Freeway funding showdown looms at final meeting of state transportation committee

Posted on May 27th, 2021 at 6:57 am.

For whom the bills toll.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Like dreaded vegetables on a dinner plate, the powerful Joint Transportation Committee of the Oregon legislature has left the hardest stuff to swallow until the very end. At their last meeting of the session Thursday morning, committee members are likely to vote on consequential legislation that would set funding levels for three freeway projects and a plan to allow the state to borrow up to $600 million in tolling-backed bonds.

Months of debate have focused on two bills in the House: 3055 and 3065. Both are omnibus bills (meaning they deal with many issues) and look to tweak House Bill 2017, the landmark $5.2 billion package of project earmarks and new taxes the legislature passed in 2017. Among other things, HB 2017 set aside $30 million per year for the I-5 Rose Quarter project (to begin January 2022) and it directed the Oregon Transportation Commission (the governor-appointed body that manages the Oregon Department of Transportation) to study and implement tolls on sections of I-5 and I-205 in the Portland region.[Read more…]

Unhappy anniversary: The bike/walk spending increase bill is dead

Posted on May 17th, 2021 at 1:36 pm.

A bill that would have increased spending on bicycling and walking infrastructure on the 50th anniversary of Oregon’s legendary “Bike Bill” has died in committee.[Read more…]

Lawmakers pass bill to require diversity in ODOT advisory committees

Posted on April 27th, 2021 at 4:18 pm.

Not everything in the bike lane is a “bi”-cycle.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Push for bike/walk spending increase in Oregon “Bike Bill” headed for compromise

Posted on April 13th, 2021 at 2:31 pm.

Screen grab from Bike Bill 50th Birthday Party.

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Caution, Blumenauer and bikes: Let’s talk Biden’s infrastructure plan

Posted on April 5th, 2021 at 1:48 pm.

Obama’s rescue plan built the cycle-track on SW Moody. What would Biden’s plan build?
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

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Disability rights activist pushes bill for more diversity on ODOT committees

Posted on March 22nd, 2021 at 11:34 am.

People who ride these have a very different perspective.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Bill would allow non-police agent to review traffic camera citations

Posted on March 12th, 2021 at 2:18 pm.

Speed camera on NE Marine Drive.
(Photo: PBOT)

A new bill in the Oregon Legislature would remove a major barrier to the use of automated photo radar cameras.

Current Oregon law requires that every citation issued by a fixed speed camera must be reviewed by a sworn police officer. While well-intentioned, this statute has led to delays in citation processing, higher personnel costs to do the work — and most unfortunately — a bureaucratic reluctance to install new cameras.

In Portland for example, despite clear benefits of fixed speed safety cameras, they are installed in only four locations. That’s just eight cameras in operation since being given the authority to use them in 2015. One big problem is our procurement process, but the other is strictly due to police personnel.

An August 2019 story in The Willamette Week titled, Speed Cameras Save Lives. So Why Does Portland Have Only Eight of Them?, explained the police staffing bottleneck:[Read more…]

State lawmakers hear powerful opposition amid lots of support at ‘Safe Routes for All’ bill hearing

Posted on March 4th, 2021 at 11:35 am.

Lawmakers and advocates in the virtual meeting.

Senate Bill 395, also known as the Safe Routes for All bill, got its first hearing at the Oregon Legislature this morning where members of the Joint Transportation Committee heard much more support for the bill than opposition to it.

But what the opposition lacked in the collective power of their voices, they made up for in the power of the organizations they spoke up for.

Proposed by The Street Trust with sponsorship from Eugene-area Senator Floyd Prozanski (who was not in attendance today), SB 395 seeks to increase the minimum expenditure on bicycling and walking infrastructure from the State Highway Fund from 1% to 5% and make a few other key tweaks to what’s known as the Oregon Bike Bill, a groundbreaking piece of legislation passed in 1971.
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Oregon advocates launch ‘Safe Routes for All’ campaign to boost Bike Bill spending

Posted on March 2nd, 2021 at 9:07 am.

(Graphic: The Street Trust)

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Senator behind push for Bike Bill spending boost offers dose of reality

Posted on February 11th, 2021 at 3:16 pm.

Riders on the I-205 path, built with State Highway Fund dollars.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Eugene-area Senator Floyd Prozanski will play a big role in whether or not a major effort to boost bicycle spending in Oregon will get the green light. [Read more…]