Loud, or JM.

Michael
Michael
7 days ago

Unfortunately, wasn’t able to make it yesterday due to a medical appointment. I definitely plan to send in written testimony today and, if I can, speak at the Salem catch-all hearing. Jonathan, do you know if Sunrise PDX and/or NMF are going to be doing another mass citizen’s lobbying day in Salem next year?

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
7 days ago
Reply to  Michael

My brief altercation with Kris Strickler:
Regarding the public comment period Tuesday at the PCC campus hearing, I’ll guess 40 people total signed up to comment. Politely I listened to the comments though I disagree with the proposed MAX subway route that a half dozen commentors insisted is needed. I’ve given public testimony many times though it is still a nerve racking experience for me. Once my 2 minutes of time ended, I was nervously driven to leave though I’d regret missing the last comments.

At the exit door, Kris Strickler stood there challenging my passage or perhaps just chuckling about my harsh critique of his job performance. I stopped and gave him an prominent thumbs-down to his face. It seemed my gesture pleased him, so I said “You are committing a crime.” This nearly brought Strickler to a guffaw so I added “Negligent Homicide” to define exactly what crime I believe he is committing. That accusation removed the stupid grin from his face and one of his tall body guards stepped between us – not too aggressively – to prevent the altercation from getting out of control. I left without a further word feeling Strickler needed to hear my criminal accusation.

The crimes I accuse Kris Strickler, Lynn Peterson & Ted Wheeler of are in specific regard to the RoseQ I-5 widening as proposed and the SW Corridor MAX extension to Tigard voters wisely rejected in Nov 2020 though it is still in planning at City Hall. Two misdemeanors. Two felonies: “Intentional misdirection of project studies to predetermined outcomes (principally urban development), “willful concealment of safety concerns from the public” and if these concerns are left unaddressed “Reckless Endangerment” and “Negligent Homicide.”

Strickler’s entire video presentation was centered around the money. On the list of metrics (above) that determine project merit, money is last on the list after more important metrics (public safety, health, urban & natural environment, gains in transit patronage) are met.

Kris Strickler, Lynn Peterson & Ted Wheeler (and dozens of department heads and project managers) do not care about public safety, nor public health, nor our urban and natural environment. They have taken definitive actions to discourage public transit patronage. The sole concern these political operatives uphold yet conceal is car-dependent development while traffic becomes more and more menacing every day.

Fred
Fred
7 days ago
Reply to  Art Lewellan

I’m not sure that this kind of interaction with Strickler is the best way to advocate for alternative transportation, Art.

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
7 days ago
Reply to  Fred

Fred, thank you but you’re wrong. Any interaction with corrupt political leaders should be to call them out for abject failures, such as calling Donald Trump a traitor to his face. I go to rally and demonstrations NOT to protest what collectively we shouldn’t do. I go to propose what we should do instead. I’m sorry if that perspective goes over your head. You’re not alone among political activists who have no clue.

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
7 days ago
Reply to  Art Lewellan

Fred, you have a point I tried to refute. Challenging political leaders may not be the best way to advocate for alternate transportation. Alternate transportation (walking, public transit, bicycling), as a comprehensive solution is not enough to maintain an economy entirely dependent upon driving, trucking, shipping, flying about the world as if global warming has not predicted the end.

Watts
Watts
7 days ago
Reply to  Art Lewellan

Challenging political leaders may not be the best way to advocate for alternate transportation.

Antagonizing people, saying they’re guilty of homicide, giving them a “prominent thumbs down to their face” etc. is rarely the best way to advocate for anything.

But thanks for associating this sort of behavior with those wanting better alternatives to driving.

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
6 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I am not antagonizing people per se. I am accusing specific public officials of knowingly putting the public in harm’s way. I’ll guess you voted YES on the entirely destructive widening of Hwy 99W Barbur Blvd because pretty people lied saying their proposal wasn’t a land grab for low-income apartment blocks facing 45+mph roaring traffic with an accident rating, both in number and severity, that would’ve resulted in more multi-car pile-ups, more passenger, pedestrian and cyclist injury and fatalities!

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
7 days ago

Gov Hochul just canceled congestion pricing in NY city. It seems like democratic state governments are doing everything they can do to squash alternatives to the bloody car. I suspect that 2025 state budget may have these same kind of vibes.

Fred
Fred
7 days ago

Yep – it reminded me of Kotek cancelling the tolling program in Oregon.

These Democratic governors are real profiles in courage, but again I blame Repubs for being unhinged. If the Repub Party would field sane, centrist candidates, I would vote for them and Dems would be checked by actual opposition.

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
6 days ago
Reply to  Fred

The tolling program, Fred, went from tolling just I-5 across the Columbia River to tolling I-205 all the way to Tualatin. Kotek judged the tolling program excessive (and obviously abusive) and wisely shut it down.